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retrospective

by Sam C. Mac Feature Articles Film Retrospective

Retrospective | Lou Ye: Every Face Is a Mask

May 13, 2019

After a first encounter, Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye seemed ripe for being written off as a Wong Kar-wai copycat — at best an adept craftsman of soft-focus, woozily shot images of beautiful men and women, bathed in shadow, moving kinetically through rain-streaked city streets. The film that suggested this was 2003’s Purple Butterfly, a quixotic, genre-inflected drama that immediately stood-out from the work of Lou’s Sixth Generation contemporaries by virtue of being a period piece. Set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, in…

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