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At One with the Other: An Examination of John Woo's Vision Climaxing in Face Off

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There is a vision of identification with the other in John Woo's film making. This involves a loosening of the boundaries between self and other and allows for several contesting sites of self identity and self location to coexist. This vision manifests a sense of identity in which origins tug against one another and then reconcile in ways that are rooted in emotionally resonant ideas of honor and humanity. It is a vision that recurs in his films climaxing in his latest Hollywood blockbuster Face Off (1997). This paper will look at Woo's films from A Better Tomorrow (1986) on to see how this is accomplished and the questions that are raised in the process.

Keywords: A Better Tomorrow; Face Off; John Woo; capitalism; communism; future; identity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1999

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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