Christopher Doyle

"I think the point to me is, what we are trying to talk about here is, the purity of an image. And simplifying things. I think that what happens is. I couldn’t have done Hero if I hadn’t done Ashes of Time. Etc etc. I think what you have done before, or how you have lived or what you have studied or the context of cinema itself, everything comes from what came before. I think its one basic principle that you can’t escape. Social issues inform the way in which you live, politics informs the way you work or don’t work and it is the same for film.

It is an evolution of what came before. But as a person, as a so called artist or as a filmmaker what that means is what I tried to say about In The Mood for Love, I think that you do work towards a simplification of things, if you are true to what you are doing you do end up being more pure or more direct in how you go about in getting what you think you need. Or how you respond to a space becomes more direct. Or you trust yourself more. Or however you want to explain it. But it is the same thing. And what that means is, you can’t light the desert. Don’t even try. You can’t light the sea. So just wait for the right time of day. Why do you need twenty lights on a glass of water to make a commercial?

You are jerking off. You are trying to justify how much money you are getting to do it. Now what you should do is you realise, you make other choices. You say, well if we wait till 6 o’clock in the evening and we have prepared well then we can shoot this scene in five minutes. And that is the direction you go in. and it is probably more beautiful anyway. Or you could say, as some people do, give me fifty 20ks, give me two helicopters, give me this, this, and this, and it will cost you 20 million dollars. So you choose.”

"I think cinematography is very close to my physiological or psychosomatic state of mind, which is… you think on your feet, you move around a lot, you resolve conceptual problems or emotions visually. You don’t know why an image works or not. The only thing that really works and communicates is the energy of the shot." 

― Christopher Doyle

Stills from Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time Redux, cinematography by Christopher Doyle, who intuitively waltzes to the rhythm of the golden ratio.

[Note: I have made the original posts private, but they are still view-able here:] 

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Christopher Doyle Masterclass in Cinematography, now presented in the worst possible resolution, and the most awkward television aspect ratio. I wish I have my shades with me so I can filter through the poor resolution. Probably, Wong Kar-Wai wears them for the same reason.