peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 03 07 LikeTheWind

Like the Wind (2021)

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I've been meaning to watch this since I read that it was featured in the Sydney Film Festival in 2021. It's mostly an interview with cinematographer Christopher Doyle intercut with some other talking heads and grabs of his work. The Doyle aspects powerfully reminded me of why I watch his movies: so much improbable ethereal beauty, too much of it no longer found in reality.

Director Ted McDonnell does a decent job of assembling a cross section of Doyle's work. The interview itself was a riveting but inexhaustive ramble and left me wanting more biographical details. Digging into the pointers provided to other encounters it seems that he cannot be steered; see, for instance, this chat with Nick Newman (2019-12-06) or another back in 2014 or yet another from 2014. (In contrast he seemed to be on-message with the BFI in 2019.) After getting busted for thieving too many books from a Glebe bookstore (he claims to prefer reading to watching movies) he departed Australia on a boat at age 19 and ended up in late 1970s Hong Kong in his late 20s. Four months of Chinese language study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong was all he could afford (it was for ambassadors he says) so he headed to Taipei. Soon enough he shot That Day, on the Beach and won a best-cinematography award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1983 and we're off to the races. They shot Chungking Express in his apartment! "Biggest mistake!" he says, but he still lives there.

For a variety of reasons I wonder who the equivalent is in Korean cinema and what Doyle thinks of that scene — and it's a bit strange this movie doesn't go there given how the locus of Asian cinema has shifted over the past two decades. There is no discussion of technique or technology. It's unclear there's any baton passing though he is working with young directors. Everyone wants to know why he split with Wong Kar-Wai.

Robert Moran at the Smage: COVID delayed Sydney's turn to bask in the twenty-year anniversary of In the Mood for Love. He's from the Shire! (Cronulla) Some dry humour about his cataract removal operation. 2020 was 2046. I can't tell if he's joking about an Oscar but there's no doubt he has a healthy self regard. Filmink (2021-10-28). His attitude towards film school is the same as Herzog's as is his advice: go forth and make films. A joint interview with director McDonnell. Anne Rutherford: did Doyle's optimism about Hong Kong's cultural scene survive COVID?

Twitter says Doyle married director Hei Wen in Australia three weeks ago. And it turns out there's no shortage of interviews with him on YouTube: In the Mood for Doyle (2007) suggests he's a Leonard Cohen fan (specifically Anthem) and still has the same apartment. There's a visit to Chungking Mansions! And so on.