The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the ...
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A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.
An attractive and successful doctor places a personal ad in a newspaper to try to meet (and eventually marry) Mr. Right. A succession of blind dates ensues, featuring men who are lonely, desperate, dangerous and perverted.
The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the Suzhou, shows the river as a Chinese Styx, in which forgotten stories and mysteries come together. Mardar, a motorcycle courier in his mid-twenties, rides all over the city with all kinds of packages for his clients. He knows every inch and is successful thanks to the fact that he never asks questions. One day he is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to deliver his sixteen-year-old daughter, Moudan, to her aunt. Mardar and Moudan grow fond of each other. But their tender happiness is disrupted when Moudan thinks that Mardar has kidnapped her for a ransom. She is so disappointed in him that she jumps off the bridge into the Suzhou River. Mardar is now suspected of murder. When a couple of years later he comes out of jail, he meets the dancer Meimei, an alter-ego of Moudan, and becomes fascinated by her. Written by
Bastiaan van Gestel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Told through flickering cameras, jump cuts, fluorescent lights, visual fragments and burnt colors, this is a romance within a romance, a narrator within a narrator searching for a girl he lost. He's a cameraman, someone tasked with seeing; he watches her every day as she comes along the bridge to an apartment they share. As he waits he imagines a story she told him about a man who spent his life searching for a girl he lost. Imagines her in the girl within the story's place, until that girl disappeared in the river. His own girl emerged from water the first time he saw her, mermaid in the club aquarium.
It's about his girl who never came back one day, vanished into air. The whole is narrated from the end, with the nested story about heartbreak as wondering about love, how people can truly do it. The river standing in for transient life that carries away the past.
It's not quite Kar Wai, albeit in the same vein of languorous longing that stirs electrifying poetry out of streets. It's a bit loose in shape, pieces of daydream that float, and very much influenced by French notions of layered narrative.
Noir Meter: not a noir
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