First Love: the litter on the breeze   (1997) 

                                                                                        Block 2 Pictures | Amuse Group | Jet Tone


                                                  Cast:  Eric Kot Man Fai, Takeshi Kaneshiro (Gum Sing Mo), Karen Mok, Lee Wei Wei, 

                                                Madame Nancy, Vincent Kok, Cheung Dik Lung, Vani Wong, Alan Wang, Maggie Leung     

                                                                           Cameo:  Grasshopper (Edmond So, Calvin Choi, Remus Choi)


                                                                 Music: Carl Wong      Cinematographer: Christopher Doyle (HKSC)
                                                                               Writer: Ocean Chan, Yeh Nian Chen (Yip Lim Sam)
Executive Producer: Chan Ye Cheng      Producer: Wong Kar Wai, Yokichi Osato   

                                                                                                       Director: Eric Kot Man Fai


                                                    First Love: the litter on the breeze


                                    "Dating is like peeling an apple. After you finish, the apple will rot quickly."


                         Shot between 1996-1997, Eric Kot Man Fai's 'First Love: the litter on the breeze' is an art

                          film, a romance, a comedy and a documentary all at once. What it's not is a commercial

                              film. Viewers who don't favor it's meditative / haphazard style should stay away,

                              but for those who enjoy off-beat experimental works it might be their cup of tea.

                              Though Kot Man Fai's persona dominates, 'First Love' is particularly reminiscent of 

                             Chungking Express and bears the visual stamp of Wong Kar Wai's cinematographer,

                          Christopher Doyle. As Kot explains, it was Wong Kar Wai himself who approached him to

                         collaborate together. Along with Wong Kar Wai alumni Karen Mok and Takeshi Kaneshiro, 

                         Wong serves as co-producer while Eric acts, directs, narrates and sings the theme song. 

                            The result of Kot's first full length film as director is sweet, sometimes annoying, and 

                                                                               consistently sentimental.

                            The movie is comprised of 2 short films on the topic of "first loves". The opening tale

                            undergoes 4 rewrites before finally settling on the romance between a sleepwalking 

                              bakery worker (Lee Wei Wei) and a "mentally handicapped" garbageman (Takeshi 

                             Kaneshiro). The girl eventually becomes infatuated with videotaping her night time 

                        excursions with her mini digital camcorder, always joined by her quirky garbageman friend.

                           Like WKW's work, the film labors over the most minute of ideas, with most characters 

                           killing time like they're going to live for a thousand years. One sequence has Kaneshiro

                           literally examining the hairs on his toes. During it all, Kot frequently interrupts with his 

                            comic narration, commenting on the production with sayings like, "This is my favorite 

                                                         shot" or "Christopher Doyle is truly amazing!."

                           The second short stars Eric Kot as a married grocery owner who is visited by his former

                          fiancee (Karen Mok) 10 years after he left her at the altar. Day after day Mok turns up 

                           in his shop, orders a bottle of Coke and downs it standing, pays and leaves. Kot is guilt

                            ridden over the abandonment, and the fact that he gave her wedding ring to his wife 

                         (Nancy Lan Sai). Alluring as usual, Mok has an interesting though relatively untaxing role 

                                                                                  as the jilted lover. 

                              'First Love: the litter on the breeze' may be slow and abstract, but it still contains

                            some of the more showy aspects of HK comedies. Kot engages in his usual buffoonish

                            schtick as he narrates the first short, at one point wearing giant shades, an afro wig, 

                           and a Volvo racing jersey. By the end of the film, Kot is actually moved to tears by the

                                 experience. Whether this is genuine or a superb piece of acting is hard to tell. 


                        Related viewing:  Chungking Express (1994)  Takeshi Kaneshiro, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung

                                                                                  Dragon Heat (2001)  Eric Kot, Karen Mok, Ekin Cheng, Shu Qi, etc.



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