CHRISTOPHER DOYLE Cinematography in tight spaces | In Conversation | TIFF Bell Lightbox

CHRISTOPHER DOYLE Cinematography in tight spaces | In Conversation | TIFF Bell Lightbox


Is there something about…sort of
space and intimacy that then comes up again and again
in not only Wong-Kar Wai work but I think we are going to see
something from Paranoid Park also…so that speaks to
that as well… What is it about this scene…
what was about filming it that sort of has this great intimacy to it? The ceiling is very low…(laughter) Would you care to elaborate? (laughter) So… So we’re in the middle of…
I don’t know if any of you know Hong Kong a little bit… there’s this place called…
the Walled City which doesn’t exist anymore
which was basically an enclave in the middle of
Hong Kong which for various… whatever…judicial reasons by law it didn’t belong to England, the colony of Hong Kong and it didnt belong to China.
So it was a no-man’s land by some strange happening
and then that’s where all the
illegal immigrants from China use to congregate. So you had the best standards in
the world. Working out of…anyway it was an incredible complex and that’s where we were working,
but it was controlled by the heroin dealers and the mafia and whatever. So it was very dangerous and this room was there, but originally it was this tall
and then the wonderful William Chung, with whom I’ve
made probably… fifty films. He had this really good idea of trying to get the feeling of what’s the word…isolation or or…enclosure by bringing the ceiling down to
this height. So, as you see it’s one shot right?… …one light outside the window. and me… the room is about as big as
between me and this chair I was younger then… You know what a 1000 foot
magazine of film feels like? It’s basically 40 kilograms right?… with the camera… Tony quickly move, I can’t do it
anymore on my right leg ok…ok …following Tony, quickly
move…ok thank you… …leaves the frame. Bang!
I hit my head every time! (laughter) How many times did you… After four takes, they
sent me to hospital (laughter) So yeah it’s about… I think that’s one of the things
we’re gonna go into more Through the evening we kind of… I really think it’s about… the implication of the space
that in which you work whether that space is
here…or physical or emotional, I think that’s
really what it’s all about. What…what one does, I always say… I made film called A Way With Words I think it’s always really
about a way with words It’s taking the words
giving them a form, but usually it’s a response to space and I think that’s why… as we said
we’re starting from Chunking Express the energy of that city informed
the energy of the film.

4 thoughts on “CHRISTOPHER DOYLE Cinematography in tight spaces | In Conversation | TIFF Bell Lightbox”

  1. I love all of Doyle's work, they're absolutely amazing, but nothing hit me as hard as 2046. Gorgeous film (and incredibly well written, WKW) that I've seen many times. Little disappointed that he looks like somewhat homeless though.

  2. The Kowloon ("Gaau-lyn") Walled City was the most densely populated area in the world. For a great look at the Walled City, check out the Hong Kong new wave movie The Long Arm of the Law (1984). The final shootout was shot in the Walled City. An imperfect movie, yet a naturalist masterpiece. It stars a no-name cast and is the only movie directed by Johnny Mak. In case anyone cares.

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