Lou Ye: Suzhou River

When 6 Oct 2013
Where Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States
Enquiry 510.642.0808


Lou Ye, Suzhou River (2000). Courtesy of BAM/PFA.

Sunday, October 6 2013, 5:30pm

(Suzhou He). Lou Ye’s atmospheric noir thriller may be set in Shanghai at the turn of this century, but its ghosts—of lovers, criminals, and heart-broken dreamers—could have been drawn from any of the city’s eras, especially the same glory years of 1930s Shanghai cinema that inspire artist Yang Fudong. Along the banks of the city’s main artery, the rain-drenched, trash-filled Suzhou River, a videographer searches for work, and for a lost love; his tales of woe soon dovetail with another man’s, another lost love, and what begins as a romance soon turns into a thriller, and back again. Described as “Wong Kar-wai’s Vertigo” for its Hong Kong visual flair and Hitchcockian narrative trickery, Suzhou River is a city symphony to Shanghai’s eternal mysteries. An international Chinese/German coproduction, the film marked a clear break with the realist tendencies of the Fifth Generation era, and heralded the continuing emergence of the “Sixth Generation” of filmmakers, as well as the lushly romantic, noirish aesthetic that Lou Ye would continue in later films like Purple Butterfly (2003).

Written by Lou. Photographed by Wang Yu. With Zhou Xun, Jia Hongsheng, Nai An, Yao Anlian. (83 mins, In Chinese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Strand Releasing)

Part of the exhibition series, Yang Fudong’s Cinematic Influences.

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