Doyle Speaks on Scorsese's The Departed, and it Ain't Pretty
Depending on who you talk to, Martin Scorsese's The Departed is either a remake of or just based on Infernal Affairs, a massive hit in its native Hong Kong -- and elsewhere in Asia -- and a sneakily well-crafted thriller to boot. Whatever its actual relationship to Infernal Affairs -- the producers did buy the series rights, and used them in some way in crafting The Departed -- Scorsese's film stars Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio and, at long last, has been given a release date: According to Box Office Mojo, the movie will hit American screens on October 6.
So, that's the simple, good news. Now we get to the fun part: Christopher Doyle, one of the world's best-known, best respected cinematographers (he shot such visually stunning works as Chungking Express, First Love: Litter on the Breeze, and Happy Together) was the "visual consultant" on Infernal Affairs and in a recent interview with Saul Symonds, a writer in Hong Kong, pulled no punches when asked about The Departed.
Here's what Doyle had to say about THE DEPARTED:
"I find it disappointing if not depressing to see someone of the integrity and scholarship of Marty:
1) apparently not knowing or caring where the original originates from (which I find insulting to our integrity and efforts...when of all the filmmakers in the world Marty is the one who pretends to celebrate excellence and integrity and vision in cinematography)
2) needing to suck box office, or studio, or whoever's dick he feels he needs to suck...it can't be for the money...it can't be for the film (for the reasons above)...it must be just to work...which is mostly my motivation most of the time...but to have something fall into one's lap because one is supposedly competent in a certain kind of filmmaking is exactly why we are moving on and accountants are making non-subtitled versions of what we do.
3) it makes me very sad to see Marty and so many others genre-fying and gentrifying himself into mediocrity. Granted, mediocre is not just a Western ailment...but it would seem the disease is malign and endemic."