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First Love -
The Litter on the Breeze
Chinese: 初纏戀后的二人世界
Karen Mok and Eric Kot
Year: 1997
Director: Eric Kot Man-Fai
Producer: Wong Kar-Wai
Cine: Christopher Doyle
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Karen Mok Man-Wai, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Lee Wai-Wai, Madam Nancy (Lan Sai), Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu
The Skinny: Totally bizarre, but still somewhat affecting. This is performance art for Hong Kong film fans.
by Kozo:

The debut feature from annoying comic Eric Kot is both trying and tender. Using a bizarre narrative format, he tells two stories that ruminate on first love. Actually appearing onscreen as Eric Kot, he discusses the genesis of the project and illustrates his initial, ultimately rejected storylines. He eventually settles on the story of a mentally-damaged garbage man (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who befriends and falls for a sleepwalker (lovely newcomer Lee Wai-Wai). Every night he guides her in her evening travels, and the strange twosome’s burgeoning affection is shown in a decidedly quirky, yet still affecting manner. 

The second story isn’t as absurd, but is portrayed as such thanks to the antics of star Eric Kot, who plays a married grocer who runs into his first love 10 years after he left her at the altar. He even took the wedding ring and gave it to his current wife (Madam Nancy). His first love is played by Karen Mok, in another of her disciplined, layered performances. 

Ultimately both stories manage to find moments that echo the emotional poetry of the film’s producer, HK’s number one auteur Wong Kar-Wai. On the other hand, the film takes self-referential post-modernism to an absurd degree. Eric Kot introduces, comments, and cuts in whenever he feels like it, leading to lots of jump cuts and moments of sheer wackiness. He even comments on his own editing and Christopher Doyle’s lush camerawork. The effect is ultimately jarring. It provides insight but is far too intrusive; this is director’s commentary without an “off” switch. Still, the film has some creative moments. Doyle’s cinematography is stellar, and Kaneshiro and Mok do some fine work. This is a flawed, unpolished gem, but a gem nonetheless. (Kozo 1997)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen