Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Christopher Doyle Calls 'Life Of Pi' A "Fucking Insult To Cinematography," Hates On 'Lincoln' & More

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 14, 2013 at 10:21AM

While high-profile Oscar contenders like Best Picture winner "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained" all had various amounts of haterade poured all over them, one movie that was pretty much untouchable all season long was "Life Of Pi." Outside of the whole mini VFX controversy thing -- which really only happened after the Oscars -- Ang Lee and his film were embraced by the industry, winning four statuettes for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Visual Effects. But certainly, not everyone was taken with the movie.
59
Life Of Pi Christopher Doyle

While high-profile Oscar contenders like Best Picture winner "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained" all had various amounts of haterade poured all over them, one movie that was pretty much untouchable all season long was "Life Of Pi." Outside of the whole mini VFX controversy thing -- which really only happened after the Oscars -- Ang Lee and his film were embraced by the industry, winning four statuettes for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Visual Effects. But certainly, not everyone was taken with the movie.

The usually opinionated and salty cinematographer Christopher Doyle recently sat down with Blouin and made his feelings quite clear on "Life Of Pi" and the work behind it. "Okay. I’m trying to work out how to say this most politely, and no offense to – I don’t know him personally – but what a total fucking piece of shit," he declared about Claudio Miranda's win for Best Cinematography. "Let me be blunt. Ah, fuck. I don’t care, I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy and I’m sure he cares so much, but since 97 per cent of the film is not under his control, what the fuck are you talking about cinematography, sorry. I’m sorry. I have to be blunt and I don’t care, you can write it. I think it’s a fucking insult to cinematography."

But his anger seems more to be at the voting body ("Do you know the average age of the people who vote? Sixty-five. Check it out.") and the idea of anyone outside the cinematographer working on the look of the movie. “Of course they have no fucking idea what cinematography is.The lunatics have taken over the asylum, but you know we have other asylums in other parts of the world and I live in one of  them, and I intend to continue to be a lunatic," he (kind of) explained. "...The award is given to the technicians, to the producers, it’s not to the cinematographer. I think he should’ve actually, if it were me, I would’ve said fuck off. But of course it’s his career. Sorry. Personally, as you probably realised, I will say fuck off. If somebody manipulated my image that much, I wouldn’t even turn up. Because sorry, cinematography? Really?”

So, from his perspective, was it weird for "Life Of Pi" to win Best Cinematography? “No it’s not a strange choice if you understand how fucked up people are and how lost they are. You bail out your bankers, support your rich people, you say Spielberg and Tarantino are the gods of cinema. Hey, good luck.” Um, okay.

But his vitriol on Oscar contenders didn't stop there. “ 'Lincoln'! Oh! Let’s talk about patriotism. Do you not fucking realise the rest of the world just sits back laughing. Do you not realise that you poor old fuckers with your Academy bullshit, you’re just sitting back, holding onto straws. You’re holding onto straws. Let’s get on with it. I don’t give a fuck what you think about me," he said. "Some of us have to engage with the real world. And it happens not to be about the history of Mr. Lincoln freeing the slaves – which was the most disgusting first three minutes of a film I’ve ever seen. 'Oh, Mr Lincoln, oh, but you understand…' stop fucking fluffing yourselves."

However, Doyle is not a total crank and his admiration and inspiration comes from unlikely corners. “Ai Weiwei is the Tom Hanks of Chinese cinema,” he enthused. “Ai Weiwei is so fucking beautiful on film because he’s so solid, he doesn’t give a shit. He is the great male star of the future of Chinese cinema. Please quote me. He’s the George Clooney of the new wave. Once he sees [the footage] he’ll either burn everything we ever shot or he’ll embrace it.”

And he looks to the young generation to push the medium forward. “So many people ask me very often, so, how do you engage with the digital medium. I say the kids are going to teach us. We’re the students," he says. "The people who are on YouTube or engaging 24 hours of almost every day of their lives, who are online and having visual digital experiences every day, they’re the ones who are going to teach us.”

As for how he'll wrap up his own career? “I know I will die with either a camera in hand or a woman on top – what more could one ask of life?” How zen. [via Film]


This article is related to: Christopher Doyle, Life Of Pi, Lincoln


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates