Ang Lee on Directing “Brokeback Mountain” as a Straight Man

Ang Lee’s (李安) new film, Gemini Man <双子杀手>, starring Will Smith will be released in China this Friday. On October 15, the Taiwanese filmmaker visited Fudan University with one of the film’s producers, Guo Guangchang (郭广昌), to chat with the students.

There, Ang naturally talked about his education experience and expressed he wasted away his college years. Looking back, he said he wished he worked harder, learned more, and was more responsible.

“When I left home for Taipei and arrived at the art academy, I felt freed and liberated. Life is not necessarily about doing things in sequence as expected by parents and society,” he expressed.

Hearing this, Guangchang commented, “Director Lee’s appearance is gentle and elegant, but his heart is restless and uneasy.”

Directing Brokeback Mountain

Guangchang then asked Ang how he was able to direct Brokeback Mountain <断背山> as a straight man. Ang replied he directed a lot of female movies, but he is obviously not a woman. “Maybe I’m not masculine enough. Every time I shoot action movies, they don’t perform well,” Ang shared. “When I shoot feminine, complicated, complex, and oppressive storylines, the audience connects better. I don’t know why.”

The first movie he directed that featured a gay couple was The Wedding Banquet <喜宴>, and Ang struggled with it. He explained, “At that time, Taiwan was not very open-minded. I was quite scared because some people advised me not to direct it, but it turned out fine, and it was still very popular.”

Ang believes that people cannot be classified as just men and women – each person has many elements to them. He feels that the three-act structure in western movies is too simple, and the world is more complex than that.

Source: Mtime

This article is written by MelodyC for

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  1. He clearly do not judge people by on their sexual preference. Gay or not, he just directs what he likes.

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