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World Music & Cinema

Vol 6. Asia

Among the new generation of filmmakers sensitive to sounds, rhythms and colours, the Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai is represented with music from Fallen Angels and Days of Being Wild. His cult film In the Mood for Love features the enchanting chords of the Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, who also scored the music for Floating Landscape, the first full-length film by Carol Lai Miu Suet. Lam Wah Chuen, also a talented cinematographer, composed the electronic music for Made In Hong Kong, Fruit Chan’s exposé of harsh life in the Chinese megapolis. Infernal Affairs by Alan Mak contains tense music by Chan Kwong Wing. Tsui Hark, another major director, is represented here with music from Once Upon a Time in China and Green Snake. The motifs of the historical epic mixing martial arts and choreography characterise Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by the Taiwanese Ang Lee, with award-winning music by Tan Dun. Chinese song also has its place in this cinema with Tsai Ming-Liang’s Goodbye Dragon Inn, a film rich in expression yet almost without dialogue, recounting the story of the closure of a cinema. Music in Asian cinema is rich and complex, contemporary, sometimes experimental and very often hybrid. Good examples are Goodbye South, Goodbye and Millennium Mambo, the fruits of the enduring collaboration between the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien and his favourite composer Lim Giong, a star in his home country. Young Taiwanese cinema takes the same route with The Trigger by Alex Yang, Love of 3 Oranges by Hung Hung and The Best of Times by Chang Tso-Chi.