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John Woo’s The Killer$
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Kenneth E. Hall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099562

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099562.001.0001

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Apprenticeship for The Killer

Apprenticeship for The Killer

(p.4) (p.5) 1 Apprenticeship for The Killer
John Woo’s The Killer

Kenneth E. Hall

Hong Kong University Press

John Woo, born Ng Yu-sum in 1946 in Guangdong, China, emigrated with his family in 1948 to Hong Kong. He attended the Matteo Ricci school and had aspirations to become a filmmaker. Woo eventually became an apprentice at Shaw Brothers studios, at that time (the mid-1960s) the pre-eminent studio in Hong Kong. He became an assistant on an early film by Chang Cheh, who was beginning the period in his career when he would greatly influence moviemaking in the colony. The general emphasis on male heroism in the work of Chang Cheh was an acknowledged influence on Woo. Apart from directorial influences from Kurosawa Akira, Sergio Leone, and Jean-Pierre Melville, Woo has emphasized a set of core ideas throughout his mature directing career. These core notions, which center on traditional notions of Chinese chivalry and fused with certain Christian ethical concepts, account a part for his interest in certain directors.

Keywords:   John Woo, Chang Cheh, male heroism, Ng Yu-sum, Chinese chivalry, Sergio Leone, Jean-Pierre Melville

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