After his huge success in Hollywood, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee wishes to give something back to the Taiwanese movie industry that gave him his start. According to a recent wire story, Lee and his brother Lee Kang (also a filmmaker) have started a program to help out Taiwanese filmmakers in areas of funding, marketing and distribution.

Lee has always been the least interesting director ever to emerge from Taiwan (the Taiwanese Ron Howard?), so the news may promise hope for great directors like Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang and Tsai Ming-liang, who struggle with distribution all the time. Their films, such as A Brighter Summer Day, Cafe Lumiere and The Wayward Cloud never received proper U.S. releases and much of their work remains difficult to see.

But alas: Lee's impulse remains within his distinctly middlebrow, populist sensibilities. According to the story, he wants Taiwanese directors to concentrate on making less artistic and more commercial films. Plus, he will be "developing" the screenplays for these so-called blockbusters, as if his meager talents could possibly improve on someone else's screenplay. Lee may have most cinephiles fooled right now, but anyone who can make a movie as awful as Ride with the Devil (1999) will get his comeuppance sooner or later.
categories Movies, Cinematical