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The Religious Affiliation of Director
Ang Lee

From: Catherine M. Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston, Finding God in the Movies: 33 Films of Reel Faith, Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan (2004), page 85:
The movie's [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] martial arts and sword fights, all choreographed by Yuen Wo-Ping (the fight master responsible for the fight scenes in The Matrix) include wire-assisted, gravity-defying movies. They are shear visual poetry. (The sword fight among the swaying treetops is destined to become a classic.) And in the background you hear cello passages performed by Yo-Yo Ma.

Here is a movie like no other. How did this ever come together? In an interview director Ang Lee commented:

My team and I chose the most populist, if not popular, genre in film history--the Hong Kong martial arts film--to tell our story, and we used this pop genre almost as a kind of a research instrument to explore the legacy of classical Chinese culutre. We embraced the most mass of art forms and mixed it with the highest--the secret martial arts as passed down over time in the great Taoist schools of training and thought.
Here is a perspective that we in the church [Christianity] need to consider as we tell our story, the Good News of Jesus Christ. If the genre of Hong Kong martial arts movies can be used and transformed to portray effectively the essence of Taoist thought, can American popular culture similarly be the medium through which to share more effectively our biblical faith? We can take a lesson from Ang Lee and his breathtaking movie: Profound stories with both cultural and religious depth can be winsomely expressed using pop culture's modes of communication.

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Webpage created 4 September 2005. Last modified 4 September 2005.
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