Cultural Communication a Two-Way Street: Ang Lee

2006-01-19
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Jan. 16, 2006: Director Ang Lee poses with his trophy during the Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, CA. Photo: AFP/Robyn Beck

LOS ANGELES, California—Taiwan-born director Ang Lee, whose cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” just scooped a Golden Globe award for best film drama, says the movie’s success shows that Asian cultures are increasingly proving that they have something to offer the West in return.

“Cultural communication isn’t only flowing in one direction nowadays, from West to East, but it's also started flowing from East to West,” said Lee, whose smash hit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) won four Oscars.

I am very proud about that...to come to a Western country...and change the way people think about their own culture.

“I think that nowadays Asians aren’t regarding themselves as less in some way, but instead are looking at what sort of cultural contribution they can make, as citizens of the world.”

'Proud' to influence a culture

Lee said the award was important for the entire Chinese-language movie industry.

“I am very proud about that...to come to a Western country...and change the way people think about their own culture,” he told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“Brokeback Mountain,” a story of two lonely cowboys in love, was named best film drama at the Golden Globe Awards on Monday, giving it a major boost ahead of the Oscars on March 5.

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Mainland-born Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi at the Golden Globe Awards, 2006. Photo: RFA

“Society is very complex. American movies are changing too. It’s very meaningful to me to be a small part of much broader cultural changes that are going on around me,” Lee told RFA reporter Xiao Rong.

“Brokeback” beat McCarthy-era drama “Good Night, and Good Luck,” African-based thriller “The Constant Gardener,” gangster tale “A History of Violence,” and Woody Allen’s look at life among Britain’s upper classes, “Match Point.”

Original reporting in Mandarin by Xiao Rong. RFA Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Translated and written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

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