Cinematographer CHRISTOPHER DOYLE takes a rare break from a hyperactive

life to talk to Miles Fielder about his ‘beat’ youth, working with Wong Kar—Wai and on Pen-Ek Ratanurang’s Last Life in the Universe.

hristopher l)oyle ahandoned suhurhan Sydney

aged [8 to join the Norwegian Merchant

Marines. He went on to become a quack medicine doctor in Thailand. a ‘coyylmy-nic' on a kihhut/ and an irrigation expert in India. In the 1970s. he studied poetry and (‘hinese in [long Kong. By IQXS he was shooting his lilrn dehut. Iidyyard Yang‘s 'l'liui Day. On Illt’ Bt’tlt'll. Ile‘s since proyed himsell~ to he a wildly creatiye talent. largely through his collaborations with Wong Kar-Wai. including In i/It’ .I/mu/fiu‘ /.()i'(' and Its sequel. 2046.

You spent your youth ‘on the road’.

lat. '.'.as'.ed V.ea"s' continually "llO-l'lll the ideas. "‘iages. euen (>5 ni‘, userk. I still on", eat and see tints il‘ airplanes. and l."-f}iib" ltot-:2} beds to the sofa :" ll)". cluttered so—calied

And were reincarnated at the University of Hong Kong. Eh?

l .'.'as g'.e:: '."e nan‘e ‘(i.i ke‘ erig' .ke the wind. b', in, Chinese

:a";;..;‘:;;-:: teacher. It's a poetic and xer, Chinese. l'v‘i ’Zf,"\."‘<;<?(l :1 s (to ket’ eng who has ilfL"-i} a.‘ t'ie he needs a ’.'..’;l'il r;‘ adutce I am around: when l "a.e rte idea .'.".e"e the next drznk as he fakes 'Yif: ho'ne. Di. ket’ eng has g,n.en We the perspect 3e not to get too sn‘cg about £i(;{;()'l‘l:l;F;lil‘lf:ltlfS. You and director Pen-ek Ratanaruang describe making Last Life in the Universe in terms of a film evolving. Example?

l"-:,- ‘}.'."7.le7 l)‘2'..'.’(3€}fl Nor and Nid swim“; :r‘ '3‘!) ‘i‘-'i‘.. f)'lf}f3tll)f3liitl1(3fl kit arcfirer f"';.i'. exolariatrorr came out ,‘ an -';-t"";"'. 1'; exc-te the ilélll‘:(: >- the .'.as; pesonurig doll. lt .'.ias an .dea tna'. r,a'r.~r:1.pon .is ni'd shoot. over a come 9" drinks. is .1 a flashback or a ’ireair’f tum cares? l: .s appropmte and engaging and so subtle at aiir.ost slips you by.

Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Mon rak Transistor) has said when you started work together you were as sick of your work as he was of his.

‘.'.'i'.3't liar/o. lcxgef'rer .‘xe Doyle and ‘.'.’ong Karl/lair tried to none on ll")l" cur o.'.rn work by; going to tl‘e other side of the

eartl‘. {All ended :il) fU'nir‘o in a roori‘: ,ou could Il-“(I élli\,‘.'.’.‘)(:l(}

24 THE LIST ... .v


in Ho'ig Kong. This endeaxoar iLast Lifer seems more siiccess‘i. to me.

You’re known to be very collaborative with directors. (ID: I an: proud to hear that. I thought I lost ‘.'.’étlll(2(i to be

toned. | '.'.'ant to be the best =.'.ihore Ell cinema. To give a director

or a star more than they '.'.‘anl and get paid for ll is a gift. You’re also known for improvising and being spontaneous.

Sor'ieone like "ic- —- \.'.'-thout any formal training is always free to b1. the sea“. of ones pants. The point is t< appropriate c'ie's mistakes. or follou'.’ spontaneous ideas as far as they can go.

What was your first experience of working with Wong Kar-Wai?

He sag, s l '.'.'as a pa." ll‘. the arse. I say ‘rny eyes x'rere higher than nand' '.'.'h:ch is a Chinese way of saying l was trying too hard. to i:-.te off more tha'i i could chew.

How does shooting a film in Asia compare with Hollywood?

Home .2; '.'.ihere We heart is. You should al‘.’(} and work in that space. The occasional flirt or lolly is alway s good for the spirit. Mostly I come back from the \.'\’est more committed to the great u'rork in Asian hands.

How did making Last Life compare with Hero (Zhang

l‘lero is an exercise. Last Life is a search. Hero is ethereal. Last Life is poetic mundane. Hero was a lot of logistics. Last Life was a lot of complicity.

Is it true you watch films in fast-forward because you don’t have the patience to sit still for two hours?

After ll‘.‘(} or ten riiinutes you know enough about the intent. (I()ll\.'l(lll()ll. commitment and personalities behind a film to decide n'xhether to s.ay or leave. Mostly. its orin bar tales that engage me for longer than that. Maybe if they serxed more beer in cinemas and chatted through the films like they do in India. \fii’esterr‘. iilriimaking u'xouId liaxe more allure.

Last Life in the Universe is showing at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 30 Jul.

Yimou’s martial arthouse film).


From Hollywood to Ho/yrood, all the film news that is fit to print. . . ROUGH CUTS SHOULD

really be telling you all about the forthcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival but we reckon you are probably bored crapless of hearing about it already (and anyway tickets are selling like hotcakes so they hardly need our endorsement). So let us turn to a Scottish first - a 24 minute anime drama called Rogue Farm, commissioned for Scottish Screen’s New Found Land scheme. Adapted from an original short story by Charles M Stross, Rogue Farm blends traditional animation skills with new techniques gleaned from technological advances in joystick entertainment. It’s described as a cross between The Archers and an anime horror film. It premiers at the EIFF in August, and will be broadcast on STV in September and Grampian in October and released on DVD thereafter. Visit to see a trailer and a sample of the artwork.


beautiful cinema in Scotland. the Scotsman Hotel Screening Room in Edinburgh, is showing David Leah's classic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) on Sunday 25 July at 6pm. There'll be a welcome cocktail. followed by two-course meal at Vermilion. and the film starts at 8pm. It costs $38.50 for the film only or $238 for the dinner and film. A bargain at half the price. www.scotsmanscreeningscom. DON’T MISS RESFEST 2004, the UK’s most interesting digital film festival, now in its eighth year. It’s on 22-23 October at the CCA, Glasgow. With Jonathan Glazer and UK animation collective Shynola on the programme you really can’t go wrong.

Rogue Farm