Following veteran Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo's return to the action genre with Manhunt, he has once again captured public attention. On Saturday and Sunday, Woo attended a series of events at the Pingyao International Film Festival, where he encouraged young filmmakers to follow their own heart rather than market trends.
"I was in a low period before A Better Tomorrow," Woo said during a masterclass, talking about his 1986 film that ended up kicking off the popularity of crime films in Hong Kong.
"People in the Hong Kong film industry at the time were only interested in 'fist' and 'pillow' films, in other words kung fu and sex films," Woo explained.
Attributing part of the film's credit to Hark Tsui, the film's executive producer, Woo explained that it was Tsui who encouraged him to try something new and what he really wanted to do.
"The Chinese film market is in a weird situation right now. When one film becomes a box-office hit, numerous films immediately come out that follow the same format," Woo noted.
"But what you should do is follow your own heart," he told the gathered young filmmakers.