If you love films you should be familiar with the name Christopher Doyle. He’s the genius behind the camera, responsible for the striking images which shaped the visual history of cinema – most of the Wong Kar Wai films, Hero, Limits of Control, etc.
He is also a very interesting person with great sense of humour, intelligence and creativity.
I remember meeting him at one of the festivals, totally out of the blue. We exchanged few emails weeks before and I asked him if he was going to attend that festival. He said he wouldn’t, as he was busy on the set of ‘2046’. So when I expressed my surprise at seeing him, he said he surprised himself as well and added: ‘Don’t you ever tell Wong Kar Wai I was here, I didn’t tell him I was leaving Hong Kong’. Then he offered me sweets and when I took some, he said ‘Hasn’t your mom ever warned you not to take sweets from strange men?’
He was up 24 hours a day. He was cracking jokes. I was enchanted.
What I love about him is that he says it as it is. I still have his emails in my inbox, sometimes about films he was working on, sometimes about beer he was recommending me to try when I was in Belgium.
His work as a cinematographer is just indescribably astonishing and inspiring.
I watched all Wong Kar Wai films religiously. The one people seem to love the most is ‘In The Mood For Love’, and I’m not surprised. It’s so beautifully shot, with vivid colours, dream like slow motion scenes and almost sensual narration. If you want to watch it, you need to pair it with a simple, colourful but elegant dish.
My suggestion would be yakisoba with tofu.
Stir Fried Noodles with Tofu
(adapted from New Vegetarian Kitchen by Nicola Graimes)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 tbsp teriyaki sauce
350 – 400g firm tofu, cut into cubes and patted dry
100g cashew nuts
1 yellow pepper
1 tbsp rice bran oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 inch root ginger, peeled and grated
8 spring onions, sliced
freshly ground pepper
pink pickled ginger
325g soba noodles
1. In a bowl mix sesame oil, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Add tofu, turn to coat, leave to marinate for an hour.
2.Toast cashew nuts in the oven or on a dry pan.
3. Heat wok or non stick frying pan. Add rice oil and fry tofu until golden, reserve the marinate. Remove from wok and set aside. Heat remaining oil in a wok or iron cast pan. Add yellow pepper, garlic, ginger, spring onions and broccoli.
4. Heat water in a separate pan, boil noodles.
5. When the vegetables are tender add cooked noddles and reserved marinate. Top with tofu. Serve with toasted cashews on top, pickled ginger and Wong Kar Wai’s film on the side. Will go well washed down with Tsing Tao but Chris Doyle likes Heineken.
And here something if you are in the mood for the man himself….