The Films of Ang Lee
November 23–December 19

In celebration of the release of Ang Lee's new film LIFE OF PI, AFI Silver and the Smithsonian's Freer & Sackler Galleries team up to present a complete retrospective of the Taiwan-born director's work. This series is co-sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Washington, DC. For films screening at the Freer, visit

AFI Member passes will be accepted at all screenings.


Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While the Watergate hearings blast from the TV, the wayward Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentments, sexual experimentation and cultural confusion. With clarity, characteristic subtlety and even a dose of wicked humor, Ang Lee adapts Rick Moody's acclaimed novel of American malaise into a trenchant, tragic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a tremendous cast of established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and young stars then on the rise (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes), this is one of the finest films of the nineties.

DIR/PROD Ang Lee; SCR/PROD James Schamus, based on the novel by Rick Moody; PROD Ted Hope. US, 1997, color, 112 min. RATED R


Fri, Nov 23, 9:45; Wed, Nov 28, 6:30 (Montgomery College show)


Before becoming a scene-stealer in THE AVENGERS, the Hulk had his first big screen adventure in Ang Lee's unique and ambitious take on the Jekyll and Hyde tale. An A-list cast brings this pulp story to life with Eric Bana playing both the gamma radiation-exposed scientist Bruce Banner and his angry alter-ego, Nick Nolte as his deranged father and Jennifer Connelly as his ex-girlfriend trying to keep the Hulk's rage in check. Staying true to the film's comic book roots, Lee experimented with split screens and other techniques to bring the multi-paneled pages to life.

DIR Ang Lee; SCR/PROD James Schamus; SCR John Turman, Michael France, based on characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; PROD Avi Arad, Larry J. Franco, Gale Anne Hurd. US, 2003, color, 138 min. RATED PG-13


Sat, Nov 24, 1:15


Adapted from a novel by Daniel Woodrell (author of "Winter's Bone"), this film's reputation has grown steadily since its original release. Set during the Kansas-Missouri border skirmishes that raged in the years leading up the Civil War, the story follows Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich, friends who join the Confederate-sympathizing Bushwhackers and find an unusual ally in Jeffrey Wright, who is fighting for the South despite being a former slave. A rumination on identity and loyalty, both political and personal, this is a provocative challenge to preconceptions about America's bloodiest conflict.

DIR Ang Lee; SCR/PROD James Schamus, based on the novel "Woe to Live On" by Daniel Woodrell; PROD Robert F. Colesberry, Ted Hope. US, 1999, color, 138 min. RATED R


Sat, Nov 25, 5:10; Mon, Nov 26, 6:45


Emma Thompson won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this fine and faithful 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 novel. Thompson and Kate Winslet are the Dashwood sisters, financially strapped but rich in spirit, who hope to make good matches if they can navigate the byzantine schemes and secrets of their Devonshire community. Director Ang Lee came to prominence with his deft handling of the script, and the outstanding ensemble cast includes the sisters' potential suitors, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Greg Wise, plus Imelda Staunton, Hugh Laurie and Tom Wilkinson.

DIR Ang Lee; SCR Emma Thompson, based on the novel by Jane Austen; PROD Lindsay Doran. UK/US, 1995, color, 136 min. RATED PG


Fri, Nov 30, 7:00; Sun, Dec 2, 3:45


Two master warriors (Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her deeply romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face to face with their worst enemy – and the inescapable, enduring power of love. Set against 19th-century China's breathtaking landscape, this is Ang Lee's ode to the Chinese wuxia films, elevated with his lyrical visuals and stunning swordplay. Critically acclaimed and a huge box office success, the film earned Lee the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

DIR/PROD Ang Lee; SCR Wang Hui-Ling, James Schamus, Tsai Kuo-Jung, based on a novel by Wang Dulu; PROD Hsu Li-Kong, William Kong. Taiwan/Hong Kong/US/China, 2000, color, 120 min. In Mandarin with English subtitles. RATED PG-1


Sat, Dec 8, 4:00; Sun, Dec 9, 8:15; Tue, Dec 11, 7:00


The story of two young men, a Wyoming ranch hand (Heath Ledger) and a rodeo cowboy (Jake Gyllenhaal), who meet in the summer of 1963 and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. Featuring emotionally raw performances from Ledger and Gyllenhall as well as noteworthy turns by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as their suffering wives, this film helped establish the careers of some of Hollywood's most talented young performers. Adapted from the short story by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx, this gentle and heartbreaking film was nominated for six Academy Awards, with Ang Lee winning for Best Director.

DIR Ang Lee; SCR Larry McMurtry; SCR/PROD Diana Ossana; SCR based on the short story by Annie Proulx; PROD James Schamus. US/Canada, 2005, color, 134 min. RATED R


Sun, Dec 16, 1:00; Wed, Dec 19, 6:45