Friday, November 4, 2016

Director Ang Lee is worried about the reception for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk


Just one more week until Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is released on November 11th and to hear the film’s director Ang Lee tell it, he’s all nerves about the reception. 

In Tapai to promote the movie starring newcomer Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, Deirdre Lovejoy and Makenzie Leigh, the Oscar-winning filmmaker said he is preparing to be “crucified’’ over the film because it experiments with a new 3D format shot at 120 frames per second—about 5 times faster than the norm.


Designed to create super sharp, 3D visuals, putting the audience right in the film, the reality is that only a handful of movie theaters—mostly in China and New York—have the technology to show the film as intended. 

“It's the future and we are in the exploration stage,’’ Lee told reporters in Taipei.

“For the past year or so I have been mentally preparing myself that after (it) comes out I might be criticized very badly and crucified,’’ he said.

“I’m doing drama, not fancy, dazzling action so I imagine there will be a lot of resistance...and I am mentally preparing for this.’’

“I think there will be many different reactions. In the end it’s about the movie’s story and that the content and performances are touching people’s hearts,’’ he said.

That’s my thinking too. When I saw the trailer at the ArcLight theater here in L.A.—in 2D, not 3D—I felt the power and emotion of the story, of the characters. Especially young Billy Lynn’s painful response to what he’s been here. It’s an important story, one that may help open up a dialogue about ptsd which seems more and more to be the the natural response to the hellish nature of war. The question remains of what a decent society does about it.  

I’ve just learned that the theater—always using cutting edge technology—has installed all the gizmos and gadgets* and is now the ONLY theater on the west coast able to show the film as intended, one of only two movie theaters in the entire country. What does that mean to you, most of the country who will see it more the way you see a typical movie? That in the end, it’s all about the story.

Have you read the book? It’s not too late!

I read Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain last year and am among the millions who consider it a masterpiece. I shared fellow blogger, Emily at As the Crowe Flies and Reads take on the book back in March. From what I’ve seen of the film, new high tech imagery aside, Ang Lee’s rendition of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will not disappoint. I can’t wait to get into the seat, whether in 2D or the new 4k 3D.

Take a look a the clip, and the trailer below, let me know what you think.








Obviously the new technology is much more than gizmos and gadgets. If you’re interested in that side of it, check out this article about the ArcLight’s installation of the new tech at The Hollywood Reporter.

More About Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

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