Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (in 3D!) to open New York Film Festival
In high school I read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi when it was on the New York bestseller’s list in an attempt to become more learned and have witty things to say at cocktail parties when I grew up. Thus, I only remember the big picture plot points: a shipwrecked boy and tiger in the middle of the ocean have to somehow make it home. Alive. Both of them. I think there were also Oreos?
So, I’m pretty thrilled that they made this movie. The trailers look nature-documentary-gorgeous (I love the one with the flying fish, especially because the tiger acts exactly like a larger version of my Hebby cat). It’s also the first 3D film to ever open the New York film festival, which runs from Sept. 28th to Oct. 14th. Lee also opened the festival in 1997 with The Ice Storm.
I honestly never thought they would make it into a movie. I mean, it’s about a boy and a tiger stuck in a boat in the middle of the ocean – those circumstances are enough to get a movie stuck in pre-production. But, as always, I learn the lesson that just because I can’t see how to logistically film something doesn’t mean that no one else can do it.
Coincidentally, I have a friend who worked on the technical 3D stuff in Life of Pi (it’s endlessly complex – trust me, I’ve spent hours trying to understand what exactly he does; the simple answer: he makes movies 3D). He loved working with Lee, calling him a master storyteller with no ego.
I recently discovered a hidden Ang Lee gem on Netflix Instant: The Wedding Banquet, a film about an Asian man trying to hide his sexuality and finally being forced by circumstances to come out to his very traditional Taiwanese parents. My own brother recently came out to our parents after being involuntarily forced to by his youth pastor, so the film struck a lot of chords with me. It’s like a darker, Asian version of The Birdcage. I encourage all Ang Lee fans to check it out!
For Ang Lee newbies, other films he’s done are Brokeback Mountain, Hulk, Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Lust, Caution.