John Woo, the director of both Hollywood blockbusters (Mission Impossible II, Face/Off, etc) and Hong Kong action films (Hard Boiled, The Killer, etc), was honored at the Venice Film Festival the other day when the 64 year old Chinese film director was given a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The festival also screened Woo's new martial arts tour de force, Reign of Assassins.
Reign of Assassins (see trailer below), which was filmed in China and is set during the Ming Dynasty, is unique in that it is the first time that Woo has had a woman as a protagonist and it is also the first time that a Chinese film has had a real female hero. Michelle Yeoh plays the martial arts expert who is an assassin falling in love with the son of a man killed by her gang.
At the Venice Film Festival on Friday, the clearly pleased Woo told the press, "I want to make movies that will incorporate the good things from the West and the East." Reign of Assassins is the 35th film that Woo has directed in an impressive career that began back in 1968. Check out the DVD section of Amoeba for Woo's work and also check out these websites: God Among Directors.com, Media Circus, YahooMovies/JohnWoo, IMDb and Cinema of China.