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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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Woo’s Inheritors: The Killer as Influence

Woo’s Inheritors: The Killer as Influence

(p.57) 5 Woo’s Inheritors: The Killer as Influence
John Woo’s The Killer

Kenneth E. Hall

Hong Kong University Press

The Killer and other Hong Kong films directed by John Woo are frequently cited as important inspirations for certain filmmakers from the West. Quentin Tarantino heads this list, but among those influenced by Woo, Robert Rodriguez, Tony Scott, and Jim Jarmusch are sometimes mentioned. Much of the borrowing from Woo is superficial—two-handed gunning, doves flying—but in some cases, true homages are made, with Woo becoming a model much as Melville was for Woo himself. The question of influence becomes particularly vexed when considering work by more recent Hong Kong or Korean directors, including Kang Je-gyu and Park Chan-wook, arguably influenced by Woo, who may also react to films by Woo epigones like Tarantino Closer to home, Woo's film inspired some easy imitation, but it also seeded intriguing new growth in the form of several films by Johnnie To.

Keywords:   Quentin Tarantino, contract killer, John Woo, Hong Kong films, Jean-Pierre Melville, Johnnie To, Kang Je-gyu

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