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Ang Lee: Cultural difference makes me special

(People's Daily Online)

14:15, February 28, 2013

Illustration from China Daily Paper Edition

Key Words: Ang Lee; Life of Pi; Oscar Award of Best Director
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Edited and translated by Gao Yinan, People's Daily Online

Ang Lee told Changsha Evening News in the interview that he encountered bottlenecks in Hollywood due to cultural differences. However, in Ang Lee’s words, he has Chinese model of thinking in his left brain, American mode in the right. The coexistence of the two ways of thinking makes Ang Lee special. Chinese-American filmmaker Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" won four Oscars Sunday night at the 85th Academy Awards, including Best Director for himself.

Q:How do you tackle with the bottlenecks in your career? What do you think of the impact of cultural differences to your success today in Hollywood?

A: Cultural difference indeed impacts my films. Even though I grew up watching American movies, but in the final analysis, I am not familiar to American cultural context. Most of my mainstream movies were shot in the United States, though the filming process was not always smooth. I'm not talking about the artistry of the movie, but the language in the movie, after all, all the syntax are formed in the United States, which I am not familiar with. All I can do is to go as far as possible to experience, to adapt, because they are too Americanized.

The movie, when all goes to all, is of visuals and sound effects. When I directed the film "Sense and Sensibility", my English is poor. Later, I worked really hard on my English, which turns out to be helpful to my job. Sometimes difference could be advantageous; for example, I come from Taiwan and have different cultural backgrounds. It makes me very special.

When I made my films, I tried to think of my film in Western way and then ask the American film makers for advice. It has made my shoot special. As if my left brain is the Chinese model of thinking, the right brain is the American model of thinking, when the coexistence of the two ways of thinking, I think we will certainly be different. I have to say difference turned into an advantage. Therefore, I strongly suggest that Asian filmmakers go to Hollywood where you can contact with a different world culture.

Q: Since you have won awards of Best Director twice, do you regret of not having the award of Best Film?

A:Jack Nicholson is probably the one to blame since he announced the awards of best film twice. Last time I heard in the backstage, he said "Crash", and this is the Best film went to the unanimous choice “Argo”

Q: Will you win the Best Film award next time if you are nominated?

A: The Best Films award requires a lot of factors. In my opinion, the award goes to films that are not only artistic but also popular among viewers. Whether I win or not, I'm proud to work with my colleagues, I want to share my joy with them. The Best Director Award is not only for me, but for everyone. Maybe I can get the best film award if nominated for the third time.

Source:Changsha Evening News.

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