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'Life of Pi' Preview Earns Raves at CinemaCon

Published on : May 08, 2012
'Life of Pi' Preview Earns Raves at CinemaCon

 Lisa Tsering, Staff Reporter



The Twentieth Century Fox studio presented a first look of the highly anticipated 3D film “Life of Pi” during the CinemaCon entertainment trade show, which was held April 23-26 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

“Life of Pi,” a fantastical fable about a young Indian boy who sets sail across the ocean with a giant, deadly tiger, earned the Man Booker prize for author Yann Martel. Now, acclaimed director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) has been working on the film on location in India for a Dec. 21 release. It is Lee’s first attempt at 3D, and the director said it was a huge challenge for him to learn the new filmmaking vocabulary and camera technology inherent in the 3D form.

“Life of Pi” stars unknown 17-year-old New Delhi actor Suraj Sharma in the title role, as well as Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Gerard Depardieu and Tobey Maguire. Much of the special effects were handled by the Academy Award-winning India-based Rhythm & Hues visual effects studio.

Lee, himself an Academy Award winner for “Sense and Sensibility,” joined filmmaker Martin Scorsese in an onstage chat following the film’s preview April 25, in which much of the time was devoted to the wonders of 3D filmmaking technology.

“I was very intimidated,” Lee told the audience, according to media reports. “We’re still novices at this. It’s hard to shoot in 3D, but it makes it more interesting. The experience is more intense.”

Fox co-chairman and chief executive Tom Rothman told the Los Angeles Times that the screening of the early footage was meant to “shatter a lot of preconceptions” about what the film is about as well as to introduce viewers to the fruits of the very latest in 3D technology. “A lot of people think that the book is unfilmable, and as recently as four or five years ago they were right — it was unfilmable,” Rothman told the paper.

Audience response to the 20-minute clip from “Life of Pi” was overwhelmingly positive.

The CNN blog The Wrap said the clip “left the audience of movie exhibitors at the CinemaCon convention breathless with its stunning, visually poetic shots of an Indian boy stranded on the open sea with a Bengal tiger.

“The 3D images of the young protagonist (Suraj Sharma) battling a tiger, a storm and a school of flying fish did more to illustrate the ground-breaking possibilities of the technology than 10 ‘Amazing Spider-Mans’ or ‘Men in Black." click here


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