Eric Kot Man Fai’s directorial debut tells two tales of first love, before and after. In the first, Takeshi Kaneshiro (Chungking Express) stars as a garbageman who falls in love with a sleepwalking young woman (Lee Wai-Wai). The second is about a convenience store owner (Eric Kot Man Fai) who is troubled by the return of an old lover whom he jilted years before. Semi-experimental in approach, the film explores similar themes to Wong's highly visual romantic style whilst also showcasing the director’s unique voice and creativity.
This release represents something of a milestone: a performance of major, public Korean compositions by mostly Korean musicians, recorded for a large Western label and presumably marketed at least as much to Westerners as to Koreans. Composer Unsuk Chin was a student of György Ligeti, but her style resembles his only in her general orientation toward layered textures and rhythmic emphasis. She writes music in which the relationships between blocks of sound shift over the course of a composition, and although her harmonic world is atonal, her writing is not difficult to follow. The concerto form allows an ideal introduction to what she does, and the three works here are attractive examples (she has written several others). Start with the concluding Su, for sheng & orchestra, from 2009.