Sunday, July 18, 2010 | |

Seasoned cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bin is finally gaining more recognition with a new book, Poet of Light and Shadow, and documentary, Let the Wind Carry Me. Linked often with director Hou Hsiao-Hsien (who calls him, affectionately, A-Bing) and overshadowed by fellow DP Christopher Doyle, Lee has steadily established himself as a technical master of "glamorous realism." He avoids HD whenever possible, and his shots are fluid and heart-breakingly gorgeous. See In the Mood for Love, Millennium Mambo, The Vertical Ray of the Sun (credited as Pin Bing Lee on The book reprints his fine art photography, poems and interviews.

On set, Hou likens his right-hand man to a soldier. Lee runs on self-deprivation: no bathroom breaks or family visits (his teenage son in Los Angeles struggles to understand his absenteeism). His mother, however, figures prominently in the documentary: in Taiwanese fashion, a true mama's boy! His favorite movie is Close Encounters of the Third Kind.