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Chris Doyle
August 25, 2009 8:50 AM   Subscribe

In The Mood For Chris Doyle "The most Chinese white man to have ever lived...the incomparable, incredibly talented Chris Doyle... is a highly acclaimed, AFI Award-winning cinematographer, known for his use of extreme angles and vanguard color grading. He has won, amongst other accolades, the Cannes Technical Grand Prize, Golden Osella, the Golden Horse awards (four times), and Hong Kong Film Award (six times). Doyle is an affiliate of the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers." (more)
posted by vronsky (30 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Christopher Doyle is fucking awesome.
posted by chunking express at 8:54 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


From an Australian I worked with in the film industry:
"He's amazing, but completely mad. The last time I saw him, in Cannes, he was literally running around a party on all fours. Like a dog."
posted by 235w103 at 9:00 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh wow, he's the cinematographer for In The Mood For Love? awesome. great post. thanks for this.
posted by shmegegge at 9:08 AM on August 25, 2009


Epony-something, chunking express . . .
posted by barrett caulk at 9:09 AM on August 25, 2009


Thank you for this. Christopher Doyle is the coolest.
posted by rustyiron at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2009


Chris Doyle was like the secret keyword back in my film school days. When 'In The Mood...' came out we all watched it at the student theater the night the print came in and almost died. What an amazing movie.

He's amazing enough on his own, but the fact that his talent has so often been harnessed by Wong Kar Wai is one of the great film stories of this age.

Personally, I'm hoping that someone will write a book detailing them working together with copious interviews from both of them. If I didn't have to keep a day job, it would be me.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:45 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crap, I was thinking of 'Happy Together' and writing 'In the Mood..'.

Bad film student! No biscuit!
posted by lumpenprole at 9:47 AM on August 25, 2009


In the special features on the Bluray edition of Chungking Express, the dude doing the narration made it sound like they both more or less can't stand each other now, and probably wouldn't make films together anymore.

Which kind of sucks.
posted by chunking express at 9:50 AM on August 25, 2009


Wow, I had no idea. Thanks so much for this. In the Mood for Love is one of my all time favorite movies, and I always attributed it to Wong Kar-Wai.

Now, I'm going to have to make sure I see every movie that he has been part of.
posted by hazyspring at 10:14 AM on August 25, 2009


Basically In the mood for love, Happy Together, Fallen Angels and Chungking Express were made by Wong Kar Wai, Chris Doyle and William Chang who's the production designer and the editor on those four movies.
Since Doyle left it just hasn't been the same.
posted by SageLeVoid at 10:15 AM on August 25, 2009


oh man, and he did 2046, too! I love that movie!
posted by shmegegge at 10:29 AM on August 25, 2009


Finding out he did The Lady In The Water was kind of a downer for me.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:57 AM on August 25, 2009


Well, at least he doesn't have to accept any blame for My Blueberry Nights.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:01 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay!
posted by grobstein at 11:34 AM on August 25, 2009


The film Tian Mi Mi (English title: Comrades, Almost a Love Story) is made even more awesome because Chris Doyle does a rare turn in front of the camera as an erratic English teacher.
posted by so much modern time at 11:36 AM on August 25, 2009


There is also this old Guardian interview with Doyle that is highly entertaining. Amongst other things, including a dig at Quentin Tarantino, he talks about the shoot for 2046:

It has been suspected that the tortuous five-year shoot of 2046 marked the end of Doyle's collaboration with Wong Kar-Wai. 'How many five years do I have left?' Doyle confirms, exasperated. 'Honestly, that's a big part of it. I think the problem for me is that there are people I care about who are film-makers, and I'm constantly turning down films in the name of this out-of-control, unmitigated situation. The journey has been wonderful, but there are other great, great friends of mine who've been waiting for me.' He seems relieved. 'It feels like... it's like a hairball in a dog's stomach.'

I love Chris Doyle! Thank you for this FPP!
posted by so much modern time at 11:46 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tian Mi Mi is a great film. Another VCD I should track down a DVD for.
posted by chunking express at 11:48 AM on August 25, 2009


Here's all 6 in a playlist for easier viewing.
posted by basicchannel at 1:17 PM on August 25, 2009


Oh wow, this is an awesome post. Wong Kar Wai, Christopher Doyle and Tony Leung will forever be the trio of incredible talent that when brought together, never fail to kill me dead.

Well, at least he doesn't have to accept any blame for My Blueberry Nights.

No, that's all on Jude Law. If you cut him out of the film, it fits neatly next to Days of Being Wild. I don't know what the fuck Wong Kar Wai was thinking casting that hack.
posted by saturnine at 1:18 PM on August 25, 2009


This documentary is a great source for fans of Doyle, very enjoyable but a bit rough around the edges. I hope someone does an exhaustive and definitive piece on him sometime. The man deserves it.

here is an interesting Click Opera article on meeting Doyle.
posted by vronsky at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of documentaries about cinematographers: Here are some clips from the documentary by Mark Wexler about his father: famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler.
posted by basicchannel at 2:01 PM on August 25, 2009


Do check out his work with Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, including Last Life in the Universe and Invisible Waves. Ratanaruang, Doyle, and Tadanobu Asano form quite a trio themselves.
posted by casaubon at 2:56 PM on August 25, 2009


Doyle did one of the segments in Paris, je t'aime (2006), and it was spectacular.

2046 and In the Mood for Love never fail to dazzle me, and his presence was sorely missed in My Blueberry Nights. I can't help but think his cinematography might have saved it.
posted by Todd Forklift at 3:06 PM on August 25, 2009


Christopher Doyle fans shouldn't miss Rabbit-Proof Fence. Unbelievably gorgeous movie. When I was on a Doyle kick a couple of years ago, trying to see everything I could from his IMDB page, that was the standout, out of the ones I hadn't already seen (the Wongs, and the Ratanaruangs, of course).

Green Tea is worth seeing too, if you're a fan of his. I literally can't remember anything about the story, but there are these shots of tea being made that I can still see in my head... I don't even *like* tea that much, you know, but man does Doyle have an eye.

I note that I apparently blocked from my mind the fact that he shot the Van Sant remake of Psycho. Now, I'm going to try to forget it again.
posted by hap_hazard at 4:56 PM on August 25, 2009


The film Tian Mi Mi (English title: Comrades, Almost a Love Story) is made even more awesome because Chris Doyle does a rare turn in front of the camera as an erratic English teacher.

This is my favourite film of all films. Christopher Doyle is terrible in it. As a cinematographer, he's great, but as an actor, he's no Anthony Wong Chau Sang.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:48 PM on August 25, 2009


I saw him once, wandering past the Mid-Levels escalator. He looked well-lived-in.

Keep an eye out for exhibitions of his photography - there was one during the Melbourne International Film Festival a few years ago. The shots were great - all taken between takes when the actors were goofing off or getting ready, or practising a scene. This one is of Tony Leung tying his tie on the set of In the Mood For Love, with Maggie in the background.
posted by awfurby at 8:00 PM on August 25, 2009


(Btw I was just watching this segment of Wong Kar Wai on Charlie Rose.)
posted by grobstein at 8:40 PM on August 25, 2009


I haven't seen the film, but tian mi mi is one of my favorite songs of all time.
posted by vronsky at 9:15 PM on August 25, 2009


Woah, who's that fake-ass Theresa Teng impersonator? I think you meant to link this clip, vronsky.

Here's Chris Doyle's first appearance in the movie -- followed by one of my favourite scenes.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:30 AM on August 26, 2009


I forget exactly where I read this, but an interviewer once asked Doyle why he had done so many films in China/HK, and he replied: "Asian women are easier to light!"
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:50 AM on August 27, 2009


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