[Must Read] Life Excerpts: Commit to the Dream : Ang Lee & His Wife

You must have amazed after watching Life of Pie – The man behind it has a story to tell, I got goosebumps after reading his story. Such an inspirational story of passion and love. If every man has a supportive woman behind, he can reach any heights. Here are his beautiful words.

“In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.

Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as an editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and been met with harsh rejection each time.

That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support.

My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).

This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.

Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.

The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’

And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.

Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’

And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.

You see, I have this never-ending dream.”

                                                                                            – Ang Lee’s words, written in 2006 (post-Oscar win)

399px-Ang_Lee_-_66ème_Festival_de_Venise_(Mostra)

Ang Lee  is an Academy Award winning Taiwanese-born American film director, screenwriter and producer.

Throughout his career, Ang Lee has sought to explore complex themes in his movies. His earlier films frequently sought to explore the relationships and conflicts between tradition and modernity, eastern and western. This is clearly evident in films such as The Wedding BanquetPushing HandsEat Drink Man Woman. Lee also adeptly deals with the complexities of human emotion (particularly repressed, hidden emotions) in many of his films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonHulk, and Brokeback Mountain. Whatever Lee has chosen to deal with in his films, he has done so in a way that demonstrates his remarkable insight into the human heart. It is this insight which has allowed his films to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers to speak to audiences all over the world.

Lee has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, first for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and most recently for Life of Pi (2012). He also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). He is the first person of Asian descent to win an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Director, and the only director to win two Best Film Awards (Golden Bear) at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Life of PI

Life of PI

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Courtesy & Source : Quora.com Irene Shih, WHAT SHIH SAID

6 thoughts on “[Must Read] Life Excerpts: Commit to the Dream : Ang Lee & His Wife

  1. Pingback: Propel Steps : Archive : 2013 : All Posts | PROPEL STEPS

  2. Wow, wonderful support from wife! Beautiful true story!

    Like

    • May we should rephrase the old saying, “every successful man has a woman behind”like this “Everyone needs a supportive soul mate by side to become successful, be it the success of a man or woman!”

      Hey! i got a quote to post today. Thanks for your feedback🙂

      Like

  3. Pingback: [Must Read] Life Excerpts: Commit to the Dream : Ang Lee & His Wife | Oyia Brown

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