Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Ang Lee : A successful Director and his story

Have you ever wondered how powerful is this seven letter word "INSPIRE". It can fill you with the urge or ability to do something or create a positive feeling in you. There are numerous stories of ordinary people who went from rags to riches. They went on to become successful with their hard work, discipline, dedication, determination, sincere efforts, vision and what not. They might have had hard times but they din't let the spark die.

About Ang Lee
Born on October 23, 1954 is a Taiwanese-born American film director, screenwriter and producer. Lee has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice : for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and for Life of Pi (2012). He also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). He is the first person of Asian descent to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for Best Director, and is the only director to win both the Golden Bear and Golden Lion multiple times. 

Lee studied in the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father was the principal. He was expected to pass the annual Joint College/University Entrance Examination, the only route to a university education in Taiwan. After failing the exam twice, to the disappointment of his father, he entered a three-year college, the National Arts School and graduated in 1975. After finishing Republic of China Armed Forces's mandatory military service, Lee went to the US in 1979 to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed his bachelor's degree in theater in 1980. Originally, Lee was interested in acting, but his challenges with speaking English made it difficult and he quickly turned to directing.

During graduate school, Lee finished a 16mm short film, Shades of the Lake (1982), which won the Best Drama Award in Short Film in Taiwan. His own thesis work, a 43-minute drama, Fine Line (1984), won NYU's Wasserman Award for Outstanding Direction and was later selected for the Public Broadcasting Service. Lee remained unemployed for six years. During this time, he was a full-time house-husband, while his wife Jane Lin, a molecular biologist, was the sole breadwinner for the family of four. With Lin's support and understanding, Lee did not abandon his career in film but continued to generate new ideas from movies and performances. He also wrote several screenplays during this time. 

In 1990, Lee submitted two screenplays, Pushing Hands and The Wedding Banquet, to a competition sponsored by Taiwan's Government Information Office, and they came in first and second, respectively. The winning screenplays brought Lee to the attention of Li-Kong Hsu, a recently promoted senior manager in a major studio who had a strong interest in Lee's unique style and freshness. Hsu, a first-time producer, invited Lee to direct Pushing Hands, a full-length feature that debuted in 1991. Lee's three acclaimed first dramas opened the door to Hollywood for him. His Notable work includes : Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi.

My Take :

Few days back I saw Life Of Pi for the first time though it was released in 2012. I came to know about Ang Lee after I googled about the director. I realized every person has his/her own fights which is not impossible to overcome. Lee's father wanted him to have a respectable profession (teaching). As a kid he could not really concentrate on books or homework. He did OK to poorly at school because he would fantasize all the time, having a lot of fun in his head. Artistically, he was very repressed. He failed the annual Joint College/University Entrance Examination two times. Even after having a degree in theater, winning an award for his thesis work couldn't help him much. He had to stay at home for 6 years without any work. During that time he was picking up the kids from school, doing the cooking and writing. In an interview to The Guardian he told when he sent those two scripts, that was the lowest point of his life. He just had his second son and when he went to the bank to try and get some money to buy some diapers, the screen showed $26 left. 

I personally feel it is very easy to say or read but choosing a different direction and getting failed is way too depressing. The stress affects relations and frustration takes a toll on everything. Still there are some people who show strength during tough times. They do not let negativity affect them and set example for the world. So his story taught me - No matter what happens never quit.!

Picture courtesy : dailymail.co.uk

"Everywhere can be home and everywhere is not really home and you have to deal with loneliness and alienation. I’m old enough to realize that eventually you have to deal with loneliness, anyway. I’m happily married, I love my children, but eventually you have to deal with yourself. I trust the elusive world created by movies more than anything else. I’m very happy when I’m making a movie." ~ Ang Lee

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you that "No matter what happens never quit" One should continue to work hard till they achieve their life's goal. Nice post by Sparkling Aura. Looking forward for more such post from you. Keep It up your good work.