Did anyone watch the Oscars rebroadcast (in English, with Chinese subtitles) on CCTV-6? We tried but had to give up — the editing was awful, awful, awful. Much like trying to watch Brokeback Mountain in a Chinese theater, we assume. They tried to turn three-plus hours into less than 90 minutes, so you had acceptance speeches like, “Oh, there are so many people to thank …” Cut. They eliminated huge chunks of the show. The dubbed version they showed in the morning was much better. That’s when we heard host Jon Stewart butcher Zhang Ziyi’s name. Zooey Zhang? “Sounded almost French,” said one of our friends. (Zhang, by the way, is the first Chinese to twice present awards at the Oscars. Here is what she wore.)
The big news, though, was that Ang Lee became the first Asian to win Best Director. He won for Brokeback Mountain, which got … um … screwed in the Best Picture category (Crash sucked). Here is Lee’s acceptance speech, in its entirety:
Wow. I wish I knew how to quit you. First of all, i want to thank two people who don’t even exist. Or I should say, they do exist, because of the imagination of Annie Proulx and the artistry of Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Their names are Ennis and Jack. And they taught all of us who made Brokeback Mountain so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself. Thank you. Thank you members of the Academy for this tremendous honor. And to everyone at Focus Features, in particular, David Linde, James Schamus, thank you for your love and support. To Bill Pohlad, Tory Metzger, Ira Schreck , Joe Dapello, many thanks, and a special thanks to David Lee. And thanks to my wife, Jane Lin, and my boys, Han and Mason. I love you. On Brokeback Mountain, I felt you with me every day. I just did this movie after my father passed away. More than any other, I made this for him. And finally, to my mother and family, and everybody in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Thank you.
Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Not bad. You can watch a clip of Lee in the press room after his acceptance here.
Imagethief, the great blog from Beijing, notes that local media
ignored failed to catch that last line of Lee’s speech, likely because they were so caught up in the excitement:
It’s nice to see that all China is reveling in the Oscar win of “Chinese” director Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. In a China Daily story that somehow manages to omit all mention of Taiwan, or Lee’s Taiwanese origins, it is reported that the film’s “best director” win is apparently being greeted with rapturous joy by Chinese everywhere. Note, especially, the florid opening sentence, which drives the “Chinese” point home with all the subtlety of Lee’s regrettable previous film, The Hulk
Here is the first line of the China Daily story in question: “Ang Lee is the pride of Chinese people all over the world, and he is the glory of Chinese cinematic talent.”
So, we wonder, when is Brokeback opening in local theaters? When can we bask in the glow of this glory and celebrate the gay cowboy in all of us?
Also on Shanghaiist:
Breakfast with the Oscars