Lee the 'glory of Taiwan' after second Golden Lion

Taiwan was flushed with pride on Sunday as favourite son and world famous director Ang Lee took the Venice film festival’s top award for his steamy thriller Lust, Caution, just two years after winning with Brokeback Mountain.

Lee was splashed on the front page of two top newspapers’ Sunday editions, including one with the director smiling and holding up the Golden Lion statuette after his surprise win.

“Ang Lee steals another Golden Lion,” proclaimed the United Daily News, calling him “the glory of Taiwan”.

The sexually explicit Lust, Caution is a World War II spy thriller set in Shanghai featuring long and sometimes violent sex scenes that Lee has hinted were real.

It centres on a group of revolutionary students bent on killing a powerful political figure who collaborates with the occupying forces during the Sino-Japanese war, and features Tony Leung, one of Asia’s biggest screen stars, playing the villain.

“Ang Lee has again won glory for Taiwan,” proclaimed the China Times, whose front page also featured Lee being interviewed on the Venice festival red carpet.

Both papers pointed out how Lee’s two wins, coupled with Jia Zhangke’s win last year for Still Life, mean the coveted award has gone to ethnic Chinese directors for the last three years.

The film’s entry into the competition generated widespread publicity in Lee’s native Taiwan, though relatively few people have actually seen it.

Remarked one youthful employee working on Sunday morning at a local convenience store: “I’ve heard you have to be 18 to see it, and I’ve just turned 18 so I haven’t seen it yet.” - Reuters

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