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Ang Lee

In the past decade, ANG LEE's work has afforded him the status of top Hollywood film director.

He has notched up credits such as The Ice Storm, Sense and Sensibility and the multi Oscar winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

The South Bank Show goes behind the scenes and gets exclusive access to the post-production of his latest film, Hulk due to be released on July 18.

Lee reveals that he was the hulk in this film: the special effects team created the CGI Hulk out of Lee’s own movements.

Lee says that Hulk is much more of a psychological film than the original TV series, and he firmly believes in the idea that there is a Hulk in everyone just waiting to get out.

This film explores Lee’s life, work and success. He views himself as an outsider but considers this to have worked to his advantage throughout his career, explaining that it’s ‘easier to cut in to the core of expression as an outsider’.

He also takes us to his most private place - his inner sanctum, full of rocks and shells, where he goes to meditate and from where he gets his creativity and inspiration.

Born in Taiwan, Lee was a shy child from a traditional Chinese family who spent much of his time re-enacting fantasies in his head.

Having failed his college exams, he went to stage school where he trained as an actor.

Lee’s rise to the top was agonisingly slow at first. He spent six years as a househusband in New York whilst desperately trying to get projects off the ground.

His first break came in ‘91 when one of his scripts won the Chinese Government script competition and he was awarded $400,000 to make his first feature film, Pushing Hands.

His then producer was American James Schamus who has become Lee’s closest collaborator, and the pair have worked together ever since, forging a valuable partnership between the East and West which they have successfully transferred to the big screen time and again.

Other contributors include the original creator of The Hulk, Stan Lee; the head of special effects on Hulk, multi Oscar winner Denis Muren; film critic David Thompson, and Lee’s close friend and associate, James Schamus.

Don't miss Ang Lee on the Southbank Show, 13th July, 22:45hrs.

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