Ang Lee, who won another Best Director Oscar for his visual artistry in Life of Pi, spoke with celebrity designer Charlie Lapson about film and fashion’s role in film, at this year’s International 3D Society Awards.
In Lee’s Oscar winning film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he captures the fluidity, raw vibrancy, and exquisite detail in traditional Chinese garments. Every elaborate floral pattern, vivid color, and unique crease of fabric in turn defines the distinct gender roles and richness of the culture. In his 2005 cinematic adaptation Brokeback Mountain, the costumes set the tone for a rugged, somber love-story. But as he steers into the world of 3D (Life of Pi), we asked him how fashion–fabric, details, colors–translate and affect three-dimensional work.
“Well colors [have] dimensions,” informs the filmmaker “it’s…just the volume the 3D camera picks up. It is more detailed, more textures, it’s more sensational.”
Life of Pi, based on the eponymous novel, mainly depicts animals, and the detail behind their every kinetic action can be applied to the movement of fashion. The 3D style seizes every single component of the animals–fur, whiskers, vivid colors, muscle definition and hair–each element more captivating than the previous. And, like Lee says about the film that the meticulous imagery “enhances the experience and just about everything.” The same can be brought to dresses, fabrics, and make-up apropos fashion in 3D, which is highlighted through the colorful dresses in the film’s brief dance scene. That obsession with the dimensions of color is what brings the film to life.
Yet 3D can also function as a way to ignite an interaction with an audience. “It emotes you more into the movie,” adds Lee “there’s one more dimension…[that allows] you to manipulate, to express.” This is the medium through which a Director can induce his audience to resonate with and to mirror the emotions shown in the film.
Mr. Lee is certainly a master of his art, and he proved this through his beautiful 3D masterpiece, Life of Pi.