The Wild Goose Lake (2019)
March 22, 2020 7:17 PM - Subscribe

A gangster on the run sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam.

Streaming for $12 CAD. Half goes to VIFF (Vancouver International Film Centre).

Freshly released from prison, mid-level crime boss Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge) is ready to get back to business, but tensions between rival gangsters quickly boil over into violence. After an accident leads to the death of a policeman, he finds himself with a price on his head and hunted by seemingly everyone in town, cop and criminal alike. His boss sends Liu Aiai (Gwei Lun Mei), a local "bathing beauty" (a term used for lakeside sex workers) with ambiguous motivations, to help him evade his would-be captors in what becomes an epic pursuit through the shadowy underbelly of Wuhan.

Glenn Kenny [NYT] This film is dark and moody like the old classics, but the director Diao Yinan has created a very contemporary crime drama.

Peter Bradshaw Grauniad The Chinese director’s followup to his Berlin-winning 2014 drama proves absorbing, original – and psychologically limited

Jessica Kiang Variety A Sumptuously Sleazy Chinese Film Noire

Rotten Tomatoes 90% Tomatometer 70% Audience Score
posted by porpoise (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I appreciated acknowledging the tribalism (rural homeplace) that still persists, juxtaposed with the uniform federal/ party armed forces uniformity. A city during (another) imminent violent transition and the believability that that a rural area is still accessible within a short-ish drive.

As for the pace, the waiting and the tedium and the tension that creates feels realistic and intimate.

Visually, I thought it was gorgeous. Lighting and incorporating "show off" colours and textures that people actually use, without it being clownish.

300,000 RMB is about $60k CAD or $42k USD right now.
posted by porpoise at 9:37 PM on March 22, 2020

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