Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Silent Action


World of Reel "Jon Woo’s ‘Silent Night’ is An Action Movie With No Dialogue"

"Principal photography on Woo’s “Silent Night” wrapped in May of 2022 in Mexico City. The film is the first U.S. movie directed by the iconic Hong King filmmaker in almost 20 years.

Woo’s last American film was 2003’s terrible Ben Affleck action flick “Paycheck.” He swore off Hollywood after that one, but he’s back now with a film that sounds absolutely intriguing, at least on-paper.

Woo tells Vulture that “Silent Night”, which might be released in the fall, is a film with no dialogue. Rather, its story is told visually with music accompanying the drama:

It allowed me to use visuals to tell the story, to tell how the character feels. We are using music instead of language. And the movie is all about sight and sound. The budget was a little tight, and the schedule was tight, but it made me change my working style. Usually, for a big movie, a studio movie, we shoot a lot of coverage, then leave it to the cutting room. But in this movie, I tried to combine things without doing any coverage shots. I had to force myself to use a new kind of technique. Some scenes were about two or three pages, but I did it all in one shot."

Related, New York Times - "Seth Rogen and the Secret to Happiness" (Apr. 2021)

"Rogen had come to accept that his and Evan’s chance “to be the biggest names in movies has come and gone,” he said. But rather than demoralizing him, this insight was freeing, and now he and Goldberg were plotting their return to filmmaking with a project unlike anything they’d done: “A big action movie,” as Rogen put it, called “Escape,” that was heavily inspired by Buster Keaton and Jackie Chan.

“Escape” grew out of a challenge the duo set for themselves to try and make people laugh without using dialogue. In “Pineapple Express,” Rogen explained, “the scenes people remember are the fights, the foot through the windshield and, like, with ‘Neighbors,’ you think of the airbags” — moments, that is, of outsize physical comedy. “We were like, Why are those just the supporting things? Why are those, amidst a sea of talky jokes, these things that pop up once in a while? Why don’t we make a bunch of these jokes and not rely on verbal humor?”

Rogen and Goldberg have flaunted virtuoso stoner ingenuity when it comes to crafting set pieces — even the unfairly maligned “The Green Hornet,” which they wrote and which Michel Gondry directed, is significantly redeemed by its daffily inspired action sequences alone, like the one in which a car rides an elevator, or the one in which a character shoves another character into a foosball table and “kicks” him in the face repeatedly. With “Escape,” Rogen said, “we did add talking eventually, but for a while there was almost none.”

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