THE WILD GOOSE LAKE
Diao Yinan’s rain-soaked, neon-lit noir follows an ill-fated gangster and mysterious prostitute hiding out in a sordid resort town overrun by criminals and corrupt cops.
After taking home the top prize in Berlin for his breakthrough thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice, Diao Yinan returns with an even more ambitious neo-noir, which paints a damning portrait of Chinese governmental corruption through its seamy story of underworld criminals. Thief Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge) is on the lam after a messy and very violent showdown with rival gangsters leaves a police officer dead. He takes refuge in Wild Goose Lake, a dank, rundown resort town known for its “bathing beauties:” prostitutes who operate in broad daylight along the lake’s shores. One of these women—mysterious, troubled Liu Aiai (Gwei Lun-mei)—acts as an intermediary between Zhou and his estranged wife. As rival thugs and a battalion of cops close in, Zhou and Liu Aiai find themselves drawn to each other even as they continue to keep their true intentions close to the chest. Once again, Diao displays an ability to imbue the dingiest of locations—grimy noodle joints, seedy hotels, a shabby and strangely depopulated circus—with a striking, often surreal beauty. The director’s impeccable craftsmanship is on full display in several show stopping set pieces, in which warped slapstick and shocking violence are combined with balletic precision.
CAST: HU GE, GWEI LUN-MEI, LIAO FAN, REGINA WAN
In Competition: Narrative Feature Award
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