Taking stock of “Taking Woodstock” Ang Lee’s New Movie Looks at the 60s

hippies Woodstock 69


“Ang Lee doesn’t choose his movies. His movies choose him.”– RushPRnews

Ang Lee’s new movie speaks to worldwide audience

by Dan Bloom
10/05/2008 — When RushPRnews, broke the news last month about how a humorous memoir about the 1969 Woodstock music festival made it into the hands of Hollywood of Oscar winner director Ang Lee — “the pride of Taiwan”, one might add! — the story was quickly picked up by the Reuters News Service and placed on its international wire and going to more than 5,000 news outlets worldwide. And not only in English.

The Reuters wire pick-up of the RushPRnews story, which originally quoted a revealing remark about how the book came into Lee’s hands by complete chance — serendipity, some are calling it — and that simple remark quoted by Reuters from the original RushPRnews article about how “Ang Lee doesn’t choose hims movies, his movies choose him” has been reported and reprinted in over 35 languages now around the world.



The original quote from RushPRnews went like this: “When Lee went on the TV interview show, the host asked him where he usually gets his ideas for his movies, and Lee said that he really doesn’t go looking for stories, that they seem to come to him.”

The international Reuters news agency picked it up and rephrased the quote this way: “Ang Lee doesn’t choose his movies. His movies choose him.”

Now that phrase is reverberating around the Internet, on movie websites and personal blogs, and in print newspapers as well, and appearing in various translations. See if you can guess which languages they are:

“Ang Lee no elige sus películas. Sus películas lo eligen a él”.

“Ang Lee vælger ikke de film, han vil sætte i verden. Det er filmene, der vælger ham.”

“Ang Lee nao escolhe seus filmes. Sao os filmes que o escolhem.”

“Nem Ang Lee valasztja meg filmjeit, a filmek valasztjak ot.”

You read it here first: “Ang Lee doesn’t choose his movies. His movies choose him.” A small but revealing RushPRnews scoop! It might even become a rallying cry for future Ph.D. theses about the acclaimed Taiwanese director: “Ang Lee does not choose his films, his films choose him.”

WoodstockThere’s more to report. A Japanese blogger in Tokyo calls the entire way the book got into Lee’s hands “a miracle”.

It was a case of “en”, even “ki-en”, which means a very, very profound chance encounter of cosmic proportions of the third kind, the blogger noted. Japanese is very deep in this regard, he said.

The film opens in the USA on June 26, 2009 — almost 40 years to the day that the Woodstock festival took place. [Note: it actually took place August 15, 16, and 17 in 1969.]

It’s going to be a uniquely “American” film, filmed by a “Taiwanese” transplant to the USA, shot in “technicolor” and eventually seen by viewers in dozens of countries around the world with subtitles in French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew, among many other languages.

“Woodstock” is now a universal word, owned by everyone who was there and everyone else who was was symbolically looking over their shoulders to be there in spirit, and Ang Lee’s movie, while taking a comic spin on things in the Late Sixties on a farm in upstate New York, will become a universal film. Watch!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dan Bloom is a Rush PR News political and environmental news columnist/reporter and a freelance writer from Boston, who has been based in Asia since 1991. He graduated from Tufts University in 1971 and has worked in media, public relations and education in several countries. He is currently doing research on climate change and global warming as the founder of the Polar Cities Research Institute.

Write him at danbloom@RushPRnews.com

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