Archives for posts with tag: Ang Lee

There’s no quiet like the quiet following a winter storm. I’ve lived through ice storms in the Northeast. They’re not pleasant. Neither is “The Ice Storm,” director Ang Lee’s 1997 meditation on 1970s mores. Groovy, earth-toned freedom is stripped to its decadent core. Then the forces of nature have their way, leaving emptiness. This might be one of the most perfectly cast films ever, from Kevin Kline’s waspy obliviousness to the fumbling, freckle-faced innocence of various teenage boys. And then there’s Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver, teaching us the difference between the ice that numbs and the ice that burns.

I once watched a bunch of local kids perform choreographed martial arts moves to a medley of Michael Jackson songs. I was struck by the power and beauty that the music revealed. Seriously. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) takes that concept (minus Mr. Jackson), mixes Asian mysticism with the plot structure and cinematography of a cowboy movie, and creates a sublime result. For the most part, the acting is as emotionless as the subtitles. But in most subtitle movies I don’t really care, because I’m looking at words, not faces. The preposterously beautiful martial arts scenes are another matter entirely.