- Title: Why Ang Lee chose 'Billy Lynn' to showcase new movie technology
- Date: 11th November 2016
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) KRISTEN STEWART, ACTRESS, SAYING: "Usually technically advanced movies are just a little bit more fake. Like they are about superheros or there are about, you know, things that don't exist and this is the absolute opposite of that. So I thought it was a really exciting notion."
- Embargoed: 26th November 2016 15:41
- Keywords: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Ang Lee Kristen Stewart director book solider war Joe Alwyn
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN FILM LOCATIONS
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00457ZZMML
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: It's usually comic books or adventure movies that get the advanced technology treatment, but when Oscar-winning director Ang Lee was looking to showcase groundbreaking extra fast, high resolution imagery, he chose a drama about American soldiers returning home from Iraq.
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," based on the satirical 2012 novel by Ben Fountain, is shot in 3D, 4K resolution and 120 frames per second - five times faster than an ordinary movie - with the aim of immersing the audience in the experience of its young, conflicted protagonist.
The movie follows 19 year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn), who with his Bravo squad returns from Iraq in 2004 for a victory tour of the United States after being hailed as heroes for a harrowing battle.
In a military PR move, the soldiers take part in the surreal spectacle of a glitzy Thanksgiving football halftime show on the eve of their return to war.
Lee said the new technology aimed to highlight the contrast between the soldiers' sensation of being on the battlefield and the noisy patriotism of their reception back in the United States.
"You can just see the complexion of someone's skin, you can see the layers, you can see into their eyes. So I just had to be there and if you weren't getting it he (Ang Lee) would be blunt and tell you and say, 'you're acting too much,' or 'the thoughts aren't there' or 'try this read.' And you would just - that was good, it was good being told it bluntly because you don't want it to be sugar coated, you want to get to where you need to get," said Alwyn.
The movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 11 - Veterans' Day in the United States - in a tribute to the military.
It comes a decade after a slew of films about the Iraq war that largely failed at the U.S. box-office. Yet Lee said he hoped audiences will come away with "a little more understanding of what soldiers experience. They are the people who do things we don't want to do."
Only a handful of U.S. movie theaters are equipped to handle the new technology, meaning most Americans will see it in regular 2 or 3D when the film expands on Nov. 18.
The movie co-stars Kristen Stewart as Billy's cynical sister, Steve Martin as a football team owner, and Vin Diesel as Billy's military mentor.
Stewart said Lee wanted "to get closer to the honesty in the situation. Usually technically advanced movie are a little more fake - they are about superheroes or about things that don't exist, and this is the absolute opposite of that."
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