October 16, 2009

Do-Ho Meets Film Director John Woo

We knew that soccer wasn't a recent invention, but Han Dynasty-old? We wouldn't have thought so either, until we attended the Los Angeles premiere of Red Cliff, the latest film by super-famous director John Woo.

American audiences know Woo's work from martial arts films as well as Broken Arrow, Face/Off and Mission Impossible II. Red Cliff tells the story of the battle at Red Cliff, a major event in Chinese history. The story involves many lessons on war tactics and strategy, Han Dynasty history, and a love story to boot.

Though Woo has enjoyed huge success in Asia, many people feel that Woo's U.S. movies have been sacrificed by the tight controls of Hollywood, and Woo himself has spoken of the difficulties of moviemaking here. Despite all that, at the premiere Woo said that he had learned so much about moviemaking in Hollywood that he felt it was time to take that knowledge back to China where there are so many young filmmakers who want to learn. While starting the project in China was easy ("I just walked into the office and said 'I want to make a movie called Red Cliff' and they said, Okay let's do it!"), the filming was incredibly challenging. Red Cliff is the most expensive film ever made in China. It took Woo more than 4-1/2 years to make, from screenwriting (two years), to production, to shooting (eight months), to post-production.
He explained that the most dangerous thing during shooting was the weather, and that a lot of the crew and cast got heat fever at one point. In the final scene of the movie which features an enormous blaze of fire, several stuntmen were injured.

We highly recommend Red Cliff to anyone who is a fan of soccer, John Woo, Chinese history, war movies, war strategy, war tactics, war, bow-and-arrows, crossbows, princesses, spies, trickery, horses and ships. We hope we haven't given too much away! But don't worry--the movie is 2-1/2 hours long so there is plenty that we haven't told you. As for the soccer? All we can say without spoiling the movie is that we would definitely be open to recruiting some of those players for Team Do-Ho.

We love you John Woo! Can't wait for your next movie. P.S. Can we interest you in a script about a team of donut-loving soccer heroes?

No comments: