The jury is still out on whether Ang Lee’s new film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will prove to be as groundbreaking as his last feature Life Of Pi – but the Oscar-winning director relished the opportunity to once again pioneer new film-making techniques.
The Taiwanese filmmaker used new technology to shoot at an ultra-high frame rate – 120 frames per second for you tech buffs – for the first time in film history to create what is described as “an immersive digital experience” that will dramatise war in a way never seen before.
“I stepped into a new world with this movie, “ Lee says. “The use of the high frame rate and high dynamic range will provide, I hope, a unique opportunity to feel the realities of war and peace through the protagonist’s eyes. I didn’t have a proper name for it but early on, I was thinking the higher frame rate to view 3D more accurately could really explore what digital could do in terms of conveying the human condition.
“The way we see each other in life, the way we pick up nuances from each other is very different from how we’ve been depicted in film. So this approach seemed to be a direct way to carry on the soldier’s sensation, as he goes into what we call normal life. It was very dramatic and inspiring and I knew it would be very difficult, technologically and artistically. But I like a challenge and trying new things.”
Based on the novel of the same name, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk stars British newcomer Joe Alwyn as the titular character, an Iraq war hero who returns home for a victory tour, the centerpiece of which is a spectacular halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game. However, through flashbacks the film reveals what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions.
As well as Alwyn, the film also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.