Melly Lee The many faces of Quentin Lee
Quentin Lee has been called a "Gaysian" filmmaker, representing two significant minorities in the industry. He both exemplifies and defies Asian stereotypes, impressively obtaining degrees from three top universities but then dedicating himself to the arts instead of the sciences. And through a series of defining moments -- often coinciding with the first day of school -- Lee has become a prolific writer-producer-director, with four of his films, old and new, coming to L.A. screens this month.
Born in Hong Kong in 1971, Lee knew, from the age of twelve, that he wanted to come to America and attend UCLA's film school, but it took a while to get there. He started making his first films with his parents' camera when he was thirteen. When his father realized that Lee was serious about pursuing the arts, his only major concern was that he didn't have the contacts to help Lee get a leg up in the industry -- not the reaction one would expect from a culture that stereotypically pushes its children to become doctors, lawyers or businessmen.
At the time, Lee was just grappling with the issue of how to get to America in the first place. But when Lee was fifteen, the family moved to Montréal "because Hong Kong was turning over to China in 1997 and there was huge panic in the 80s," he says. "Because, in the 80s, China was very Communist and repressive, so everybody in that generation [was] planning to immigrate to Australia, Canada or [the] U.S."More »