Ai Weiwei art piece Forever Bicycles is due to go under the hammer today as part of Sotheby’s modern and contemporary Asian art annual autumn auctions. The artist and activist, whose name is a banned search term on mainland social media site Sina Weibo, is the son of poet Ai Qing, who was denounced by the Communist Party during the Anti-Rightist Movement. Ai Weiwei is also a heavy metal musician and, in 2013, released the album The Divine Comedy. He posted two singles from the release on his YouTube channel. The video for the first song, called Dumbass, was a dramatisation of the artist’s arbitrary 81-day detention in 2011. It was shot by cinematographer Christopher Doyle …

Sydney-born Hong Kong-based Doyle – whose Chinese name is Du Ke Fung, meaning “like the wind” – has had a colourful past: he’s worked as an oil driller in India, a cow herder in Israel and a Chinese medicine practitioner in Thailand. But he is best known for his collaborations with Wong Kar-wai – he’s made eight films with the Hong Kong filmmaker, including Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046. Doyle also worked with director Gus Van Sant on Psycho, a 1998 remake of the 1960 hit by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock …

Born in Essex, England, in 1899, the director of classic films including Vertigo, The Birds and Rear Window, was known as a prankster – when he finished a cup of tea on set, he would often toss the cup and saucer over his shoulder, letting them fall (or break) wherever they landed. The director was also scared of watching his own movies, the police and, bizarrely, eggs. “I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened; they revolt me,” he once said. The 1945 Hitchcock hit Spellbound had a score composed by Miklós Rozsa …

Born in Hungary in 1907, Rozsa studied violin from the age of five and composed nearly 100 film scores, winning Academy Awards for Spellbound, A Double Life (1947) and Ben-Hur (1959). Despite his commercial success, Rozsa remained committed to concert music throughout what he called his “double life”. In 1973, he worked on the fantasy sequel The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, which was produced and written by Ray Harryhausen …

The American visual effects specialist, writer and producer pioneered a form of stop-motion model animation known as “dynamation”. At his funeral, in 2013, tributes were paid to the Los Angeles-born creative by the great and good of Hollywood, including one top director who said, “The artist magician who breathed life into clay figures and wire armatures and made us, as kids, happily fear for our lives, was the dean of special effects … All those so-called B movies were the A movies of my childhood. He inspired generations.” That man was Steven Spielberg …

The American director behind blockbusters such as Jaws, ET and Saving Private Ryan has a habit of casting his pooch: Spielberg’s cocker spaniel, Elmer, appeared in The Sugarland Express, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941 and Jaws. In 2007, Spielberg was publicly lambasted for his “uncreative role” in the choreographing of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by none other than firebrand Ai Weiwei.