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John Woo’s War: Real (Reel) Dreams, Windtalkers and the Hollywood Machine

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The intent of this paper is to explore reasons for the movie’s commercial disappointment in the U.S. As a Hong Kong filmmaker who has made the move to Hollywood and remained working here, Woo presents an interesting case for looking at the intrinsic obstacles encountered by Asian filmmakers. How did Woo and partner Terence Chang successfully translate Hong Kong style to an American audience? The crucial factors that led to Windtalkers flop, appear to be pans from numerous white film critics and an ugly racism, sometimes blatant, sometimes not so obvious, still alive and well in the Hollywood machine and white America

Keywords: American Indians; John Woo; Windtalkers; racism; war-themed movie

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2004

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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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