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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: A CG Tiger to Die for in 'Life of Pi' (VIDEO)

Don't be surprised if Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is right up there competing for the VFX Oscar with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and all the other prestigious front runners. It's that good. In fact, Richard Parker, the integral tiger, is arguably the best photorealistic CG animal ever created. What a performance: the way he interacts with Suraj Sharma's Pi in such close proximity on a lifeboat. The tiger exhibits such believable expression and nuance; he uses the space underneath the tarp first as shelter and then to observe and control his turf. It's truly an amazing character arc, bolstered by the most spiritual and dimensional use of 3-D yet, which only enhances its Oscar chances.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 23, 2012 1:58 PM
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Ang Lee Deconstructs Cross-Cultural Cinematic Feat 'Life of Pi': "don't let them tell you, it's your film language"

"Life of Pi" marks a high degree of difficulty flight off the diving board for Ang Lee, who took a decade to get it made. And given the technology required to achieve the visual effects--including a Bengal Tiger--the film couldn't have gotten made any sooner than it did. I grabbed Lee for a mere 22 minutes. (We last talked about "Brokeback Mountain.") Here's our conversation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2012 2:22 PM
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'Life of Pi' Review: Ang Lee's Gorgeous Adaptation is Stunning 3-D Triumph

Is it possible for a wild animal to love a human being? And vice versa? At a time in the world when religion can be so devisive, Martel's story of a Hindu/Christian/Muslim who is the sole human survivor of an ocean shipwreck reminds that film can both heal and inspire. But it is also a stunning technological triumph.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2012 12:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Dark Horse: Suraj Sharma Talks 'Life of Pi' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Nineteen-year old Suraj Sharma gives an astonishing performance as Pi Patel in Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" (November 21).  And it will likely be his last. He has no intention of acting again. (See video below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2012 6:15 AM
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Watch: Stunning 'Life of Pi' Clip Intros Pi Patel and Richard Parker

Watch this gorgeous new clip from Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," in which Pi begins his account of his peculiar plight: stranded on a life boat in the middle of the ocean, with a tiger. This glowing 53-second snippet gives a glimpse at the film's astounding visuals.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 27, 2012 6:25 PM
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Mill Valley Film Festival Wraps Its Oscar-Track Film Run

The Mill Valley Film Festival has concluded its 11-day pursuit of Bay Area Academy members. The festival began with the US premiere of "Silver Linings Playbook," with director David O. Russell and star Bradley Cooper appearing for a Q& A; the film won yet another Audience Award, as did closer "Life of Pi," with Ang Lee on hand.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • October 16, 2012 2:41 PM
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Oscar Talk: 'Life of Pi,' Best Actor Race

Oscar chances for Ang Lee's 3-D New York Film Festival opener "Life of Pi" was the main Oscar Talk discussion this week for Kris Tapley and me. We also dissected the Best Actor race, where it is now and who could enter the contenders list. Here's my "Life of Pi" review, a report from the press conference and a link to another streaming Lee Q & A.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 28, 2012 4:00 PM
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NYFF Press Conference: Ang Lee Talks Logistics and Spirituality Behind 'Life of Pi'

At the "Life of Pi" post-screening press conference, Ang Lee, actor Suraj Sharma, producer Elizabeth Gabler and novelist Yann Martel answered questions which focused primarily on the logistical challenges of a production that, according to Lee, involved participants from 23 countries, a year of pre-production that included a 70 minute pre-vis, and 3-D animation modeling based on the meticulous observation of four trained tigers.
  • By Sheerly Avni
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  • September 28, 2012 2:25 PM
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NYFF 50: Ang Lee Joins HBO Directors Dialogues, Plus Avant-Garde & Shorts Announced

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the addition of Ang Lee to its New York Film Festival HBO Directors Dialogues, as well as the lineup of the fest's Avant-Garde program and short films. Lee, whose "Life of Pi" will open the festival, will be be paired with Todd McCarthy for a discussion of his career on September 29...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 7, 2012 4:47 PM
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More: NYFF, Ang Lee

Ang Lee's 3-D 'Life of Pi' Will Open NYFF

Ang Lee's "The Life of Pi" (November 21) will open the upcoming 50th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 14), the first 3-D film to do so. (Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" played as a 3-D work-in-progress last year.) The NYFF has already announced its closing night film, Paramount's "Flight," directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Denzel Washington, another mainstream booking for the high-minded Fest.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2012 4:22 PM
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