The high-profile film The Banquet, from Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, has just finished recording its soundtrack. Adding even more credit to his film, Feng invited Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun to take charge of the music for the project.
Tan Dun and Zhang Liangying at recording studio
Arguably the country's most popular director, Feng Xiaogang has never turned away from his comedic-style, just as he has always targeted the domestic Chinese market. But with his contemporaries Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige already winning international acclaim with their big budget films, this veteran director is also realizing greater ambitions. His newest project, the serious historical drama The Banquet, is being seen as the director's most serious shot at overseas markets.
Another highlight of the album is its theme song, which is recorded by Super Girl winner Zhang Liangying. Although Zhang's singing skills have been widely acknowledged, producer Tan Dun is still careful to help her overcome any and every deficiency, no matter how small.
The theme song is quite demanding and most important, as it plays up the mood of the movie. After three hours' hard work, Zhang's performance finally won praise from both Tan Dun and Feng Xiaogang.
Tan Dun says the recording of The Banquet's soundtrack has been quite successful, giving him more confidence to win recognition once again at next year's Oscar.
(CRI June 15, 2006)