John Woo Defends “The Crossing” Against Criticism and Poor Box Office
Director John Woo‘s (吳宇森) The Crossing: Part 1 <太平輪 (上) > has unfortunately failed to live up to its buzz. Helmed by a star-studded cast, including Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武),the film was released in Mainland China on December 2. Reception at the box office and among critics have been lukewarm at best.
Viewers Lack Appreciation for Art Films
In response, John Woo argued that the mediocre reception was due to the film’s inappropriate release schedule and inadequate publicity. As for The Crossing‘s lackluster box office sales, Woo pointed out that viewers generally prefer comedies and lack appreciation for art films.
Woo emphasized that he would not be changing his filming style to suit the tastes of the mass market, “We started working on The Crossing three to four years ago, but halfway through I fell ill and did not keep a close watch on the tastes and trends of the mass market. I merely continued to work on the film, only to later realize that the audience now prefers watching comedies. However, I kept the film as it was and sent it for release. We need to cultivate the audience’s appreciation for art films, as their impatience has resulted in the failure of many good art films. I will not change my creative style; I will not attempt to explain in three seconds something that requires three minutes.”
John Woo Believes Second Installment Will Generate Better Reception
Critics were mainly unhappy that The Crossing was released in two parts, with the second installment slated for a May 1, 2015 release. The first part of the movie spent a disproportionate amount of time painting the civil war context, resulting in insufficient screen time for the sinking of the “Taiping” steamer, which was the highlight of the film. Viewers were also unhappy that the love stories were kept separate and thus appeared incoherent.
Woo said, “Many people may mistakenly think that this film is similar to Titanic, when it is completely different. The Crossing focuses on war and its impact on the couples’ love stories. Their fates will then change when they board the ship.” He added that the complicated story required time to set the atmosphere appropriately, and that the second installment would receive a warmer response from the audience.
This article is written by Jingles for JayneStars.com.