Described by critic Nick Pinkerton as Woo’s “single greatest work” and by John Woo himself as “maybe too pessimistic” (it is a uniquely brutal movie, often compared to Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, 1978), Bullet in the Head demonstrates in part Woo’s debt to the deliriously romantic musicals of Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964), one of the director’s early influences as a young moviegoer in Hong Kong (although Demy never made movies about greed between friends set during the Vietnam War).

The script began as Woo’s sequel to A Better Tomorrow but in the wake of his split with producer Tsui Hark, Woo rewrote the film to accommodate his feelings about the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China (and the subsequent formation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and his reaction to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

In place of Chow Yun-fat, Bullet in the Head stars the only living man who could rival Chow for romantic star power: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, a Wong Kar-wai mainstay who here appears with Days of Being Wild (1990) co-star and Cantopop “God of Songs” Jacky Cheung Hok-yau.

Edited down from its original three-hour-plus cut by Woo immediately after preview screenings suggested the film was commercially unviable, Bullet in the Head has been unavailable on home video in the United States since Laserdisc days. I’ll be showing a Korean Blu-ray (in Cantonese with English subtitles) that runs 131 minutes, five minutes short of a long-circulating 136-minute bootleg but visually as good as it has probably looked since its first screenings overseas.
THIS FRIDAY, February 22, in CERIA 365 at 7:00 pm.

Free and open to all UNM students. Enter CERIA through the front door by the fountain.

IFDM Student Capstone Premiere

IFDM Student Capstone Premiere

The Film and Digital Arts Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media Student Capstone Premieres will take place Thursday 5/9/2019 6-9pm at the Kimo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque. We hope to see you there! All students must be admitted...

Experiments in Cinema

Experiments in Cinema

Experiments in Cinema v14.2 An annual Basement Films production WHEN: April 16-20, 2019 WHAT: EXPERIMENTS IN CINEMA v13.6 WHERE: Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave. NE, ABQ 505.255.1848 Kimo Theatre, 423 Central Ave NW, ABQ 505.768.3522 COST: $10/day ($8/day...

New Degrees and Department Name Announced

New Degrees and Department Name Announced

Dear Cinematic Arts Students (IFDM and Media Arts), As you know, Cinematic Arts degrees will be undergoing a transition in the fall. Current IFDM and Media Arts majors have a choice: You may continue with your current degree plan (graduating with an IFDM...

Video Journalist Rakesh Nagar

Video Journalist Rakesh Nagar

Rakesh Nagar is a New Delhi based, self-trained independent high definition video journalist with twenty-five years’ experience across News, Documentary, and Current Affairs. He has covered leading stories such as Pokhran Test, Kargil War, the Tsunami in...

Displaced Stories with Maaman Rezaee

Displaced Stories with Maaman Rezaee

Cinematic Arts is currently conducting a search for a new Assistant Professor in Film and Digital Arts. Three finalists have been invited to campus, and we invite students, faculty, and staff to meet each candidate and enjoy a free pizza lunch.

Contact Cinematic Arts

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