Cinema: Suzhou River

Directed By Lou Ye

"If I leave you someday," a slim beguiler (Zhou Xun) asks her beau, "would you look for me forever?" This being a film noir, Shanghai-style, she has to drown in the dirty Suzhou River, then re-emerge as someone else. She could be Kim Novak in Vertigo, hijacked into a James M. Cain plot and photographed in the grainy, high-contrast glamour of a Wong Kar-wai romance. Lou Ye lays out a ravishing wasteland of femmes fatales and lovelorn tough guys--all in 79 minutes. So it's in Mandarin? After Crouching Tiger that's no longer an excuse for missing a terrific movie. Whatever city...

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