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A gorgeous film from China is Ranjan's Reccomendation this week.

A young motorbike courier and small-time crook in search of his lost love forms the core of the plot of Lou Ye’s SUZHOU RIVER (2000, China); but intertwined with it is his involvement in her botched kidnapping that results in her disillusionment and apparent suicide; the murder of one of the gangsters, and his subsequent incarceration and release after years. This gritty urban tale set in the seedier sides of a booming megalopolis – Shanghai and its eponymous river evokes a plethora of urban myths, including mermaids and doppelgangers, and creates a mood that is neo-noirish, suffused with a sense of mystery that fluctuates between hope and hopelessness. The influence of Hitchcock’s VERTIGO (1958) and the cinema of Wong-Kar Wai is unmistakable, especially in its cinematography. To that, I would also add the influence of the freewheeling style of the French New Wave.

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This beautiful, doomed love story, marked by its distinctive style and mood, is streaming on MUBI. Not to be missed. 

Ranjan das is a Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.

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