Is that all you can do?

Wong Kar-wai pushes me:

Those chaotic beginnings were witnessed during a visit to the set in 1992. The movie was being filmed around the clock in Yulin, a remote town on the edge of the Gobi Desert. One day the shooting in a grotto stretched into evening, and a scene with Ms. Lin, delivering lines of an intense dialogue while staring into a spinning bird cage, headed into 40-plus takes. More than a dozen crew members were crammed into the small space, made stuffier when smoke was fanned in for atmosphere. Mr. Wong was in a corner watching on a monitor. Every so often, in his measured way, he made a suggestion to Ms. Lin or called out to his cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, “Is that all you can do?”
Mr. Doyle, now a longtime collaborator of Mr. Wong’s, said in a recent telephone interview that he heard that question as a constant challenge. “It should be the mantra for all people in the arts.”

From the New York Times.

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