Before Ang Lee was the double Oscar-winning helmer of Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi (incidentally, neither of which won the Best Picture Oscar) he was a young director who from his very first movie was mixing his Asian heritage with the West. Indeed, when talking of the rise of Ang Lee, one of the keys is his partnership with James Schamus, who co-wrote and produced most of his movies. This mix of Eastern and Western storytelling helped Lee to be able to fully inhabit a variety of different worlds like few other directors ever have.
Before he came to many people’s attention with Sense & Sensibility he made three features – Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman – which have been brought together for the first time in the UK for the Ang Lee Trilogy DVD release (others have referred to the films as the ‘Father Knows Best’ trilogy). They are entertaining and interesting movies, with the first two in particular feeling like they’re from a director in training but with great hints at where he ended up. [Read more…]