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  • babypook
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    #61439

    Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ Stuns CinemaCon Audience With 3D Visual Poetry

    Published: April 26, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    By Brent Lang

    “Life of Pi,” director Ang Lee’s 3D adaptation of the best-selling novel, left the audience of movie exhibitors at the CinemaCon convention breathless on Thursday with its stunning, visually poetic shots of an Indian boy stranded on the open sea with a Bengal tiger.

    The 3D images of the young protagonist (Suraj Sharma) battling a tiger, a storm and a school of flying fish did more to illustrate the ground-breaking possibilities of the technology than 10 “Amazing Spider-Mans” or “Men in Black.”

    Also read: Ang Lee: 3D is the Future, But Shooting ‘Life of Pi’ is a Learning Curve

    “The real movie will be more moving, and more spectacular,” promised the overly humble Lee from the theater stage, who has said elsewhere at the convention that learning how to shoot in 3D was a struggle.

    Lee showed only about 20 minutes of footage of the film which hits theaters at Christmas, but it was enough to dazzle audiences, and hold out the prospect of both box office success and critical acclaim. If “Avatar” was 3D’s “Birth of a Nation” than Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” may be its “Citizen Kane.”

    If all goes well, he just may have pushed the format forward in a sumptuous and exciting way, using the extra dimensionality to give movie making added emotional resonance, similar to the initial effect of Technicolor or sound. 

    Also read: A Peek at Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Great Gatsby’ – Sumptuous 3D, Dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio

    Going into Fox’s presentation, the talk was of Ridley Scott’s outer space chiller “Prometheus” and Timur Bekmambetov’s genre mash-up “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Exiting the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, the buzz was swirling around Lee.

    There are risks in bringing a film that is still unfinished to a high-profile event — witness the divisive reaction that greeted the higher frame rates previewed at Warner Bros. presentation of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” — but when something hits, it can hit big.  

     

    Getty Images

     

    Fox Co-Chairman Tom Rothman kicked off Lee’s footage noting that Lee’s accomplishment was on par with the technological breakthrough James Cameron had accomplished with “Titanic.” 

    “The medium steps forward again to create ‘The Life of Pi,'” Rothman said. 

    Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) has always been acclaimed for his ability with actors, but his visual talents were on full display in the footage Fox brought to the trade show. The look is crisp but cinematic, like a fusion of 19th century painter Frederic Remington’s work with a Bollywood musical.

    Storms rage, waves crash, all to great effect, but the biggest thrill of all may be the closeup of Pi sobbing over the realization that he has lost his family in the storm. 

    Lee said that when he found the 17-year-old Sharma after 3,000 auditions, the movie finally seemed possible to make.

    “When I read the book, I thought it was unmakeable,” he said, noting that the book is about “adventure, hope, wonder, survival and faith.”

    Reply
    Film Turtle
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    #61441

    I have to admit I am genuinely curious to see how a book so absorbing, imaginative and strange could translate to the silver screen. This is an exciting development.

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    babypook
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    #61442

    I’ve been sooo hesitant to read this book, which many seem to admire greatly.

    I dont eat my fellow creatures; I dont wear leather, fur, nor any kind of skin. I belong to almost every animal advocacy group you can name. I dont frequent circuses, bull fighting, dog races, nor any form which uses animals for entertainment/betting purposes. Every single one of my animal companions are ‘rescues’.

    So, should I read this book? I’d love it if someone here would give me their recommendation.

    Right now I’m going into this film blind, which is often the way I like it.

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    Film Turtle
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    #61443

    Yes, definitely read the novel. Try not to read any spoilers before you dive in. It’s very weird and imaginative. The animals, particularly the tiger as well as an orangutan and zebra (as I recall), are real characters in the book, but they are not anthropomorphized. So it’s tough sledding sometimes because they are treated as animals, not Disney characters, but it nothing turns out like you expect.

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    babypook
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    #61444

    Thanks Turtle! I’ll be scrambling for something good to read in a week or so.

    Still, I feel compelled to say that I am not on board with many, conventional zoologists/behaviourists. I dont believe ‘animals’ are that different from me; and I’ve had a looong time to ponder this as well.

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    rockstitution
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    #61445

    It looks very dreamy and fairy-tale like . I wonder how this film eventually turns out. I love the book but thought it was though very beautifully conceived was practically unfilmable.

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    Guest2014
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    #61446

    Seems like a spaced-out version of Cast Away with Hanks…

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    Vincent Yeoh (aka Vinny)
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    #61447

    Aren’t we in for such a treat, with Les Miz and Life of Pi and Great Gatsby among the year-end releases. Glad to note that Tobey Maguire is in both Life of Pi and Gatsby!

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    Film Turtle
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    #61448

    Seems like a spaced-out version of Cast Away with Hanks…

    On paper, perhaps, but it’s not even close. The book is very trippy and ruminative and oddly compelling, when you consider it’s mainly about how an Indian boy manages being stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger and several other wild animals. That’s why I’m so curious to see the film version and which parts they decided to toss or adapt.

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    Bill Buchanan
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    #61449

    Scott Feinberg has just posted an analysis of Life of Pi’s awards prospects.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-life-pi-maybe-feinberg-375151 

    I think he’s more on th money than most people are. I don’t see Life of Pi as a movie destined for Oscar gold. Tech categories, for sure. But I’m not sure if it’s that big a contender for BP and BD.

    If Feinberg is right, and there are no pationate supporters, we can forget it for BP under the 5% rule. And what people will vote for Ang Lee over Spielberg, PTA; Bigelow (white male conscience!), Hooper, Jackson (if The Hobbit delivers), O’Russell, Tarantino and Affleck in the much tougher BD category? Although there might be some sort of auteur vote which will back him due to his “creative vision”.

    Thoughts? 

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    manakamana
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    #61450

    Scott Feinberg has just posted an analysis of Life of Pi’s awards prospects.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-life-pi-maybe-feinberg-375151 

    I think he’s more on th money than most people are. I don’t see Life of Pi as a movie destined for Oscar gold. Tech categories, for sure. But I’m not sure if it’s that big a contender for BP and BD.

    If Feinberg is right, and there are no pationate supporters, we can forget it for BP under the 5% rule. And what people will vote for Ang Lee over Spielberg, PTA; Bigelow (white male conscience!), Hooper, Jackson (if The Hobbit delivers), O’Russell, Tarantino and Affleck in the much tougher BD category? Although there might be some sort of auteur vote which will back him due to his “creative vision”.

    Thoughts? 

    I don’t really think Feinberg is one of our finer awards prognosticators, his insights from this far out are particularly dubious (and a lot of this ‘analysis’ is based on his own opinions). Having watched the film I don’t agree with that at all considering the numbers of awards/nominations gained by things as recently as Hugo or Benjamin Button. I think this has more profundity and heart (I heard people in the audience audibly sniffling) that allows it the gravitas that I think could make it go further than those films.

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    Renaton
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    #61451

    I don’t know. I think this is very much the kind of film that will get tons of nominations because of technical prowess aspect and sentimentality, but ultimately, I don’t see Oscar voters embracing this as their favorite film of the year, unless it’s a very divided year, and even so, I find it unlikely this would benefit more than any other. It might (and probably will) be nominated for Best Picture, but besides that, I don’t see it as a big threat to win the main categories.

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    Atypical
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    #61452

    “Life of Pi” is opening wide today. Yann Martel’s novel was gripping and absorbing, so I hope the film adaptation has found a way to tap into that.

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    Scottferguson
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    #61453

    Feinberg is wrong – there are very passionate supporters of this film.

    I’m not a fan of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a BP nominee based on passion. 

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    Graeme O’Neil
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    #61454

    My review: http://onthegointo.com/?p=7440

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