Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Feng's I Am Not Madame Bovary both premiered in China one week apart this month. [Photo provided to China Daily]
The pairing of Ang Lee and Feng Xiaogang did not start this season when Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and I Am Not Madame Bovary premiered in China one week apart and both directors shared a promotional event at Tsinghua University.
Four years ago, Feng's Back to 1942 followed Lee, in that case Life of Pi, also by only one week, which resulted in a wave of unplanned comparisons of the two movies and the brains behind them－comparisons that were not favorable for Feng.
As far as I am concerned, it all started in the summer of 2006 at the Shanghai International Film Festival where I was moderating a forum and both Lee and Feng were the toasted guests.
Lee had just come off the Oscar glory of Brokeback Mountain and was going to make Lust, Caution in Shanghai and Feng was graduating from his first epic The Banquet and launching into battle mode with Assembly.
At the podium Lee was a paragon of humility and Feng was anything but.