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John Woo, Hometown Hero




John Woo at Asia Society New York on Oct. 12, 2009.

John Woo at Asia Society New York on Oct. 12, 2009.

The Associated Press reports today that John Woo, the director of such legendary action movies as The Killer (1989) and Hard-Boiled (1992), is to receive one of Hong Kong's top official honors, the Silver Bauhinia Star, in recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong cinema. Click here for the full story.

After spending more than a decade in Hollywood, Woo recently returned to Chinese filmmaking with Red Cliff, a two-part historical epic that was the most expensive film ever made in China—and one of the most successful. The director gave a charming talk at the Asia Society New York last fall to introduce the shorter international version of Red Cliff; click here to watch highlights and read a summary. 

In related news, lucky New Yorkers have a chance to see the uncut, nearly five-hour version of Red Cliff on July 4 at the New York Asian Film Festival. Film critic J. Hoberman, one of Woo's earliest advocates in the US, this week called the complete Red Cliff "the director's magnum opus."

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