Taking the kind of THREE’S COMPANY-meets-disapproving parent set-up that had made for so many lowbrow situation comedies, Chinese director Ang Lee put himself on the international film map with this gay charmer, a WEDDING BANQUET which also marked a major step up for NYC indie composer Mader (IN THE SOUP).
Creating one of the first mainstream scores to notably blend Asian instruments with a hip Manhattan sensibility, Mader’s culture clash between morally old school mom and dad with their offspring’s vivacious energy deftly uses long, virtuoso passages for the poetically simple sound of ancient winds and strings, as cutely interplayed with Cha Cha themes, the accordion, classical piano pieces and Mader’s delicate score for the bruised, yet ultimately reconciled feelings in this gentle comedy of manners – all while oft-times using Chinese rhythms in the off-kilter ways that distinguishes the composer’s ethnically inventive approach (which you can hear on Perseverance’s best-of-Mader collection “Cinemusica”).
First hitting CD in 1993 from Varese, Perseverance’s new entrée includes the entire score, allowing THE WEDDING BANQUET to fully achieve the intimacy, humor and emotion that lies within the smallest scoring fortune cookies, one which foretold way bigger things for Lee and the eccentrically fruitful scores of Mader to follow.
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