These days, Christopher Doyle is mostly well known for the projects he’s done in the past (notably with Wong Kar-Wai) than anything he’s currently shooting (the last movie he lensed to get any kind of stateside release was the little seen Michael Cera/Juno Temple thriller “Magic Magic“). He’s also carved out a reputation for having a very big mouth. In 2013 alone, he called out Martin Scorsese declaring “fuck ‘The Departed‘! ” while calling Claudio Miranda‘s Oscar win for his work on “Life Of Pi” a “fucking insult to cinematography.” Doyle also shared his lack of enthusiasm for “Lincoln“. Well, he’s back, not with another movie, but more choice quotables, thanks to a recent interview.
This time around The Guardian sat down with Doyle, who didn’t waste much time in throwing barbs where he could, while also delivering an anecdote that’s a bit hard to believe. “I’m the fucking Keith Richards of cinematography, don’t fuck with my reputation!” he laughed. “Here’s a story. A producer wanted me to do a film, and they called me and said they were with Keith Richards talking about ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ So this producer asked Keith if he’d do the role and Keith said: ‘Why don’t you call Chris Doyle?'”
Um, what? “It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s a good story, right?” Doyle continued, dodging the question if he was making something up or not. “I think one day when we meet he’ll punch me out and say: ‘You liar,’ and then we’ll snort something and everything will be forgiven.”
Anyway, Doyle seems to relish in his role as the bad boy. “Occasionally I still get shit offered to me. I think that people who would have the temerity to work with me know they’re in for a ride, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “I’m not even a cinematographer, hopefully I’m a collaborator.”
But with numerous stories of his famously difficult ways, that collaboration tends to be fraught. It probably doesn’t help that he has no problem dissing the sorts of filmmakers he would probably like to work with, once again picking on Scorsese. “Have you seen fucking ‘The Whore of Wall Street‘? Marty, you’re such a genius, what the fuck are you doing? It made me so sad, this genius person, and then…,” Doyle said, continuing: “I don’t know. It just made me sad all the time. What is it telling us? It’s not engaging us in anything important.”
This all just the tip of the iceberg. Read more over at The Guardian, where he compares Gus Van Sant‘s remake of “Psycho” to a Duchamp artwork.