Oscar-winning Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee (李安) received a Visionary Award from the Visual Effects Society (VES) in California on Saturday for his shipwreck epic Life of Pi.
The US-based director “pushed the envelope of creation of visual effects for telling a story. In our generation, only Star Wars did that,” said Jeffrey Okun, chairman of the VES awards committee.
“All the other films in between were like: ‘Here’s a new toy, what can we do with it?’ I don’t think you’ve seen a blend of story and craft as rich as this,” Variety magazine quoted him as saying.
“Ang Lee has used the art of visual effects to masterful effect in telling stories like Life of Pi that could not have otherwise been so powerfully brought to life,” Okun said, according to a separate story on Fxguide, a Web site dedicated to visual effects and post-production information.
“With a body of work that encompasses films as distinguished and artful as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility and Brokeback Mountain, Lee’s imagery has brought stunning and compelling images to the world of cinema — making us proud to award him our annual Visionary Award,” Okun said.
The award honors individuals for uniquely and consistently using the art and science of visual effects to spark imagination and inspire future discoveries through artistry and groundbreaking invention. Lee accepted the award at the 11th VES ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
His film, a magical realism adaption of the Canadian novelist Yann Martel’s 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, explores faith through the tale of a shipwrecked boy adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
The VES award was the latest addition to the considerable critical acclaim Life of Pi has already received.
Last month, the movie was named as one of the top 10 films of the year by the American Film Institute and has been nominated for many awards, including the Golden Globes’ best motion picture, best director and best score.
The film has also been a box office success since its release in November last year.
As of Friday, its worldwide earnings had reached US$308 million, including US$90 million in North America and US$20 million in the UK, according to Box Office Mojo.