For this fifth edition of the “Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography” tribute, Angénieux – Official Partner of this 70th edition of Cannes Film Festival – wished to turn the spotlight on the Asian cinema through the outstanding filmography of Christopher Doyle, member of the Hong-Kong Society of Cinematographers (HKSC).
Christopher Doyle is certainly one of the most brilliant cinematographers of his generation.
Doyle’s way of shooting is very instinctive, very dynamic, most of the time hand-held to put the audience at the closest of the action. “The function of the cinematographer is to be the bridge, the conduit between the audience and what’s in front of the camera. To me there are only three people in cinema: the person in front of the camera, the audience member, and the person who is the real passage between them—the cinematographer. Of course director and producer facilitate the interface. But for the engagement to be direct and compelling, I really believe we have to be transparent and remove ourselves enough so that the passage between the actors and audience is direct” says Christopher Doyle.
Doyle used the constraints of low budgets and tight spaces to find rhythm and energy in his shots: an unique style that he adapted to bigger budget movies. Extreme angles of views even for close-ups, unusual color palettes, unique lighting are Doyle’s cinematography signature. To serve this kind of images, the zoom lens is an ideal tool. It is always part of Doyle’s equipment list, especially the Angénieux Optimo 15-40. Doyle used Angénieux zoom lenses on American Dreams in China (2013) by Peter Chan, Love for life (2011) by Changwei Gu, Ocean Heaven by Xialu Xue, Ondine (2009) by Neil Jordan , Downloading Nancy (2008) by Johan Renck, Lady in the Water (2006) by Night Shyamalan, The White Countess(2005) by James Ivory, Hero (2002) de Yimou Zhang and many others.
Christopher Doyle’s work has been rewarded an incredible number of times in the most prestigious film festivals. Port of Call (2015) directed by Philip Yung won last year the Hong Kong Film Best Cinematography Award.
We hope that this new edition of the ceremony of the « Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography » remains a great moment of cinema. We warmly thank all of those who contributed to it and especially our partners for this 2017 edition Weiying (online ticketing platform on Wechat) and Movie View (Chinese movie magazine and PR company)