Sixth Generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye’s second feature, the richly atmospheric “Suzhou River” (2000), echoes “Vertigo,” diving deeply into obsessive love, voyeurism and mistaken identity. Here Scottie is a Shanghai motorcycle messenger in his mid-20s who falls hard for a lovely young woman he’s hired to kidnap.
Lou calls Shanghai’s river “the blood of the city,” flowing through poor and chaotic neighborhoods, home to dive-y nightclubs, abandoned warehouses and the criminal underworld. He shot his romantic film noir working with a first-time cinematographer, Wang Yu, and the film’s micro budget dictated its use of handheld cameras, partially determining its stylish look.
“Suzhou River” will be shown on Wednesday, August 10, part of Socrates Sculpture Park’s annual open-air international film festival, which, celebrating Queens’ diversity, focuses on a different country or culture each week. Presented in collaboration with Film Forum and Rooftop Films, this year’s edition, programmed by Mike Maggiore, takes the river, literally and metaphorically, as its theme.
Admission is free. Pre-screening performance by FJ Music Fusion begins at 7:oo pm and food is available from Noodle Code and Yumpling. The film screens at sundown. Next Wednesday, August 17, an early Herzog masterpiece, “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (1972), will be shown.