A faceless, nameless videographer tells a love story set in Shanghai. Mardar is a motorcycle courier, Moudan is a young woman whose father has hired him to drive her around. They fall in love. When Mardar takes part in a plot to kidnap Moudan, she throws herself into the Suzhou River. Years later, Mardar thinks he recognizes his lost love in the person of Meimei, the girlfriend of the video narrator, who performs as a mermaid in a nightclub… Shot on coarse-grain 16mm stock, the film is a captivating Chinese variation on the neo-noir trend. At the same time, it draws a portrait of a generation that had been uprooted, shifting between neo-realistic urban images that capture Shanghai in a radical state of flux, and night-time passages that conjure up the alternative sub-culture. Director Lou Ye thus creates a cinematic puzzle of illusion and reality, all the while chronicling a wonderfully tragic love story.
He studied Animation at the Shanghai School of Fine Arts and graduated in Film Directing from the Beijing Film Academy. In 1993, he directs the feature film Weekend Lover, banned for two years in China. He won the Tiger Award in Rotterdam with Suzhou River, a film now restored from the original 16 mm negative. His following works have been selected and awarded at the main international festivals, and with Blind Massage he won a Silver Bear in Berlin.
Filmography: Saturday Fiction (2019, D'A 2020), The Shadow Play (2018), Blind Massage (2014), Mystery (2012), Love and Bruises (2011), Spring Fever (2009), Summer Palace (2006), Purple Butterfly (2003), Suzhou River (2000, D'A 2023), Weekend Lover (1993)