The Persistence of Ang Lee

“A swallow cannot know the lofty ambitions of an eagle.” -Chinese proverb



I have a friend who has an Oscars party every year. I don’t hold any celebrations, but I’m in awe of those in the movie magic industry. There’s something enchanting about stories brought to life through the immediacy of the visual realm.

When I think about Oscars, my mind focuses on Ang Lee. The Taiwanese director is one of only seven living directors who have won the Directors Guild of America Award more than once. Most recently, he’s been the Academy Award winner for Best Director for Life of Pi, the only recipient ever of that category who’s not Caucasian.

Ang Lee soars like an eagle now, but it wasn’t always that way. Here are some amazing facts about him:

  • Directed his first feature film at 38
  • Endured six years of unemployment after receiving his MFA in Film Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts
  • Considered switching to the computer science field during his initial difficulty with filmmaking
  • Stayed at home until 1990 (his wife, a molecular biologist, supported the family during that time)

This is a wonderful, humble man who placed his kids in public school and ate at In-N-Out after his Oscar win. Additionally, Lee deliberately shot 80% of Life of Pi in Taiwan to give back to his native land.

May his story inspire those everywhere who are interested in a creative pursuit.


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Foodie Friday: Taro Swirl Bread


  1. Inspiring story, Jennifer. A great movie, too.

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