Set in New York’s trendy SoHo district, this earnestly charming black comedy, written and directed by Korean-born Wonsuk Chin, posits several interesting metaphysical questions that offset the occasionally pretentious and ironic tone. As a take on the overexposed downtown Manhattan scene, this 1998 feature is remarkably fresh and mature, reminding one of the old adage that a foreigner’s perspective is often the most successful in candidly portraying a specific milieu. Stunningly shot by Jim Denault, and aided by a sterling cast that includes Hong Kong-Taiwanese acting and singing superstar Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mira Sorvino, and Ben Gazzara, the film follows the final two days in the life of Kenji (Kaneshiro), a Japanese slacker who, soon after having a strange dream, (beautifully rendered as a silent-movie tableau), is visited by Death (Sorvino) and told he has just 12 hours to live. Kenji, jobless and unambitious, struggles to figure out what he should do with his remaining time on earth. Vaguely aware that he should be having a good time, he decides to pursue a beautiful German woman (Geno Lechner) he’s just met at a cafe. The film’s conclusion is touching yet oddly unresolved.