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Claim to Fame
Director of Hong Kong action films
Profile Bio Text
John Woo Yu-Sen (Chinese: 吳宇森; pinyin: Wú Yǔsēn) (born May 1, 1946) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Chinese film director and producer. Woo is widely known for his stylised movies which are renowned for their balletic action sequences, Mexican stand-offs, and use of slow-motion. He directed the notable Hong Kong action films, A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, and The Killer. His English-language movies include Hard Target, Broken Arrow, Face/Off, and Mission: Impossible 2. As a young boy, Woo wanted to be a Christian minister; he later found a passion for movies influenced by European film, the French New Wave and Jean-Pierre Melville. Woo has said he was shy and had difficulty speaking, but found making movies a way to explore his feelings and thinking and would "use movie as a language". Woo cites his three favourite films as Lawrence of Arabia, Seven Samurai and Melville`s Le Samouraï. Woo was described by Dave Kehr in The Observer in 2002 as "arguably the most influential director making movies today".
At age five Woo`s parents were faced with persecution in China and his Christian family fled to Hong Kong. During this time, the Woo family led a hard life in the slums at Shek Kip Mei, since his father had tuberculosis and could not work. Woo went to Concordia Lutheran School and received Christian education. In 1953 the family was rendered homeless, when their house was burned to the ground as part of the famous HK Shek Kip Mei fire. Thanks to donations from charities, his family was able to move into another house. Unfortunately, by this time, a wave of crime and violence was beginning to infest Hong Kong`s housing projects.
In order to escape his dismal surroundings, Woo would retreat to the local movie theater. Woo found his respite through musicals like The Wizard of Oz. During his youth, he enjoyed watching Western movies, especially the final scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where the two comrades run out gun blazing (where he got the inspiration of holding two guns). Woo is also a fan of Hollywood musicals.
Woo married Annie Woo Ngau Chun-lung in 1976 and has had three children. He plans to continue living in the United States.
Couple Profile Source
Matteo Ricci College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Full Name at Birth
Director, Producer, Writer
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John Woo SBS (Ng Yu-Sum; born 1 May 1946) is a Hong Kong film director, writer, and producer. He is considered a major influence on the action genre, known for his highly chaotic action sequences, Mexican standoffs, and frequent use of slow-motion. Woo has directed several notable Hong Kong action films, among them, A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Red Cliff. His Hollywood films include the action films Hard Target and Broken Arrow, the sci-fi action thriller Face/Off and the action spy film Mission: Impossible II. He also created the comic series Seven Brothers, published by Virgin Comics. Woo cites his three favorite films as David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï.
Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Editor
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