The Faces of Wong Kar Wai: Spotlight on Christopher Doyle

The Faces of Wong Kar Wai: Spotlight on Christopher Doyle

por remi mourany

Christopher Doyle, an Australian cinematographer, was born in 1952 in Sydney. At eighteen, he joined the merchant navy, allowing him to travel the world. He lived for several months in various countries, including the United States, where he earned a degree in art history. In the late 1970s, Doyle moved to Taiwan to learn Chinese. There, he helped establish the Lan Ling Theatre Workshop and got involved in video and cinema, working on several documentaries for the TV series Travelling Images. In 1982, he landed his first role as a cinematographer on Edward Yang's film That Day on the Beach.

Quickly recognized as one of the best cinematographers of his generation, Doyle received numerous festival awards. He maintained his image as a wandering artist, working in France with Claire Devers (Noir et Blanc, 1986), as well as in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the United States. His collaboration with Wong Kar Wai was particularly fruitful and enduring. From Days of Being Wild (1990) to In the Mood for Love (2000), Doyle crafted the lighting for most of Wong Kar Wai's films, declaring that the filmmaker and he function as an inseparable duo.

Christopher Doyle has worked as a cinematographer on over fifty feature films, including Red Rose, White Rose (1992) by Stanley Kwan, The Temptress Moon (1996) by Chen Kaige, Psycho (1998) by Gus Van Sant, and Liberty Heights (1999) by Barry Levinson. He also appeared as an actor in Peter Chan's Comrades: Almost a Love Story in 1996. Alongside his film career, Doyle is an accomplished photographer, having published several collections of his work and exhibited in Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kobe, and Kyoto. In 1999, he directed his first feature film, Away with Words, which was presented in the "Un Certain Regard" section at the Cannes Film Festival.

Other notable works as a cinematographer include Hero (2002) by Zhang Yimou, 2046 (2004) by Wong Kar Wai, Lady in the Water (2006) by M. Night Shyamalan, Paranoid Park (2007) by Gus Van Sant, and The Limits of Control (2009) by Jim Jarmusch.