Ang Lee Biography
Ang Lee (Chinese: 李安; pinyin: Lǐ Ān; born October 23, 1954) is a Taiwanese film director, screenwriter and producer. Lee has directed a diverse set of films such as Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Hulk (2003). He has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, first for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and most recently for Life of Pi (2012). He is the first person of Asian descent to win the Oscar for Best Director.
In the 2007 book The Cinema of Ang Lee: The Other Side of the Screen, Whitney Crothers Dilley has analyzed in detail the striking diversity of Lee's films, as well as Lee's recurring themes of alienation, marginalization, and repression. Many of Lee's films, particularly his early Chinese trilogy, have also focused on the interactions between modernity and tradition. Some of his films have also had a light-hearted comic tone which marks a break from the tragic historical realism which characterized Taiwanese filmmaking after the end of the martial law period in 1987. While The Wedding Banquet (1993) became a break-out hit for Lee as the most proportionately profitable film of 1993, it was Sense and Sensibility (1995) that brought Lee his first true international acclaim. Following that, both Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) (nominated for Academy Award for Best Director) and Brokeback Mountain (2005) (which won the Academy Award for Best Director) became cultural touchstones, sweeping awards ceremonies and, in the case of Brokeback Mountain, sparking intense critical debates. When asked by a TV interviewer how he found his films, Lee is said to have replied: "I don't find my films, my films find me."
Lee's film Brokeback Mountain (2005) won the Golden Lion (best film) award at the Venice International Film Festival and was named 2005's best film by the Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and London film critics. It also won best picture at the 2005 Broadcast Film Critics Association, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America (Adapted Screenplay), Producers Guild of America and the Independent Spirit Awards as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, with Lee winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Director. Brokeback also won Best Film and Best Director at the 2006 British Academy Awards (BAFTA). In January 2006, Brokeback scored a leading eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, which Lee won. He is the first Asian and non-Caucasian director to do so.
In 2007, Lee's film Lust, Caution earned him a second Golden Lion.
Lee lives in Larchmont, New York with his wife Jane Lin, a microbiologist, whom he married in 1983. They have two sons, Haan Lee (born 1984), and Mason Lee (born 1990). Lee is a naturalized U.S. citizen.