Ang Lee: ’Life of Pi’ eyes general audiences

Thursday November 8, 2012

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Oscar-winning director Ang Lee said Wed nesday that he worked hard during the four-year shooting of Yann Martel’s "Life of Pi" to give the $100 million art house film appeal for general audiences.

The movie stars Indian Suraj Sharma, who plays a boy who drifts on the open sea with a Ben gal tiger and a hyena after a ship carrying the rest of his family sinks.

"As an art house film, you can ex plore the philosophical issues," Lee said at a news conference. "But for a popular film, we also need to make the audience feel touched, and that was the difficult part."

Lee said initial reaction to the film had been positive.

A major problem in the filming, Lee said, was coping with animals on a roiling sea -- a problem Lee solved by filming in 3D.

Much of the film was shot in Taiwan, Lee’s home. He said that one of the key settings -- a large water tank built at a studio in the central city of Taichung -- allowed the 150-strong foreign crew to use its imagination freely and not be restrained by traditional Holly wood production values.

"I was relieved that they enjoyed their work in Taiwan. ... We couldn’t have made the film if it were not here because of all the help we received," Lee said.

The film is scheduled to premiere in Taiwan and the United States on Nov. 21.


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