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The Philosophy of Ang Lee

edited by Robert Arp, Adam Barkman, and James McRae

Availablecloth$45.00s 978-0-8131-4166-4
The Philosophy of Popular Culture
312 pages  Pubdate: 05/01/2013  6 x 9  None

Ang Lee (b. 1954) has emerged as one of cinema’s most versatile, critically acclaimed, and popular directors. Known for his ability to transcend cultural and stylistic boundaries, Lee has built a diverse oeuvre that includes films about culture clashes and globalization (Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994, and The Wedding Banquet, 1993), a period drama (Sense and Sensibility, 1995), a martial arts epic (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000), a comic book action movie (Hulk, 2003), and an American western (Brokeback Mountain, 2005).

The Philosophy of Ang Lee
draws from both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions to examine the director’s works. The first section focuses on Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist themes in his Chinese-language films, and the second examines Western philosophies in his English-language films; but the volume ultimately explores how Lee negotiates all of these traditions, strategically selecting from each in order to creatively address key issues. With interest in this filmmaker and his work increasing around the release of his 3-D magical adventure The Life of Pi (2012), The Philosophy of Ang Lee serves as a timely investigation of the groundbreaking auteur and the many complex philosophical themes that he explores through the medium of motion pictures.

Robert Arp is the editor of South Park and Philosophy and coeditor of Philosophy of Biology.

Adam Barkman is associate professor of philosophy at Redeemer University College and is cross-appointed at Yonsei University in South Korea. He is the author of C. S. Lewis and Philosophy as a Way of Life and coeditor of Manga and Philosophy.

James McRae is associate professor of Asian philosophy and religion and coordinator for Asian studies at Westminster College. He is coeditor of Environmental Philosophy in the Asian Traditions of Thought.

This collection is significant and necessary for understanding the work of the popular filmmaker. -- Kevin Decker, coeditor of Star Trek and Philosophy

The most exciting aspect of this research is its fresh discovery of Lee’s art and the way that it illuminates his films with truly original philosophical interpretations. The Philosophy of Ang Lee excels in its discussion of Lee’s work, and it is a valuable addition to the body of scholarship on his films. -- Whitney Crothers Dilley, author of The Cinema of Ang Lee