Director John Woo (b. 1946) reinvented the modern action movie and helped open the door for Asian filmmakers to the Western world. His hyper-violent, highly choreographed style made him a box office powerhouse, a respected auteur, and a revered figure among fellow directors.
First discovered by Western audiences through his Hong Kong films The Killer and Hard Boiled, Woo introduced the world to a new brand of psychologically frenzied action film. After coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Woo produced a trilogy of hard-charging action films--Broken Arrow, Face/Off, and Mission: Impossible II--that were both popular and critically acclaimed. But Woo's signature bullet ballets, his kinetic, blood-spattered action sequences, represent a dichotomy in the director's philosophy. John Woo: Interviews reveals a peace-loving, devoutly religious man at odds with his reputation as the master of cinematic violence.
Unprecedented access to the director helped editor Robert K. Elder create in John Woo: Interviews the first authoritative English-language chronicle of Woo's career.
Robert K. Elder writes about film, the arts, travel, and music for the Chicago Tribune. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Premiere, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Gear, the Oregonian, and many other publications. A member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, Elder teaches film at the Facets Film School in Chicago.