Woo Week 2012: BULLET IN THE HEAD (John Woo, 1990)

Event Date: May 22, 2012 - 7:30pm

Location: The James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall 1409, UCLA

When three longtime friends (Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung, and Waise Lee) become involved in the death of a rival gang member, they are forced to leave Hong Kong in order to escape the police. Their only ticket out is a free ride to Saigon working as smugglers on the black market. But it is the late 1960s and, with Saigon embroiled in the madness of the Vietnamese war, it’s very much a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When their plans to double-cross a local gangster and steal a box of gold from him go awry, the men find themselves captured by the Viet Cong and accused of working for the CIA. Incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp, their loyalties are tested to the very limit when one of the trio sets about betraying his closest friends…

Co-sponsored by the UCLA Asia Institute

Print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive and John Woo

“Over two hours of remorseless mayhem: balletic deaths, ingenious killings, delightful detonations, rivers of blood, acrobatic fights…an explosion of vast energy” –John Boorman

“This is a rare film that conveys complex emotions through its visual poetry. When the movie was over, I was left shaken but exhilarated. BULLET IN THE HEAD is a great film.” –Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

“In the end, this is a movie that doesn't just stick to your gut—it pretty much crawls in there and nestles in for a long, long gnaw on your insides. If movies are supposed to enrage, upset and affect then BULLET IN THE HEAD gets perfect marks. You may not go home with warm fuzzies, but you'll go home with something. And how many movies can really do that?” –Kozo, LoveHKFilm.com

Director: John Woo
Writers: John Woo, Patrick Leung, Janet Chun
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee, Simon Yam, Fennie Yuen
Golden Princess Film Production
35mm, 136 min.

Please note that we'll be showing an original Hong Kong print, featuring both Simplified Chinese and English subtitles.

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Page Last Updated: April 26, 2012 - 6:36am by melnitz@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu