It’s always worthwhile noting John Woo has a new film coming out, even if it’s been a second or so since one completely and totally lived up to his name. (Manhunt, still: not nothing.) If it sometimes helps an older, somewhat-fledgling filmmaker to return to basics, removing any and all dialogue is one start––thus I’ve long anticipated Silent Night, his wordless action film starring Joel Kinnaman as a man seeking vengeance for an attack that left his son dead and him without speech. A crazy idea Woo seemed to embrace, per his Vulture interview from earlier this year:
“Very interesting movie. The whole movie is without dialogue. 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.”
With a December 1 release date set, Lionsgate have released a first trailer that promises action and… well, I’ll leave the rest for you to decide, but safe to say this is firmly in the lurid style of Woo’s digital period. Not for nothing a trusted source told me Silent Night “works for what it is,” and it’s one of the great action filmmakers taking on a crazy conceit––good enough!
Find preview and poster below: