Ang Lee has the Midas touch in Hollywood. He is renowned for pushing the envelope and, in doing so, taking his films to the next level.
His approach has served him well with his critically-acclaimed offerings from ‘Crouching Tiger’, ‘Hidden Dragon’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’, ‘Sense & Sensibility’ and ‘Hulk’ to ‘Life of Pi’, bearing testament to his success.
Now Lee is leaving deep footprints in the world of digital filmmaking with his sci-fi, ‘Gemini Man’.
The 64-year-old film-maker said: “Step by step, I’m getting to a new world. I just love making movies and there are so many things to learn. I’m curious. I can’t help it. If I know what to do, I’m less interested in it. If I know how I should do it then that’s when I get really nervous. I don’t know what that says about my psychology. I try to not understand that.Psychologically, if I know how to do something, I feel like something really bad will happen."
He added: “But film-making, that’s how I associate with life; how I discover the world, and myself. I trust movies more than I trust life. Movies make sense. Life doesn’t. “When I look through the viewfinder, the world makes more sense to me. I’m more attracted to it. Just dealing with life, with people, was always like that. Once I saw that image, everything changed. (Life was) very confusing. And I wanted to make sense of it, to sort it out. To create something beautiful.”
Gemini Man is about Henry Brogan (played by Will Smith), an elite assassin who becomes the target of a mysterious operative who can seemingly predict his every move. He then finds out, much to his horror, that the man who is trying to take him out is a younger and faster cloned version of himself, who is . The latter aspect of the story is where Lee shines in the movie.
He explained: “The concept: someone fighting with their younger self. To me, it comes down to how you deal with yourself. If you lived again, what would you do? And in the future, would you want to hear that advice or live your own life?
“Of course, we’re delivering that (idea) in a kick-ass action movie, visualising that inner conflict by action, by drama. I’m taking a genre film and trying to find my way to a new aesthetic in what 3D reallyneeds, what it belongs to. I don’t think we know dimensionalised film-making. We haven’t even scratched the surface. We (have in the past been) making a 3D movie as if it’s flat.
“Step by step, starting from ‘Life Of Pi’, I’m getting to a new world. With this one I’m really eager to find a new aesthetic, a new artifice, a new beauty, a new way of lighting, of performing. Taking you into a different world, discovering it. It’s very exciting. And the actors have been wonderful.”
Although the technology used in the making of the film was complex, to say the least, Lee didn’t consider taking any short cuts.
He said: “I had doubts in myself about three times a day, but never about that. The harder way is the right way. It has to be hard. I’m not sadistic or anything, but the clarity (means) you have more material to work with. It’s very challenging and takes a lot of time, but it’s so much richer.
“Making Junior is a science and a performing art, something we’ve never seen. Will now is not Will (from) 25 years ago – his face does different things.
“What we portray in ‘Gemini Man’ is not ‘Bad Boys’… the adrenaline of this kind of film-making, I’ve never felt anything like it. You’re throwing everything you know (at it), are on high alert all the time. Theat kind of adrenaline is amazing. This is ultimate film-making.”
‘Gemini Man’ opens on Friday October 11 and fans can witness Lee’s mastery in spectacular action.