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Film guru points out way of the West

By Lin Jing (China Daily)

10:34, March 05, 2013

Sid Ganis (China Daily)

Sid Ganis voted at and attended the 85th Academy Awards, and really enjoyed the three-and-a-half hour show.

However, the former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences - the entity that presents the Oscar - didn't predict the final winners well. He only got half of them right.

But he was correct in predicting Ang Lee would win the award for best director.

"He is a great director," Ganis says.

"The world of making movies is kind of rough, but Lee has a calming sensibility inside to make beautiful movies. He has the ability as a director of the story, director of the actors and of the people who work with him."

Ganis has known Lee for years and has worked with him on some films. He says Lee is always changing styles.

"He always has completely different movies from the previous ones, and there is no area that he cannot focus on," Ganis says.

"He is a creative spirit."

But Lee is the exception to the rule when it comes to Chinese winning Oscars. Some complain the award represents Western values.

"The award can be US-centric sometimes, while it should be about the world," Ganis says.

Ganis was elected as the AMPAS president in 2005 and served the maximum of four year-long terms.

Ganis says it's difficult to define good movies.

"It is all about what happens inside when I watch them," he says.

He says he tries to view films as a moviegoer, rather than a motion picture professional.

Good movies should touch emotions and make people laugh, cry or feel moved, he believes.

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