Artistry and reality.
Reblogged from cinephiliabeyond  86 notes


You see the world, you end up in jail three or four times, you accumulate experience. And it gives you something to say. If you don’t have anything to say then you shouldn’t be making films. It [has] nothing to do with what lens you’re using. —Christopher Doyle [1]

In The Mood for Doyle (2007). Christopher Doyle is one of the best known and most acclaimed directors of photography in world cinema. Born in Australia, he sees himself as an Asian citizen rather than a Westerner. His artistic contribution to the films of Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Jimou and Fruit Chan films, among others, is indisputable. Filmed in DV and Super8, this documentary is a kind of wild and stylized road movie — from Bangkok to Hong Kong, via New York. The camera follows this eccentric and outrageous artist as he gives us his thoughts on his past and present work. From the recent sets of Invisible Waves by Thailand’s Pen ek Ratanaruang, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, to the locations in Hong Kong where he shot some of his most famous pictures, such as In The Mood for Love and Dumplings, Chris Doyle talks about his cinematic fascination for Asian culture. Mi-Jeong Lee

SOHK.TV interviews cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In The Mood For Love, 2046, Chungking Express) about how he came to work in cinema through dance and theatre. Doyle also opens up about how his experiences as a photographer blended into his early career as a cinematographer.

He is known for his perfectionism and eccentricity. A single love scene in Days of Being Wild, the first of seven films he has made with Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai, was completed after 53 takes. Their last film together, 2046, took five years to make. For Zhang Yimou’s Hero, Doyle insisted on filming a certain kind of tree that only blossoms in Mongolia for 10 days a year. He shot Gus Van Sant’s frame-for-frame colour remake of Psycho without having seen Hitchcock’s original, and on Chen Kaige’s Temptress Moon he drank a bottle and half of whisky a day. [2]


[…] I think the point of cinematography, of what we do, is intimacy. Is intent, is the balance between the familiar and the dream, it is being subjective and objective, it is being engaged and yet standing back and noticing something that perhaps other people didn’t notice before, or celebrating something that you feel is beautiful or valid, or true or engaging in some way. —Christopher Doyle [3]

Those [larger-budger, studio-type pictures] were fantastic experiences. I would never have had so much respect for craftsmanship if I hadn’t done them. And they also informed me about the qualities of a more complete, more technically astute Western working environment. I could say, “Is that really the kind of film that I want to make?” Well, yeah, at that time that was something I wanted to know. [4]

  • An essay about cinematographer Christopher Doyle, for Imaging Technologies with M. Rafla
  • Our Favorite Cinematographer Speak 
  • Interview: Cinematographer Christopher Doyle on his work with Wong Kar-Wai
  • Wong Kar Wai & Chris Doyle
  • “Painting With the Camera“ – Christopher Doyle on cinematography. Berlinale Talent Campus, February 13, 2005
  • Christopher Doyle & Wong Kar Wai, this interview was conducted over e-mail as Doyle (Du Ke Feng in Chinese) was shooting a film in Ireland with Neil Jordan, while Wong was traveling from Hong Kong to Toronto and Los Angeles to promote Ashes of Time Redux
  • “Of course they have no fucking idea what cinematography is. The lunatics have taken over the asylum, but you know we have other asylums in other parts of the world and I live in one of them, and I intend to continue to be a lunatic. So fuck you with your… this is the most, hello, the rest of the world just sits back and, when will you fucking connect with what it’s really about. It’s astonishing. The award is given to the technicians, to the producers, it’s not to the cinematographer. I think he should’ve actually, if it were me, I would’ve said fuck off. But of course it’s his career. Sorry. Personally, as you probably realised, I will say fuck off. If somebody manipulated my image that much, I wouldn’t even turn up. Because sorry, cinematography? Really?

Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:

110 of the world’s top cinematographers discuss the art of how and why films look the way they do. Cinematographer Style is about the Art and Craft of Cinematography. It is about how everything, from life experiences to technology, influences and shapes an individual’s visual style. Because of the powerful impact that the visual style of a movie can have, this documentary may offer contemporaries valuable insights into the dramatic choices Cinematographers make. And, it is expected that the material will have significant historic value as well.

Reblogged from cakebeef  3 notes

The question of the artist versus the ambulance driver, I’ve come to realize, isn’t a simple question of how to live. It’s a question, too, of how to promote living, how to stave off dying. The ambulance driver does it by simply entering the fray, plucking the wounded off the pavement and trying to sew them up. This is a noble thing. It’s this nobility that makes the artist look bad, because how do you pluck the wounded off the pavement abstractly? How do you pluck yourself off the pavement? In order to live, in order to justify living, we can’t just fill the space of our lives with empty amusement, with pointless light and sound and words.

We’re going to have to try harder now.

By Al Burian, Burn Collector #9 (via cakebeef)