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‘I’ve been outsider for my whole life,’ says film director Ang Lee

‘I’ve been outsider for my whole life,’ says film director Ang Lee

Posted August. 31, 2019 07:22,   

Updated August. 31, 2019 07:22


Born as the first son of the principal of a prestigious high school in Taiwan, movie director Ang Lee had often failed to meet his father’s expectations. Lee moved to the U.S. to study films following a failed college entrance exam, but it was only natural that he didn’t fit in the mainstream culture in the U.S.

The Taiwanese film director’s perspective as an outsider is what has led him to extraordinary movies not tied down by borders. He has created outstanding films, ranging from Chinese martial arts movies and a movie based on Jane Austen’s novel to a romantic drama between American cowboys and a spy romance movie.

The 11th book of the “Interview Series with a Film Director” covers Ang Lee’s story. The series has covered a total of 20 directors from 1993 to 2019. The chronological interviews are Lee’s confessions about the process of realization and acceptance that he would have to live as an outsider for the rest of his life in the U.S.

“This made it much easier to look at the world from different perspectives,” the 64-year-old director said. This is why Lee has filmed with affectionate eyes the stories about a gay Taiwanese man who marries a woman to get her a green card, cowboys in the American west who hide their sexuality, and swordsmen who don’t open up about their inner emotions. It is interesting to read the behind-the-scene stories in the book about Lee’s masterpieces, such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Life of Pi.”

Seo-Hyun Lee baltika7@donga.com