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  book review of Ang Lee

Ang Lee
by Ellen Cheshire
Pocket Essentials paperback 3.99
review by Gary Couzens

My first encounter with Ang Lee was his second feature, The Wedding Banquet, an engaging comedy that won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Since then, he's made a reputation as a director of considerable versatility, so far at home in a variety of genres: the period literary adaptation (Sense And Sensibility), the Western (Ride With The Devil) to the Chinese wuxia pian or historic fantasy (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). He's also capable of dealing with societies and time periods of which, as a Taiwanese, he has no firsthand experience: Regency England in Sense And Sensibility, 1970s American suburbia in The Ice Storm (which for me is his best film), without neglecting modern-day Taipei in Eat Drink Man Woman. His next feature seems yet another departure: the film of The Incredible Hulk.
   Ellen Cheshire's book is a film by film guide to Lee's output, beginning with his early short Fine Line right up to Crouching Tiger.... Cheshire details recurring themes in Lee's work (father figures, the generation gap, rites of passage, food), as well as assessing each film. She also discusses the input of Lee's regular screenwriter James Schamus and mentions Tortilla Soup, Maria Ripoll's Hispanic remake of Eat Drink Man Woman. The book is rounded off with a bibliography of articles, plus video/DVD and soundtrack availability.
   As the label 'Pocket Essentials' indicates, this book covers all you really need to know about someone who is rapidly becoming one of the major directors at work nowadays.

DOWSE Guide to the Movies is compiled by Tony Lee editor of Pigasus Press
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