Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Woo & Guns

From: Mark Sullivan ( AnonymeInc@WEBTV.NET)
Date: 24 Jan 2000

Paul wrote:

<<Woo always films the characters reloading the guns but, when it comes to editing the scene, he finds the reloading scenes interrupt the flow, so he edits them out!>>

That's half the fun of Woo films, the inexhaustible guns and the timing of when they finally do run out. I remember the first HK film I saw, The Killer, at a filmfest. For a while, none of us in the audience seemed to know what to make of it, whether we should laugh or take it seriously (of course, as with Sergio Leone films, the answer is both). Finally, something pretty far over the top happened, the audience let out a collective, combined laugh and sigh of relief and everyone was on the same wavelength, could relax and enjoy the rest of the film. Similarly with Hardboiled -- Chow Yun-Fat stands gun in face to gun in face (a standard Woo iconographic moment) with a man he thinks is a crook, he pulls the trigger and it clicks on an empty shell, the six-shooter just does not have that 151st bullet. The entire audience cracked up. It's like you're in on a joke with the director. Good stuff.

And I find it hard to believe that a man as movie-referential as Woo, who claims to have learned how to hold a gun by watching Alain Delon, is even worried about the verisimilitude of inserting reloading scenes. Plus, as many bullets as are expended, adding the reloadings would double the length of his films. Although there were a number of those in Face/Off, now that I think about it, but it seemed to work the way Hill used it in Butch and Sundance, show them reloading enough times, the audience will take it for granted, so they won't worry about it when you abuse the bullet count near the end.


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