Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ang Lee

"Selecting the ingredients is like the pre-production work and the filming, and actually cooking the food is like the editing”  - Ang Lee 

Ang Lee's story is a love story. A love story with his family, a  love story with his wife and of course a love story with his films.  One of the stories is about dumpling. When "The Wedding Banquet" which was Oscars nominated for best foreign-language film, the night before he was to fly off to Los Angeles, Ang made 200 dumplings and kept them in the refrigerator so his children won’t starve. Ang Lee is a good man and a good father, he understands struggle and that's why his film is filled with compassion, "Brokeback Mountain" is not just a film about romance of gay cowboys in love but is about the true feeling of human being and pain. We can see ourselves in his film.

"There's a private feeling to the movie, an intimate feeling. I think eventually everybody has a Brokeback Mountain in them. Someone you want to come back to. And, of course, some people don't come back."

In Ang Lee’s film, you can also find that his characters are persistence or even stubborn, rather it is Chu in "Eat Drink Man Woman", Elinor Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility", Li Mu Bai in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", Bruce Banner in "Hulk", Jack Twist in "Brokeback Mountain" , Wong Chia Chi in "Lust, Caution", Pi  In "The life of Pi".  They take risk and devoted and Ang trying to show us  that our believe and the sense of crisis is part of adventure and challenge, it could be a marriage, sexuality, love, taste, identity, tiger or just a stolen sword.

"Nothing stands still. That's important in my movies. People want to believe in something, want to hang on to something to get security and want to trust each other. But things change. Given enough time, nothing stands still. I think seeking for security and lack of security is another thing in my movies."

Some say his movies have strong father figure, but i see his movie is even more about a Child, finding his way, the impact and the conflicts between old and young, east and west, animal and men, believe and disbeleive, you can see that they always want to find a home, somewhere they belong and developing their inner self during the process and discover the "new" identity, rather this identity is good or bad but it is something "belonging" to oneself. You can notice his development in "Lust, Caution" or "The Life of Pi" even "Sense and Sensibility".

After he finished film school, he was down and out unemployed for six years. During this time, he was a  stay at home full-time house-husband,  but with his wife’s support and understanding, Lee did not abandon his dream to be a film director but continued to generate new ideas and wrote several screenplays during this time.  Ang is not a traditional man, can you imagine this now world famous director, was the same man years ago, cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry and making dumplings for six years at home?  At the same time, this Struggle of him also became his inspiration that became his films, without his persistence and devotion , today "The Life of Pi" won’t exist. Time and time again Ang says that he would never have succeeded without his wife - Jane's love and trust, but Jane said "I did not support him, I just left him alone". At one time, Ang wanted to find a job quickly, but Jane disagreed. She simply would not let her husband go out and find just any job, because Jane trusted Ang and believed he was made to be a genius film director - only his time had not yet come. Jane is right of course.