HONG KONG, June 20(AP) -- Oscar-winning director Ang Lee says he doesn't need to make Hollywood films to be successful, but he appreciates the recognition of the U.S. film industry, a news report said Monday.
"To me, Hollywood is not essential, but I admit there's an attachment. It's like Yao Ming playing in the NBA _ only when you reach such a big league do you feel the whole world pays attention," the Xinwen Chenbao newspaper quoted the U.S-based Lee as saying at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Lee, who is Taiwanese, started his career making Chinese-language movies before moving on to English-language fare like "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Ice Storm." He won an Oscar for best director this year for the gay romance "Brokeback Mountain."
Lee said Hollywood can be restrictive.
"The world's least free place for making movies is the U.S. because it has a fixed model," he told Xinwen Chenbao.
The director added that Hollywood movies have influenced Chinese films and visa versa.
"You can't say we are under the influence of Hollywood. We are influencing it too. It's an interaction, not a matter of our death or their death," Lee said, according to Xinwen Chenbao.
The report didn't elaborate but Chinese-language film has been gravitating toward big budget productions to counter Hollywood imports while Chinese action stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li have become bona fide Hollywood stars.
Lee also singled out Chinese director Feng Xiaogang as Hollywood material.
"He's the only Chinese director who can grasp the movie language required by the Western movie market," Lee was quoted as saying.
Feng is known for works like "A World Without Thieves" and "Big Shot's Funeral," which features Donald Sutherland. He is due to release "The Bangquet," a Chinese version of "Hamlet," later this year.
Lee is due to start filming the spy thriller "Lust, Caution" in the fall, marking his first Chinese-language picture since the martial arts hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."