ROME — The Venice Film Festival will honor John Woo with its Golden Lion for lifetime achievement, recognizing the helmer as “an innovator of the contemporary language of cinema.”
The nod will be bestowed at Venice’s 67th edition, which runs Sept. 1-11.
“In recent decades, with his revolutionary conception of staging and editing, Woo has renewed action movies to the core,” said a Venice Biennale statement. It cited 1986’s “A Better Tomorrow” and 2008’s “Red Cliff,” as well as 1997’s “Face/Off” and 2000’s “Mission: Impossible II” as emblematic of the “extreme stylization” introduced by the helmer.
Woo will be returning to the Lido for the fourth time since 2004, when he was the “godfather” of the fest’s Secret History of Asian Film sidebar. In 2007, he attended Venice as producer of Alexi Tan’s “Blood Brothers.”
The fest also announced Monday an overhaul of its competitive Horizons sidebar, opening it up to different formats, specifically to movies “lasting less than an hour, or more than two.” The revamped Venice Horizons will become a larger, more experimental “laboratory,” absorbing the Lido’s previously separate shorts and special events sections.