'The Killer,' 'Mujeokja' to play at fest

MILAN — Martial arts helmer John Woo will watch his latest epic, “Reign of Assassins” unspool in Venice next week after he collects the fest’s prestigious Golden Lion lifetime achievement award.

The out-of-competish actioner, co-directed by Woo and Su Chao-Pin, and produced by Terence Chang, stars martial arts veteran Michelle Yeoh, and Korean superstar Jung Woo Sung.

Woo will collect the prize on the Lido on Sept. 3 in the Sala Grande.

Fest director Marco Mueller praised the influential style of Woo’s work from his early forays into comedy as well as martial arts in Hong Kong in the 1970s, up to the block-busters of the last decade, including “Face Off” and “Mission Impossible.”

“Some of the stylized sets and action sequences are etched in the memory for ever,” Mueller said.

Ahead of the Golden Lion presentation, two films will be screened in tribute to Woo on Sept. 2: one of Woo’s masterpieces, “The Killer,” in the restored version by Weinstein Company, and “Mujeokja,” the Korean remake of Woo’s “A Better Tomorrow.”

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