At a press conference held on Wednesday in posh W Hotel in eastern Seoul, Woo led a traditional Korean ritual to invoke spirits. The ritual's single-handed purpose - a huge box-office success for "Red Cliff." The unprecedented marketing gesture illustrates the intensity of Woo's passion - and concerns - about the forthcoming movie, which cost $80 million to produce. What's more, "Red Cliff" is not a single movie; it's the first installment of a two-part series. The second installment will come out later this year.
"This movie is to realize my 18-year dream," John told reporters. "I was given generous opportunities to make films in Hollywood, but it seemed like Western people did not understand our culture accurately. This movie is part of my efforts to help them get a better picture of our culture and spirit." Woo went on to proclaim that "Red Cliff" is the most important film he has ever made.
The press conference was the world-first appearance of Woo and his star-studded cast members to the public. "Red Cliff" is set to be released on July 10 in Korea. The movie showcases the spectacle of grand-scale battles in autumn of 208 A.D. - a turbulent period of Chinese history that is featured in the popular historical novel, "The Romance of Three Kingdoms." The original novel is extremely popular with Korean readers, a plus for the film adaptation of the historical saga.
Among the main cast present at the press conference was Tony Leung, who plays Zhou Yu in "Red Cliff." He left an indelible impression with his impassioned role in "Lust, Caution." Asked about the traditional musical instrument he plays in the film, he said he found it difficulty to synchronize his hand gestures to the tune because he does not play it himself. When a seemingly ardent fan-cum-reporter asked about how he looks sexier, Leung smiled and replied that men become more mature as they get older, perhaps because life experiences add to the internal charm.
Chen Chang, who plays Sun Quan, said he felt a surge of excitement on the production site when he was filming. "When I put on the traditional clothes and got ready for shooting, I felt as if I'm actually in the very battlefield in that ancient era."
Wu Chin-cheng, also known as Takeshi Kaneshiro, said that he was not bothered by the absence of action scenes allocated for his role, Zhuge Liang, the paragon of a masterful war strategist. "I focused on sharpening my inner feelings that can be reflected on the screen, and watched other related films to add more depth to the character."
Lin Chiling, who makes a silver-screen debut with "Red Cliff," said she was under a lot of pressure in playing the role of Xiao Qiao, but she found the character intriguing and attractive. "Xiao Qiao is realistic and relies on her husband to see the world, but she is, at heart, very passionate about peace, which I hope will be relayed to the audience," she said.
The movie, showing off a number of massive battles and numerous extras, builds up necessary dramatic tension and provides a basic storyline right before the make-or-break battle at the Red Cliff starts. The full-scale battle at the cliff will play out in the second installment, to be released around the winter season.
By Yang Sung-jin
Article taken from AsianFanatics