The sky had gone uncharacteristically grey the day I was to drive to L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills to interview Ang Lee. Rain dotted the glass on my windshield. Rain in Los Angeles almost makes it feel like a real city. I was driving over the hill way over Laurel Canyon, out of the comfortable reality of “the valley” and into the strangely uncomfortable unreality of Beverly Hills — shiny black cars with tinted windows — the world you can’t see behind the windows is left to your delusions about the good life.
Interviews aren’t my favorite thing in the world but this wasn’t just any interview. This was Ang Lee. You can count on one hand the most influential directors of the last twenty years, the ones didn’t take their lead from the Big Four — Lucas, Spielberg, Allen and Scorsese — but instead forged their own unique path, inventing their own school of cinema. David Fincher is one. David Lynch is another. And then there’s Ang Lee.