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Monday, Dec. 17, 2012

Life of Pi

Ang Lee’s 3D fantasy

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No contemporary Hollywood director is bolder than Ang Lee—at least in the realm of trying new things. With Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s novel about an Indian boy shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a wild tiger is rendered in dazzling 3D. The boy, called Pi, goes down in the stormy Pacific on the way to Canada, where his zoo-keeping family had hoped to sell their animals and start a new life. The already thoughtful, spiritual adolescent must learn to balance fear with compassion if he is to coexist on the open sea with a growling, hungry creature on short rations.

Life of Pi is a meditation on God in millions of manifestations and of finding acceptance, as well as purpose, in a world that can be punishing. Pi is marooned for a long stretch in the immensity of endless ocean and sky mirroring in beautiful cinematography. The best scenes make good use of 3D and computer-generated imagery to evoke the story’s magical realism.

 

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Koch Brothers Exposed

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Ravi Shankar, Tenth Decade In Concert: Live in Escondido

Ravi Shankar, 92, died last week. He had dedicated his time to mastering the music of India and presented those traditions to the world through the end of his life. In the notes to Live in Escondido, which documents one of his final concerts, Shankar apologizes for “not feeling very well.” Yet his intense focus on sitar sounded undiminished.

—David Luhrssen

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