Abel Korzeniowski x Anthony Chen
To Abel Korzeniowski, born in Krakau on July 18, 1972, music has always been intrinsically connected to film. He started writing music for his friends' short films and to master his trade further he studied composition under Krzysztof Penderecki. In Poland he won several prizes, after which he exchanged his native country for Hollywood. A brand new monumental score for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis became his first big achievement. His definite breakthrough was the music for Tom Ford’s A Single Man. In 2011 Madonna asked him to score her film W.E., and he once again collaborated with Tom Ford to create the music for Nocturnal Animals. Other acclaimed scores by Korzeniowski are the ones for Romeo and Juliet by Carlo Carlei and recently for Till by Chinonye Chukwu and Emily by Frances O’Connor.
Korzeniowski stands out because of his talent to convincingly translate emotions into music. When composing he often departs from his observation of an actor’s face, which he sees as a landscape. His task is to provide what is seen on screen of a deeper dimension. At the World Soundtrack Awards in 2010 Korzeniowski was crowned with the Discovery of the Year Award and also won the Public Choice Award for A Single Man. In 2012 that happened again for W.E.
Anthony Chen, born in Singapore on 18 April 1984, likes to recount that he was only four years old when he saw Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, an unforgettable film. He discovered Zhang Yimou and his muse Gong Li in primary school, and in his teens François Truffaut, Ozu, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Edward Yang and many more. These films changed his perspective of cinema, as they differed from the diet of commercial films that most grow up with in Singapore. He first studied at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore and then moved to the UK’s National Film and Television School where he graduated in 2010. His short films were lauded and his debut feature Ilo Ilo won him the Camera D'Or at Cannes in 2013. Six years later, Chen attracted attention again with his sensitive sophomore film Wet Season, and 2023 will see the release of both his first English-language film Drift and his first Mainland Chinese production The Breaking Ice as he moves beyond his homeland.
François Truffaut's Jules et Jim was one of the inspirations for The Breaking Ice. The film is set in Yanji, in northeastern China, where three Chinese twenty-somethings develop a brief but intense friendship. They represent today’s Chinese youth, in search of meaning and purpose, whom Chen seeks to give voice to. He expands his canvas beyond familiar settings, but brings the same sensitivity to his fine character drawings and delicate portrayal of real people. Frequently described as a humanist filmmaker at heart, his work continues to reflect and observe the human condition with the purest of intent and honesty.