?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Ang Lee - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Ang Lee [Jan. 22nd, 2007|10:31 am]
Tony Grist
Ang Lee is a world maker. You believe in the mythical, medieval China he creates in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; you believe in the Wyoming he creates in Brokeback Mountain. In Ride With the Devil he creates the most convincing account ever of rural America in the Civil War era.

His characters are victims of their place and time. In Crouching Tiger Chow Yun Fat and Michele Yeoh are stifled by the code they live by. It's the same with the two boys in Brokeback Mountain. We, the audience,  can see there's an escape route- that there's nothing absolute about the values that imprison them; they can't.

Lee creates a world. He deconstructs it. You see how it works and how it fails. Running under everything is the implication that people can escape their destiny if they choose. The walls that hem us in aren't real but man-made.  There's something else out there, another reality. All we have to do is go through the gap.

Out of the multiplex into the street.

Zhang Ziyi takes a dive from the walls of the mountaintop fastness, Tobey Maguire walks away from the war, Heath Ledger decides he will go to his daughter's wedding after all.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 01:22 pm (UTC)
That's a good description. His earlier, Chinese movies are the same way. (Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and The Wedding Banquet.)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 01:22 pm (UTC)
And I think that's why he's such a good director for Jane Austen, because she writes that way.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-22 02:23 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen S & S either- or I'd have probably referenced it. I think it's remarkable how a Taiwanese director can so convincingly recreate/reinvent historical epochs that are culturally foreign to him.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 08:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I wondered about this after S&S, but I think you hit the nail on the head. When you see the Chinese movies, you'll understand that what he understands is being human, and that transcends nationality. Those movies could easily be re-done in English, I think, and still be equally moving.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-22 10:18 pm (UTC)
I wonder what he's doing next.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 11:56 pm (UTC)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0808357/

With Joan Chen and Tony Leung, it's going to be REALLY good!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 09:58 am (UTC)
Wow. Now that's sounds very different from anything he's done to date.

Which is exactly what one expects of him.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-22 02:20 pm (UTC)
I must try and track them down. After Brokeback Mountain I'm convinced he's a major film maker
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 08:45 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the bandwagon.:) I was so surprised when he was chosen to direct S&S, but I think it was an inspired choice.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-22 10:21 pm (UTC)
It seems like there's nothing he won't try. The Ice Storm is another terrific film- but it's a good while since I saw it, so I didn't talk about it here for fear of making mistakes.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-01-22 11:55 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! I forgot about that one. I didn't *like* that movie--I found it very depressing. But it's a wonderful film, and really evoked Connecticut for me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-23 09:56 am (UTC)
He's one of the few film makers who seems to have license to do exactly what he wants in Hollywood.
His films can be very hard to "like".
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2007-01-22 05:55 pm (UTC)
i feel that in Brokeback Mountain the walls are real AND man-made. yes, they are stifled by the code they live by, but their only other choice is death-- where would they go and how would they survive if they stepped outside these walls? at best, they'd never be hired by anyone and at worst they'd both wind up like jake gyllenhaal's character. it's also worth nothing that the values that imprison them are also the values that they'd be embracing if they broke free. heath ledger can't quit his children any more than he can quit jake gyllenhaal.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-01-22 10:26 pm (UTC)
People do break out of their cultural prisons. Jack comes close to getting away but Ennis holds him back.

But Ennis isn't just a stick-in-the-mud, he's also a man trying desperately trying to do the right thing.

That's one of the great things about the movie; you can talk about the characters as if they were real people; they have that kind of complexity.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)