Daily Archives

May 14, 2019

by Daniel Gorman Film Retrospective

Summer Palace | Lou Ye

May 14, 2019

Lou Ye’s Summer Palace is an exasperating experience, full of interesting ideas and an incendiary political backdrop but falling victim to clichés of poeticized romantic longing. Though not a new idea, conflating the political and the personal can be an interesting way to explore how people living through historically turbulent times aren’t necessarily aware that they are living through such epoch-defining moments. Of course, that’s a tough needle to thread, and Lou eventually loses it. Summer Palace follows young Yu Hong (Hao…

Continue Reading

by Greg Cwik Film Retrospective

Purple Butterfly | Lou Ye

Purple Butterfly is a film of dreamy realism, sometimes insoluble and suffused with a haze that is, at once, sepulchral yet sultry — a film about war and love, and the pain of both. It takes place in a constantly raining, Japanese-occupied Shanghai. (Critics compare…

May 14, 2019
by Sean Gilman Film Retrospective

Suzhou River | Lou Ye

The year 2000 was a watershed year for Chinese-language cinema. Milestones like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and In the Mood for Love and Yi Yi saw release alongside lesser-known, but equally important, films like Jia Zhangke’s Platform and Jiang Wen’s Devils on the Doorstep (in…

May 14, 2019
by Lawrence Garcia Film Retrospective

Weekend Lover | Lou Ye

The most striking aspect of Weekend Lover, the directorial debut of Sixth Generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, is its palpable sense of existence as a kind of ceaseless struggle. Indeed, the film itself feels practically willed into existence, exhibiting a preponderance of brash style…

May 14, 2019
by Paul Attard Film Retrospective

Don’t Be Young | Lou Ye

The literal translation of Don’t Be Young‘s Chinese title, “Wei Qing Shao Nu,“ means “Emotional Young Lady”— and it is, in many ways, a more than appropriate title for Lou Ye’s debut*. But the film’s stateside-given name serves a more theoretical purpose connected to its…

May 14, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism