The Wild Goose Lake
Nan fang che zhan de ju hui
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.
Bursting with style and expertly choreographed action sequences, The Wild Goose Lake skips between different timelines as it moves from one virtuoso set piece to the next. As Zhou navigates the streets, alleyways, and lakeside stretches of the city, award-winning Chinese writer-director Diao Yinan (Black Coal, Thin Ice) crafts a first-rate thriller that draws a complex portrait of modern-day China. Complete with a gangster,a femme fatale, and a moody urban setting, this is a dazzling contemporary take on the film noir.
"Diao Yinan’s twisting and turning nocturnal noir is full of moody attitude and glorious cinematography." Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"A definitive Chinese crime noir, in which the ravishing style and inventive staging form the substance." Jessica Kiang, Variety
"Invigorating, poetic, and discretely brilliant." David Ehrlich, IndieWire