John Woo hopes to inspire 'new voices' for action movies

John Woo, whose Hollywood films include Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II but who made his name with gritty Hong Kong thrillers like Hard-Boiled, said he was now hoping to inspire "new voices" in the industry.
John Woo, whose Hollywood films include Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II but who made his name with gritty Hong Kong thrillers like Hard-Boiled, said he was now hoping to inspire "new voices" in the industry.PHOTO: REUTERS

BUSAN (AFP) - Action movies should reflect "deep emotions", acclaimed Hong Kong thriller director John Woo said on Saturday, calling on young film-makers to breathe life into the genre by exploring the human condition.

Woo, whose Hollywood films include Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II but who made his name with gritty Hong Kong thrillers like Hard-Boiled, said he was now hoping to inspire "new voices" in the industry.

"Action allows you to reflect on the deep emotions human beings share," said Woo, speaking to the press at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

The 71-year-old, who has inspired the likes of Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino, said action movies "can add vitality to our lives by making us question what motivates us to make the decisions we make".

Woo said young directors should use action films to make their audiences think about their own lives, and their relationships with others.

He is touring the international festival circuit with the new gritty urban thriller Manhunt, marking a return to the kind of action films that made him famous in the 1980s and 1990s.

The film features Woo's daughter Angeles alongside Chinese star Zhang Hanyu.

And despite battling health issues recently, Woo revealed that he has more thrillers in the pipeline.

"A good film inspires," he said. "It doesn't matter what generation watches it.

"I feel like I have a lot more challenges ahead of me and new opportunities to learn about other cultures, and other lives."