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Entries in Ang Lee (22)

Monday
Aug222016

Ang Lee's 'Billy Lynn' to Launch at NYFF

By Chris Feil

Though New York Film Festival has already announced its splashiest titles for opening (Ava DuVernay's documentary The 13th), centerpiece (Mike Mills's 20th Century Women), and closing (James Gray's The Lost City of Z) galas, they still have another big world premiere up their sleeves. The fest has announced they will also host the first premiere of Ang Lee's high-tech satire Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

NYFF was a successful launching pad to Lee's Life of Pi a few years back, so the hope for repeated success is evident. Curiously, the film is premiering outside of the fest's three big slots but this could be a last minute addition. The initial whispers were that the film wouldn't be ready to play the festivals at all thanks to the post-production constraints of Lee's 120-frames-per-second lensing.

The premiere will also be the launching pad for the high frame rate speed, which is even faster than Peter Jackson's attempts with The Hobbit that went over quite poorly with the public. Lee's concept here is to use the medium to heighten the harsh realities of war and contrast that against life back home. This more emotional approach to technical innovation has us hoping that Lee gives us more Pi than Hulk, and the trailer sets the stage for potential weepy, hyper-real highs.

We'll find out if the risk pays off better than it did for Jackson at NYFF's world premiere on October 14 and when the film opens on November 11 - but how many theatres will be able to even show the film in Lee's intended format?

Thursday
May122016

YNMS: "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"

Not to be outdone by all the Cannes buzz starting this week, we have our first teaser trailer for Oscar hopeful Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Ang Lee follows up his Oscar winning Life of Pi with this film about a young veteran's Victory Tour after fighting in Iraq. Like Pi, his new work blends a flashback narrative with technical wizardry: Lee utilized a high frame rate to create hyperreal action, aiming to create unprecidentally real 3D.

Backed by a massive ensemble including Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker, Ben Platt, and Steve Martin, the master director looks to be back in the Oscar hunt once again.

Let's break down the highs, lows and inbetweens of the first look:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec102015

Team Experience: The Best of Brokeback Mountain

Ten years ago Brokeback Mountain arrived with truly bracing power.

10 years later Brokeback Mountain has lost none of its power

It was the rarest of things: an honest to god "instant classic". The phrase is overused but once in a while hyperbole proves true. The Oscars were stingy with it (just three prizes) but ten years on the film is as sturdy and majestically irreducible as the mountains that haunt the protagonists. When you're watching it you're breathing rarified air - not from the high altitudes of Wyoming but further on up, think cinematic heaven. The invaluable Ang Lee won his first Best Director Oscar for the film and it's easy to see why given the sensitivity of the performances (early career peaks from four promising ascendant stars), the classicism of the filmmaking, and his unshakeable hand as he sutures the neo western to the romantic tragedy with the thread of American masculinity.

I asked our contributors if they had a favorite scene they'd like to share with us and here were their responses.

FAVORITE SCENES IN BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug102015

Beauty vs Beast: The Red Jungles of High Society

Jason from MNPP here with this week's episode of "Beauty vs Beast" for your fun-time entertainment -- while it's certainly not as important numerically as the approaching 100 year anniversary of Ingrid Bergman (which we're celebrating with great enthusiasm here at TFE) I think it's a happy enough happenstance that today marks the 113th anniversary of the birth of the terrific actress Norma Shearer and we should likewise celebrate her. And what better way than with that grand dame of cinematic cattiness, George Cukor's 1939 classic The Women? Shearer plays the betrayed society wife Mary, whose husband can't resist the shopgirl charms of (one two three - hiss!) Miss Crystal Allen, played by a totally game Joan Crawford. There's no way to play if you don't enter the kennel...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we also took on a "good wife" trampled by some dark-haired hussy, facing down Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver in The Ice Storm. And the hussy won! The hussy always wins. (As we'll probably find out in another week when this Women poll's results come in.) Said Joe:

"Both women were brilliant in this. This is my favorite Ang Lee film. I'd give the edge to Sigourney. Outside of the Alien films, this is her best work. It's SHOCKING that she was not nominated for an Oscar that year. I mean, Minnie Driver??"

Monday
Aug032015

Beauty vs Beast: Mothers in the Storm

Jason from MNPP here wishing all of you a happy Monday and a happier August - where has the time flown? I've been off "Beauty vs Beast" duties for a couple of weeks because of real-world-stuff that's all quite boring, but I'm back now and rarin' to go. Positively rarin'. Today's pick it a little random but not really when I lay it out -- there was that article about Brokeback Mountain's upcoming 10 Year Anniversary last week which got me thinking about Ang Lee and then yesterday's Supporting Actress Smackdown got me thinking about Joan Allen and yadda yadda I re-watched The Ice Storm last night and yadda yadda here we are. See? Simple. More difficult I think will be the choosing... but let's reach in the bowl and fish somebody's keys out...

PREVIOUSLY Whilst I was away Nathaniel whispered my favorite siren song of sweet sweet Gyllenhaals and asked you guys to pick your favorite Jake flavor -- he's basically a box of Neopolitan Ice Cream; they're all so delicious, why choose? But choose we had to and straight-up Beautiful Jake (a la Brokeback and Love and Other Drugs) beat out his more Beastly iterations. Said San FranCinema:

"Had to vote for Beauty. Brokeback Jake...I just can't quit him!"

Sunday
Aug022015

Podcast Smackdown (Pt 1) Sense & Sensibility & Mighty Aphrodite

You've read the Smackdown proper. Now, it's time for its podcast companion piece in which Nathaniel and his guests discuss the movies in greater detail.

Part 1: 40 Minutes
00:01 Introductions & who were we rooting for back in '95
05:45 Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and broad comic caricatures in this particular category
14:30 Mira Sorvino’s career
17:26 Apollo 13
23:30 Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility, editing and ensemble work
34:00 Sister movies (Supporting or Lead for Kate & Mare?)

continue to part two

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes.  

Smackdown 1995. Part 1

Wednesday
Jul082015

Best Shot Visual Index: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)

I was so certain that I owned Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that I didn't bother to rent it at all for this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot episode. Come Tuesday night I discover that my dvd had vanished into the clouds after apparently leaping from its perch near the top of the dvd shelf. Worse still it's not available for rental on iTunes or Amazon but only for purchase and if I'm going to purchase something I still want the physical object. Old school! Which means that I will be late yet again with my own entry as the host which is all but inexcusable but par for the course this week (experiencing meltdowns backstage - this too shall pass?). But an unexpected development, just this week the sequel -- the reason we were doing this, was moved back to 2016 from its expected August bow.

But please do visit these articles elsewhere on Ang Lee's much Oscar nominated, much earning, much ripped off classic. I know I will. The film won 4 Oscars including cinematography for Peter Pau and probably just missed the Best Director win too since Ang Lee took the Globe, DGA and BAFTA that year. Imagine if he'd taken the Oscar that year. He'd have 3 wins by now.

CROUCHING TIGER'S BEST SHOTS
(click on the pics for corresponding articles)
ACCORDING TO THESE 9 BLOGS

 Almost like Cupid’s arrow...?
-I Am Derreck 

When you look at this image, you could easily mistake the film for a traditional Western... 
-Film Actually  

That Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon focuses on the traditionally Chinese conflict between reason (li) and emotion (qing) is unsurprising, the way the movie expresses the conflict through images, however, is anything but. 
- Coco Hits NY

 If I made a list of ‘top 10 overrated movies’ this would definitely make that list...
-54 Disney Reviews

a portrayal of love as the light in the darkness...
-Antagony & Ecstacy 

Lee's romanticism is also utilized simply to make interesting, unexpected choices... 
-The Entertainment Junkie

Honestly, it’s not a surprise that this is the same director as Brokeback Mountain when you come to think of it, since it’s clear that the man knows how to make emotional self-imprisonment believable and dangerous...
-Movie Motorbreath 

It's all about Zhang Ziyi. For someone so small, she has immense screen presence...
-Sorta That Boy 

Where is Michelle Yeoh's international superstardom?
-Paul Outlaw

And finally...

Nathaniel's Placeholder Best Shot
For the record, in closing, this is the single image that my mind races to first when I am reminded of the film. I'm not saying it will be my "best" upon a close rewatch inspection, but I remember the whole scene vividly and fondly and the entire movie felt this way to me the first time I saw it; a magical film transcending the standard laws, balancing delicately and easily in the treetops while breathing rarified instant-classic air.

I'll update this list when more articles come in including my own - you should still join us since the sequel is delayed and we can continue to add articles. Perhaps I'll choose a shot from each half hour as penance? It's been so long since I've seen it and I'm eager to have it memorized again before the possibly ill advised sequel arrives which is no longer next month but early 2016.


NEXT WEDNESDAY: IT'S A MUST MUST MUST MUST PLAY AT HOME EPISODE.
Sunset Blvd (1950). But you can't choose the infamous "close-up" for Mr DeMille at film's end so if that's your shot your choice must be "second best shot". I am starting on this one FRIDAY so that there is no way in hell I'll be late for my own event next Wednesday. If you've always wanted to try "best shot," here's you classic opportunity with a film from Old Hollywood about Even Older Hollywood that nonetheless never gets old.