Suzhou River is a 2000 Chinese film directed by Lou Ye. It tells the story of Moudan, a courier who is searching for his missing girlfriend, Meimei, a bar singer. Set in Shanghai, the film explores the city's seedy underbelly and the corruption and cynicism that pervades it.
The film opens with Moudan riding his motorcycle through the streets of Shanghai, his face obscured by the glare of the sun. He is on a mission to find Meimei, who has disappeared without a trace. Along the way, he meets a series of characters who are each struggling with their own demons and trying to survive in a city that seems indifferent to their plight.
One of these characters is a taxi driver named Zhou Zenong, who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife and the infidelity of his girlfriend. Another is a young woman named Lian, who works as a prostitute and is searching for her missing sister. As Moudan navigates the city and uncovers the various secrets and lies that surround him, he begins to realize the extent of the corruption and decay that plagues Shanghai.
Throughout the film, Lou Ye uses a number of stylistic techniques to create a sense of disorientation and unease. The cinematography is often handheld and chaotic, with the camera following Moudan as he races through the streets on his motorcycle. The editing is equally frenetic, with frequent jump cuts and flashbacks that add to the sense of confusion and disarray.
In addition to its visual style, Suzhou River is notable for its use of music. The film's soundtrack is a mix of traditional Chinese instruments and electronic beats, and the music often serves to heighten the sense of tension and unease.
Despite its bleak themes and unsettling atmosphere, Suzhou River is ultimately a poignant and moving exploration of the human condition. It is a film about loss and longing, and the ways in which we try to find meaning and connection in a world that can often seem hostile and indifferent. By the end of the film, Moudan has come to understand that the Suzhou River, which flows through Shanghai, is both a symbol of the city's beauty and a reminder of its dark past.
Suzhou River (4K Restoration)
After being beaten one night by the owner of the Happy Tavern, Mardar heads out to the suburbs, where he discovers the real Moudan working in a convenience store. Along the banks of the Suzhou River, which winds precariously through Shanghai, Marda Jia Hongshen falls in love with a dramatically beautiful young woman named Moudan Zhou Xun. In a restless style with a continually seeking camera Lou Ye captures the mood of a young generation, far from the tourist image of China. Suzhou River is strange and mysterious, featuring an unseen protagonist and repeated characters. The videographer and Meimei spend one more night together, before Meimei disappears again, leaving a note telling the videographer that if he truly loves her, as Mardar loved Moudan, he will find her. One day he is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to deliver his sixteen-year-old daughter, Moudan, to her aunt. Marda and Moudan grow fond of each other.
Up to this point, the river had been heavily polluted by industries as well as domestic waste water, making Suzhou Creek locally known as "the smelly river", the most polluted river in Shanghai since the 1920s. He knows every inch and is successful thanks to the fact that he never asks questions. An anonymous videographer Hua Zhongkai opens the film with a monologue on the eponymous The videographer then begins relating the story of Mardar Years later, Mardar returns to Shanghai and resumes his work as a courier, all the while still looking for Moudan. Suzhou River starts with haunting track shots of the titular river, with documentary-styled presentation as well as a somber voiceover to point out the backstory as well as a hint of the hidden connections between the protagonists and the river. Lou Ye is criminally under-appreciated. Film Reviews of Suzhou River 2000 How did people react to Suzhou River 2000 after watching it? In these alien reaches, these maugre sinks and interstitial wastes that the righteous see from carriage and car another life dreams.
Suzhou Ricer is a story of love told in industrial backstreets. Then we're introduced to a crime-riddled modern Chinese love story, where lust and money gets in the way of pure connection in a material, fast-moving Shanghai. Shanghai Land Regulations, the rules which governed the foreign concessions of Shanghai. It's beauty amongst the pain, the story of a beautiful mermaid swimming in a dirty river. He could hear the river talking softly beneath him, heavy old river with wrinkled face. It's about ugly love, of warm tears and unromantic encounters.
Suzhou River 2000 achieved an average score of 77% and has generally received very positive reviews. Later, Mardar tells Meimei herself about his affair with Moudan. The film ends with the ambiguous death of both Mardar and Moudan, leaving the viewer to decide if it was an accident or suicide. Beneath the sliding water cannons and carriages, keelboats rotted to the consistency of mucilage. Shanghai, a city filled with reflective skyscrapers, is grubby, full of traffic jams and neon-lit streets here.
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Often we can see his hands on-screen, picking things up or lighting cigarettes, and so presumably we might see these sequences as part of his 'filming'. 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. A throwaway reference in the film notes that he is killed off-camera during a police chase. Humoring him at first, she eventually becomes enamored with his story and takes him to bed. Not just a sombre and atmospheric melodrama, there's a unique sense of intricacy that's gone into making this. Suzhou River melds together elements of many different influences yet still remains staunchly itself; that's because all these elements are connected to the core of our protagonist, a dual narrator-character who guides us anonymously as we never see his face nor learn his name — rather, we share his perspective literally through his eyes. Travel to your future, You've a whole life to grow.
Were they impressed, surprised, excited or disappointed? Stylistically it has an avant-garde streak of jump cuts and POV shots, and thematically it's a little Wong Kar-wai and a little Alfred Hitchcock. All of which swirls into a distinct film nonetheless. Along the river banks, a multitude of warehouses and factories were built at this time, making the region close to the river a significant industrial area. She is so disappointed in him that she jumps off the bridge into the Suzhou River. However, following initiatives of artists in the late 1990s, the riverside area has been designated as a protected heritage zone and many warehouses have been conserved, now providing quarters for Shanghai's flourishing art scene.
Hitchcock With a Chinese Face: Cinematic Doubles, Oedipal Triangles, and China's Moral Voice. If Chungking Express is considered neon-lighted, then this film is a river bearing the reflections of a thousand neon lights; This film is not just individual love stories, it carries the weightiness of the entire entrapped city that is forever stuck to this dirty river that leads to no ends, no future. Things thankfully settle down as the film finds its own rhythms, enabling us to get a proper look at this alien mega-city. Suzhou River is a film where love is either temporary or you die with your lover. Did Suzhou River live up to the hype? When he tries to kidnap her in order to demand ransom money from her rich father, she escapes him, jumping in to the river and disappearing forever. Just like every other countryside self-deprecating, wretched, mess around, waiting to die teenager, friendless and nothing to be happy of, I feel as if my life will stay this way forever.
Suzhou River (2000) directed by Lou Ye • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd
Retrieved 14 October 2013. The audience never sees Hua and only hears his voice as the film's primary narrator, with the camera serving as his subjective point of view. Starry jasmines live for many years, Bettering the world with quiet sweetness. Muddled identities and criminal activities. Marda is now suspected of murder. Retrieved 14 October 2013. Nai An also served as one of Suzhou River's producers.
Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. The videographer decides not to. Instead of Knoxville and the Tennessee, we have Shanghai and the Suzhou, but the water is the same: polluted by industry, flowing filthy past scenes of human drama, human tragedy, hurrying quietly by. Marda serves a three-year jail sentence for his attempted crime. Gubei Road bridge, to be opened in late 2006, will be the longest bridge over the waterway. In Suzhou River, Lou Ye movingly portrays the 'testimonies' of the river, without using special lenses, filters or tripod.
This is thanks in no small part to the efforts of the skilful, photogenic pairing of Jia and Zhou. Against the backdrop of a heavily polluted Suzhou River, which millions of people live by and live off of, this movie manages to find beauty via the most mundane existence, and elevate it with a folklore twist. This unnamed man is a videographer and thus already throws the film's narrative into a curated one. The raddest book I've ever read was entire work collection of Gu Long. Mardar, convinced she's his lost love, first spies on her in her dressing room and then seeks out the videographer to tell his story. I'm surprised this film isn't more popular, it's genuinely a masterful piece of work.