Essential Film Directors, Ang Lee

Based on a short story written by Annie Proulx, Ang Lee directed and won an Academy Award for the provocative drama, Brokeback Mountain in 2005.  The story follows Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist, two cowboys who experience a secret love relationship that lasts throughout much of their adult lives. Ennis Del Mar, played by Heath Ledger, is a quiet camp tender who takes a seasonal job on Brokeback Mountain in rural Wyoming.  Atop the mountain ridge, Del Mar and Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) outwardly maintain the typical manly cowboy persona while secretly harbouring love interest towards one another.  Mere interest soon becomes sexual attraction, and the two begin a long-term love affair that lasts for decades, while still managing to uphold the standards for a “normal” relationship as dictated by the times.

Brokeback Mountain


Born in Taiwan, Ang Lee is one of the most successful filmmakers working today.  Lee attended the National Taiwan College of Arts, and upon his graduation in 1975 he crossed the Pacific Ocean to earn a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theater Direction at the University of Illinois.  Lee achieved his Master’s Degree in Film Production at New York University, where he studied and worked alongside another incredible filmmaker, Spike Lee.

Lee’s work is best known for depicting ethnic and cultural diversity and period films.  Some of his most famous films feature characters who are at odds with their own personal feelings or the limitations society has set upon them.

Lee is one of only a handful of living directors who have won the Directors Guild of America Award more than once.  He has also earned 5 Oscar nominations and is honored to have served as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

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A successful filmmaker, Ang Lee has directed numerous award-winning films throughout his career.  His first feature film was 1992’s Pushing Hands, which he directed at the age of 38.  Lee quickly followed this film with his most famous early work, The Wedding Banquet.

Lee continued working through the 1990’s, directing memorable films such as the period piece, Sense and Sensibility.  Two years later he directed The Ice Storm, and in 2000 he delivered one of his most famous films, the CG-laden martial arts drama, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Ang Lee directed Brokeback Mountain in 2005, winning numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Director.  His most recent film, Life of Pi, is a beautifully-crafted piece based on the literary work of the same title.

Brokeback Mountain

Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll


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