3.5, Hong Kong/China

Suzhou River

2000 / Lou Ye > This might be the first film since the early 90s outings from Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige that has made me believe in the future of mainland Chinese cinema. Having been unable to adjust to critically acclaimed films of Zhang Ke Jia, I was worried that most of what was being made in the mainland—of slow, deliberate pacing reminiscent of the Taiwanese New Wave. But with Suzhou River, one can hope that these elements will continue to be combined with the vibrancy present in Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express and the local mood of modern China. By itself, it’s a tangential homage to Vertigo that’s both beautiful and heartbreaking. While separately it often feels grossly derivative, the combined product is as fresh as it is youthful.