It’s been the better part of five years since Ang Lee’s last feature, Gemini Man, which you might not realize because even––especially––its biggest champions will tell you it’s best-watched in theaters, a tough deal owing to the director’s use of 3D and high-frame-rate images. (If you wanted to also see it, per Lee’s preference, in 4K and do a Gemini hat-trick you had one option, and that place was in Taiwan.) Whatever amazement it engendered couldn’t fight against public distaste both formats face (to say nothing of middling reviews and meager buzz) and we’re essentially guaranteed Lee won’t return to either, making it and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk a curious one-two in his strange career.

Speaking to Indiewire, Lee described his intents in notably strong terms: “I tried new ways of making movies. […] People have not tried even one minute of that scale. I did two feature films.” Though he’s often seemed a humble figure, one can sense real frustration with those who couldn’t get on his level:

“In general, not only my two movies, 3D in general … [is] so bad. The filmmakers are bad. The theaters are bad. The whole ecosystem is bad. It’s not made for [3D]. I refuse to complain, to blame it on the medium… it’s the audience, and the industry, [who] were not prepared.”

No secret, though, that multiplexes are at perhaps the worst state we’ve ever seen, and Lee makes time to single out “stingy” theaters who won’t pay for better projection. “You can’t blame the audience for not liking it because it’s bad. And they’re asked to pay more money,” he says about the disconnect between filmmakers (good or bad) and those coming to see the work.

He seems to still believe in 3D as an honest-to-God evolution from 2D cinema––”one is sophisticated and the other is like a baby”––but is deigning to return to “the old way of making movies” for his Bruce Lee biopic, which he tells Variety is of some urgency: it stars his son, Mason Lee, and he’s blunt in saying, “Neither of us are getting any younger. So I hope I get to make this movie soon.” It’s been more than a year since we first heard about the project; one hopes his frustrated state can be alleviated before long.

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