Directed by Lou Ye • 2000 • China
Starring Zhou Xun, Jia Hongsheng, Nai An
A landmark of Sixth Generation Chinese filmmaking, Lou Ye’s international breakthrough reworks elements of VERTIGO and film noir into an impressionistic wash of dreamy images and intoxicating romanticism. Along the industrial banks of the Suzhou River, which winds precariously through Shanghai, Marda (Jia Hongsheng) falls in love with a beautiful young woman named Moudan (Zhou Xun, soon to be one of her generation’s most esteemed actors). When he loses her in an attempted kidnapping gone wrong, she seems to disappear into the river forever—until he meets MeiMei (Zhou Xun again), a woman who performs a nightclub act as a mermaid and who happens to look exactly like Moudan.