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Tim Terner

Doyle, Genious or Nutcase

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What makes you claim that Doyle was sober during the "early" WKW days? Doyle seems like a born party animal to me. I bet he's been drinking all along. On the behind-the-scenes doc for "In the Mood" Doyle was carrying a beer at all times.

 

My brother lived & worked in Taiwan & HK in the 1990s. So first hand source. Good enough for you?

 

Further: In the Mood for Love is not what would be regarded has an "early Hong Kong film" of Wong Kar-Wai and Chris Doyle. In fact, ITMFL is very much the start of their later studio-fuelled glossy mainstream for Western audiences of the current Cannes Set kind that regurgitates elements of their cinematographic language which was once creative, inventive and innovative. 2046 is the lowest point of self-plagiarism - a film so beautifully soulless and lacking anything worthwile I find it unbearable to watch when I think of their early work (which I often watched twice on repeat, with the "exhaling" Taipeh ending of Happy Together bringing back great memories of my 1990s).

 

What is meant with "early Hong Kong films" are the Jet Tone movies they made in the early 1990s, clean, fresh, young and really rock'n roll: Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, ????, Fallen Angels, Happy Together and finally wkw/tk/1996@7?55?hk.net. Then came the move to big budget, to Hollywood fuel, the stress, the fear, the angst to fail, the cocktails, the compensation, the drugs, the spiral, the loss of creativity, the realisation that nobody cares and you can just do your stuff again and again and still no one cares about sub-par quality, ... oh, and Psycho - Let me get my Walkman with Vince Vaughn, ruining Gus "My own private Idaho" van Sant as well...

When Wong and Doyle rejoined for ITMFL, he was already shot and both moved into making films about their films. Which works well at the arthouse box office, but is travesty and has nothing to do what defined both artists in the first place.

 

 

Also, do you think it's "pathetic" when rock stars like Jimmy Page take massive amounts of drugs and alcohol? Some of the best art of the last 100 years was fueled by drugs and alcohol.

[...]

Nearly all the greatest rock of the last 50 years was fueled by drugs.

 

Why so timid? I would say alot of the greatest art of humanity over the past millennia was enabled by stimulants and what one would today classify as "addictive drugs".

However, at the same time, alot of the greatest art of humanity over the past millennia was created by people who where "just" masters of their trade, knew their craft in and out and did not need stimulants to be inventive and creative and delivering...

 

Jimmy Page's heroine-taking tore Led Zeppelin nearly apart, and ruined In Through the Out Door. That's when he kicked the habit. And that's why they could play the O2 now at all.

Many of the world's best rock'n roll guitarists, like Tak Matsumoto or Tomoyasu Hotei which obviously few know in "the West", work without emptying a six pack in two minutes. And still have dignity and creativity and bring out constantly new and re-inventing stuff of outstanding mastery. Would be nice if LZ would have achieved that: the music world would have been richer.

 

As regards "pathetic": No former and current alcoholic and addict I know thinks that s/he is really having the time of her/his life and could only work to the best while being "stuffed". One acquaintance/friend of mine just OD'd and leaves behind a shattered girl of 5 and a torn husband that stood by here while she tried to willingly kick it. She never claimed that alc & drugs made her a better painter, but she always said that it would make her a shorter-living one, paraphrasing Janice Joplin. The latter is out. Joan Baez, certainly not a less talented musician and singer, isn't. So much for sex'n drugs'n rock'n roll.

 

Sure, if Doyle is stumbling around the set drunk, that's not good. But I don't see anyone claiming that he is.

 

Hmm, you said yourself that you "bet" that Doyle - "a born party animal to me [...] has been drinking all along. On the behind-the-scenes doc for "In the Mood" Doyle was carrying a beer at all times...".

 

But yeah, sure, no one is also publicly claiming that Robert Rodriguez is an ass on set and in private. Doesn't mean that he isn't.

 

Hope that clarifies your questions put to me, Tom.

Best wishes,

 

-Michael

 

 

 

 

EDIT: the "?? ??" film title were originally Chinese characters. Apparently ciny.com can't work with them in general or when authored on Mac/Safari. Sorry about that!

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Anyways.. who can recommend some good drugs?

 

 

Polaroid instant film paste as found in 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" packfilms. Sniff it, or apply as cream. Makes every party animal go pale. But hurry up, production has stopped, and unlike in Afghanistan, there won't be happy any ex-Talibans re-starting production in Polaroid's factories.

 

B)

 

 

*Heavy tasteless sarcasm (but a real tip) throughout this post. Consume responsibly*

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Apparently he lets off a bit of a weird odour due to the fact that he drinks rather than eat protein.

Nevertheless that is a personal thing.....professionally I think he's a very good dp that deserves the accolades that he gets.

Also he breaks the mould and for that he'll always gets my vote!

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Michael, as much as I love Chungking, Happy Together, etc .... In the Mood blows those movies out of the water, IMO. The cinematography on In the Mood is considered by many to be the apex of the Doyle/WKW collaboration and one of the most exquisitely photographed motion pictures ever, often compared to the likes of Days of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, Barry Lyndon, etc.

 

Also, to claim that Page's drug use ruined one album misses the point that it fueled the awesomeness of 5 awesome others ! - and hundreds or even thousands of live performances. You seem to be claiming LZ never reached their peak because of drug use??? They are probably the most successful and legendary heavy rock band in the history of the world. Hardly underachievers!

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Michael, as much as I love Chungking, Happy Together, etc .... In the Mood blows those movies out of the water, IMO. The cinematography on In the Mood is considered by many to be the apex of the Doyle/WKW collaboration and one of the most exquisitely photographed motion pictures ever, often compared to the likes of Days of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, Barry Lyndon, etc.

 

 

I liked "Fallen Angels" quite alot and don't see how you can or want to compare a film like "In the Mood for Love" and "Barry Lyndon"

I think we can agree that Mr Doyle was also doing interesting work when he had smaller budgets and a less over the top booze problem.

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Well, we'll never know whether LZ peaked with full potential or whether they just started out. But if they say themselves now that they "f*[bBC Beep] it up" in 77/78 and barely survived beyond because their drug consumption had steadily grown and eventually took over their skills, then I take their points for granted as such. To conclude if they really truly under- or overachieved ? which I didn't do at all, Tom ? is difficult if you can't travel between parallel worlds and through time -> maybe in one, Ska anthems would have replaced The Star-Spangled Banner and this entire planet would just chill under a thick cloud of Jamaica's finest... who knows?!

 

As regards "Love". I respect your opinion as you do mine, but I said that it's my viewing. I learned to never rely on "many claimant's considerations" to accept absolute authoritative statements, especially on taste and craft and technology. Encountered too many sheepheads on this planet... :) (not meaning you, of course! Just to avoid misunderstanding)!

But to be nice to film critics for once, I suggest you shoot the one who compares "Love" with "Barry Lyndon" - like comparing The Monkeys with The Beatles... really B) !

 

 

Enough silly jokery, now on a serious note:

 

There's plenty of stuff in my post to read it the way it was intended by me in relation to drugs, careers, achievements and creativity; if one wants to read it that way, it's all there.

 

I can see your points and also your perspective, and appreciate that - I just can't share it due to my personal experiences. But I think the best way to discover what I mean is that you start yourself with serious alcohol, and not just getting drunk every other day as the Average Joe Party Animal. Then after a year or so (depending on how your directing career goes) I would accept cocaine offered to you in the toilet of a party, just a bit. Some friend will recommend nice pills to keep you happy in moments you think you would love to be swallowed by the ground. Then you start mixing it, as the cocktail shaker was on sale. Eventually, the great creative output will come by itself. Then, when Mister Tequila warms your bed every night (and I am not talking about Lee Tamahori's prefered companion from south the border), you will move to heroin all by yourself. That'll make the rock'n roll live perfect.

 

Said it all in my first two posts. Best wishes and cheers,

 

-Michael

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But to be nice to film critics for once, I suggest you shoot the one who compares "Love" with "Barry Lyndon" - like comparing The Monkeys with The Beatles... really B) !

 

Blasphemy! :)

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What drug was that Keith ? Viagra ?

 

On a cinematography forum? I know people get their kicks in strange ways but I've never got or wanted to get wood on this site... even if some lenses give me the horn!

  • Upvote 1

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I think I read here in a thread before about Doyle, that they always have a standby DoP in case the genius doesn't turn up. Anyway, it appears that however he turns up, he takes quite accurate meter readings.

 

BTW John, glad your tickets weren't for today, as I believed rain stopped most of the action

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Michael, as much as I love Chungking, Happy Together, etc .... In the Mood blows those movies out of the water, IMO.

 

Can't I like all (plus Ashes Of Time) ?

 

To me In The Mood takes wat they did in a more subtle - but beautifully rendered direction...

 

that said I bet more than half of the final version is Li Ping-bin's work, no ?

 

-Sam

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OUCH! That man has embarrased himself in two minutes more that I have on this forum in two years! I can imagine how he must have felt watching this back the next morning, and I sure can sympathise.

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The difference, Matthew, is that you are a lovely Student Director of Photography eager to learn and invariably making blunders along the way (like everyone does throughout one's life - the art of living is to be honest to oneself and acknowledge it).

 

Doyle is a world-leading DoP and cinematographic artist who created a new visual language with Wong Kar-Wai, but is unable to cope with a variety of things I posted about earlier - that too happens to many! It's just a shame and shouldn't be naively glorified by "Wannabe Man-Dudes" into some romantic crap which it ain't for those who life(d) through it.

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Max asked earlier, do we think it's "worth it" to have these artists blazed out on drugs if they are creating amazing art. My simple answer: Yes.

 

We lose 40,000 Americans every year in stupid auto accidents. Who is crying for them?? So if Jimmy Page needs to burn a few billions neurons in his brain or take 15 years off his life to deliver an epic guitar solo like he did with Stairway on Song Remains the Same.... is it worth it? Hell yeah it is!!

 

Does it suck when astronauts get blown up in space shuttles? Sure. But is it worth it? Yep.

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Out of interest.....David, what are your thoughts on Doyle in the link that Tim provided and also overall?

 

I know curiosity killed the cat....

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Guys, this is really cruel. You sound like real gossips.

 

He certainly dresses, speaks and acts in an eccentric manner and probably sees himself as such. But how you talk about him and his alleged problems are totally below the waist.

 

Just remember, he's is a world famous filmmaker. Who are we to mock him and belittle him in a internet forum. Sometimes there is method in madness.

Edited by Arni Heimir

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Yeah. None of these guys would be talking this smack if they were face to face with Doyle.

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That's a bit presumptious, really, to assume everyone is just falling into star-struck freeze when confronted with someone known. Maybe it requires regular exposure to people mostly known to many via the public media to loosen up with blind authority acceptance and staying stumm to their issues and saying "Yaih, Sir" all time - rather then seeing them as a human living his individual life and the consequences of it.

I was - I would say - lucky that I learned this early on. I tell my viewpoints to people when they ask me or when the context was such that it was societally right on my own initiative. Likewise, I say to acquaintances or friends if something goes right or wrong in their life. I never receive a "dude, take care of your fu**ing business" back, as one would normally expect. In fact, all to often especially in this industry filled with phoney friendliness, "a friend's remark" to re-position the frame on life comes all to rarely, and is usually very appreciated.

 

And furthermore: confronting someone you like with his or her well-known alcoholism should be a matter of the how and when rather then the if. Doyle knows that he is an alcoholic, and getting off it will take his toll and time, once he wants it. But living and working in Asia has a totally different dynamic to life than Europe or CA, and he is shifting between these worlds which itself I admire alot. I wouldn't want to do that, nor could I probably cope with it (not urban Asia :mellow: !) as this almost dooms you to taking stuff to live through it. Hence his visible descent, both cinematographically and physically. And that is a shame, no one should deny that or glorify it, especially without having lived through something like this personally.

 

As for the absolute relation between talent and drug-intake, well, then I hope to see many posters' name here on the silver screen very very soon, as they should stop talking the talk and rather start taking the dope to further their careers.

 

Cheers (and off this thread),

 

-ML

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who cares if he's a drunk? he does great work. It isn't as if he works at a bank.

 

I've worked for countless fashion photographers and all the really good ones were just like him. The rest sit around and talk about movies like "The Departed" as if it was something worth watching. "Oh i think Leo really deserved an Oscar nod blah blah blah..." Ask them who Robert Bresson is and you'll get crickets.

 

It is a bunch of bullshit and god bless him for knowing the difference.

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I don't know that he is necessarily drunk or on drugs... in this clip anyways... he is just a fun, eccentric (and knows it, and likes it, and pushes it) guy.

I love him as much as anyone on this forum; he has been a tremendous influence.

I certainly think his work without WKW has not been as good as his work with WKW, but that can be said about a lot of famous Director/ DP team-ups.

 

However despite this, it irks me a little bit that no one ever acknowledges Mark Li Ping Bing's work when they talk about "In the Mood For Love" ... Just as a note, I was told by a friend in HK (but he wasn't actually on that film) Li Ping Bin shot about half of the film; he was also second unit DP on "Fallen Angels".

 

Either way, though, the fact remains, Doyle and WKW collaboration on their early HK work was tremendously influential and I love them for it... weather Heineken is his inspiration or not.

 

(I've also heard an anecdote of Doyle rolling around on the ground while "Lady in the Water" was being shot; not caring much at all; unprofessional was my first thought... but then I actually saw the film; who wouldn't be doing that :-D [jk]

 

Just my 2 c.

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Lucky for Mr. Doyle, he gets to record (some) of his life experiences onto Film and view it again later... that (may) be the only way he remembers any of it...

 

Sad.

 

Mr. Lehnert... great post!

Edited by David Rakoczy

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I don't know that he is necessarily drunk or on drugs... in this clip anyways... he is just a fun, eccentric (and knows it, and likes it, and pushes it) guy.

I love him as much as anyone on this forum; he has been a tremendous influence.

I certainly think his work without WKW has not been as good as his work with WKW, but that can be said about a lot of famous Director/ DP team-ups.

 

However despite this, it irks me a little bit that no one ever acknowledges Mark Li Ping Bing's work when they talk about "In the Mood For Love" ... Just as a note, I was told by a friend in HK (but he wasn't actually on that film) Li Ping Bin shot about half of the film; he was also second unit DP on "Fallen Angels".

 

Either way, though, the fact remains, Doyle and WKW collaboration on their early HK work was tremendously influential and I love them for it... weather Heineken is his inspiration or not.

 

(I've also heard an anecdote of Doyle rolling around on the ground while "Lady in the Water" was being shot; not caring much at all; unprofessional was my first thought... but then I actually saw the film; who wouldn't be doing that :-D [jk]

 

Just my 2 c.

 

Maybe generally that is true, but there are plenty of us who do like Lee Ping Bin here, and do credit him. I've actually gone out and rented and watched a bunch of Lee's other work just because I liked what he did with WKW. And that of course led me to HHH's work and a bunch of other great little Asian films I would have never otherwise seen. :)

 

I agree with you that Doyle's WKW collabo work is better than his non-WKW stuff, and for that, it is very important to credit WKW. Some directors just bring out the best in their DPs. A good DP working with a crap director cannot reach their apex. But when you get a great, visual director working with a great DP, then you have something for the ages! Think of Malick-Toll on TTRL, for example, or Lean-Young on LoA.

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after watch the movie i recognized that he is the van gogh of cinema

 

he his radical and true artist he speak like he shoot very emotional

 

" don't be fun do your own staff it might not be great but it will be yours" he said to one student when she start here question by say she is big fun of him

 

the more i know about him the more i love him

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