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Woo awarded Golden Lion for lifetime achievement
Question of the Day
The director is now preparing for a third phase of his career.
“I would like to be a bridge between the good things of the West and the East, so we can further our mutual knowledge and build a strong friendship,” Woo said Friday.
Woo was awarded a Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival, which recognized the director “as an innovator of the contemporary language of cinema” and for renewing action films by introducing extreme stylization.
Woo, 64, has directed more than 26 films in nearly 30 years, beginning his career in Hong Kong in the 1970s before moving to Hollywood in the 1990s. His U.S. feature debut in 1993 was “Hard Target” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and his first Hollywood hit was 1995’s “Broken Arrow,” with John Travolta and Christian Slater. “Mission Impossible II,” starring Tom Cruise, grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.
Despite his filmmaking successes, Woo said he was shocked to be given a lifetime achievement award.
“I wouldn’t say that I have much contributed to film society, even though I made several good films,” Woo said.
“I don’t think we are bestowing an honor. I think it was here waiting for him,” Mueller said.
“Right now, I am very happy to be making movies in China for various reasons, because we have a very old history and also a popular folklore that is different from what is known in abroad. I would like to work on films in the future that are more Chinese in nature, but without leaving Hollywood behind,” Woo said.
“I have worked a lot abroad, and I find people in general don’t know much about our history. People only know Kung-fu films,” Woo said.
That’s not to say he has left action films behind. He was presenting in Venice a new epic martial arts thriller, “Reign of Assassins,” starring Michelle Yeoh, showing out of competition.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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