A gangster on the run sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam.
A gangster on the run sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam.
Nan Fang Che Zhan De Ju Hui, Перестрелка на гусином озере, 남방차참적취회
An invigorating, poetic, and discretely brilliant Chinese noir that adds up to less than the sum of its parts, Diao Yinan’s “The Wild Goose Lake” can’t help but feel like a mild comedown from the director’s Berlinale-winning 2014, “Black Coal, Thin Ice.” To some degree, that disappointment may have been inevitable, as Yinan’s five-year-old masterpiece tapped into the kind of dark magic that’s difficult to conjure twice. Alas, it doesn’t necessarily help that Diao’s first feature in five years treads similar territory as his previous work, as he once again steers his bleak genius towards the bitter indignities of China’s “second-tier” cities, weaving a sibylline crime story of life and death through a world that’s moving too fast to keep…
“Ever thought of running away?” “Where to?”
This exchange comes late in The Wild Goose Lake, the latest film from stylish Chinese genre filmmaker Diao Yinan (previously awarded with Berlinale’s 2014 Golden Bear for his art film-inflected neo-noir Black Coal, Thin Ice), and within the film’s noir milieu the line fits. It’s shared between a gangster on the run and the call girl companion he’s been forcefully entwined with, however a strange combination of filmic tools means it comes tinged with a unique, near-cosmic portent, revealing even more so than his last film a much richer, wounded existentialism about two lonely, desperate people simply surviving in a dilapidated, contemporary Mainland China.
Manhunt in a police state. Very well-imagined with a strong sense of Langian paranoia, a rich textured underground world and good outbursts of violence. With every film Diao Yinan gets better into using pulp to comment on current China.
Seijun Suzuki 2020
BIG cinnamon tography!
Wild Goose Lake exists in a turbulent location characterised by changing allegiances and unexpected treacheries together with a narrative which flashes between perspectives and interconnected timelines. It commences with heavy rainfall on an atmospheric neon illuminated street where Zhou Zenong, a gang leader is fleeing from both the underworld and law enforcement officers, and with director Yi’nan Diao immediately foregoing any thematic richness in favour of a more extensive exercise in genre.
The film continually colours both its figures of law and lawlessness with tones of neutrality which sees them disseminated into a comfortless territory which observers them conversing with one another while gazing moodily into the shadows. The look of the film is irresistible due to the awe-inspiring photography of Dong Jingsong, and any misgivings regarding the storyline are nearly rinsed away with a succession of orchestrated action sequences which evoke admiration through his impressive cinematography.
Well, from time to time, I encounter a movie that checks two boxes on one. On one hand, it shows the beauty that is finding out an amazing movie going in blind. And second of all, it goes to proof why sometimes, adding to your watch list weird films from people in this page is the way to go (*wink* *wink*). In that regard, all the big props to Steph_H for (unintentionally) introducing me to this film with her review!
So what is it about this movie that I love so much? Well, funnily enough, this flick shares a lot of similarities with my previous reviewed movie here, "Portrait Of A Lady On Fire," especially on a technical level...
The Wild Goose Lake is a stylish crime thriller. It follows the last days of a criminal, telling the story with beautiful shots, an inconsistent tension, and a specific dialect. Through the saturated colours of the night, The Wild Goose Lake presents death as inevitable. The gore and violence is well executed, nasty and occasionally inventive. The Wild Goose Lake is not a deep examination of anything, but it is full of characters you can invest in. Some are unlikely to be impressed, but personally I was gripped all the way through.
From the grease-slicked streets running down back-alley noodle shops to the garish pink neon hanging over every building, The Wild Goose Lake is an assault on the eyes as color gradients and reflective surfaces paint a world so ravishingly vivid.
But the people who inhabit this world? Not so much. Dead bodies are not so different from living ones as the former investigate the latter. Everyone is small cog in the machine that is this film; but unlike most movie characters they know this, and they are resigned to whatever fate befalls them.
Surreal encounters of fate invoke feelings almost tinging that of magical realism; how else can you explain walking through a crowd dancing to "Rasputin" with soles that…
A few days ago, John Carpenter described directing as the art of deciding what to emphasize. What Diao Yinan argues is: what if it isn't? What if you just throw up a bunch of neon-slicked images on screen without much regard to emphasis or advancing narrative or clarity or character psychology? But without the rigour we've come to expect? And then gauze the whole thing in a putatively respectable sheen but throw in a few gonzo moments that might play in a Takashi Miike movie but mostly make you long for the Miike version of this movie? (Think of what he'd make of the zoo. And he'd understand the physics of how an umbrella through a body works.) Or Johnnie…
What a fresh captivating feast for the eyes! Utterly ravishing yet gloomy, whimsical yet unrelenting, seductive yet bleakest to the point where all you want from this movie is just to end. Don't get me wrong, everything that comes from this movie is a complete alluring visual treat, but I just thought this movie is insufferably exhausting. All you were rooting for is for the main character to escape his inevitable destiny, rambling his way through the dark landscape of hooligans, evading the unabashed money-provoked authorities, and dealing with the enigmatic woman who cryptically evoked a newly found emotions and turmoils from the lead's mind and journey.
Love this movie just to some extent due to the exhaustion and low-key got bored at some point. However, there's no denying in the saying that this movie holds one of the most alluring technical achievements in this contemporary cinema.
The grand finale of this year’s film festival, and though I had a damn good time overall, it pains me to say it ends with a film that disappointed me. Maybe it was expectations that weren’t met, but The Wild Goose Lake sadly didn’t connect with me much. Still stuff around I dug, the stylistic decisions with lighting and whatnot were cool, the sporadic bits of action were very well-done, and I liked the two lead actors. Besides that though, not much was done for me. This was to me a film either in need of a second edit, or a restructure of the kind of film it was. (That doesn’t mean getting rid of…
Ladies we need to rise up and start killing men for no reason
Diao Yinan proving himself to be a very exciting director once again.
CN: Sexual Assault
There is a rape scene that felt quite unnecessary. Gwei Lun-Mai is exceptional at embodying the wariness of women around men, both in this and Black Coal Thin Ice. So much of the danger she faces in her profession is contained in the periphery and in her performance - to then also show it so suddenly and violently was a nasty shock. The debate about when portraying rape is 'necessary' is complicated and not a space where I have any right to make grand statements. I also cannot speak to its place within Chinese cinema, a huge cultural industry that exists almost completely separate from the West's. All I can go by is my own feeling, which is that here it felt wrong.
Add to list of movies I never thought I would hear “Rasputin” in.
Top notch entry into the "the man on the run" genre (that is aware of its antecedents if you are looking for that, but works very well on its own without any problems).
So, I'm pretty surprised that Letterboxd doesn't even mention it, but:
This recently came out on Tubi.
As much as I hate that these visuals have to be stuck at a 720p resolution on there, I'm just happy that even more people will see this movie now.
Watching the deconstruction of a society, from the underground up as two lonely people try to find a place in that world. Even if they know this world is crumbling and in short sight of ending, for the meanwhile there’s a potential benefit to steeping even further into it.
The film for all its outbursts of gore and violence has a methodic style to it. Slowly uncovering details including the multiple deals being made on someone else’s life.
There ended up being a dreamlike yet extremely real quality to the film, almost as if Edward Yang had directed Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978) with this one.
Estéticamente The Wild Goose Lake es una película muy bella. Las luces neón, los reflejos, en fin, la fotografía, los colores, y el sonido son excelentes. La trama en sí siento que fue un tanto lenta, pero sin embargo trató bastante bien la historia desde el punto de vista del criminal y el mundo de marginalidad, prostitución, y pobreza que lo rodea. Las escenas de violencia me parecieron magníficas, aunque es verdad que son muy gráficas, en ese sentido me recordó a las películas de Tarantino. Destaco el contraste que se genera entre la delicadeza de las imágenes y la crudeza de lo que se narra, me pareció súper interesante como recurso.
Glen Kenny writes "revealed in a “love” scene that begins with notes of tenderness and ends with blunt retching".
NYTimes fact checkers asleep at the wheel again. @Glen I have news for you, she was spitting out his cum.
Nach seinem aufsehenerregenden Arthouse-Erfolg Feuerwerk am helllichten Tag“, der mit dem Goldenen Bären bei der Berlinale 2014 ausgezeichnet wurde, meldet sich der chinesische Regisseur Yinan Diao nun mit seinem vierten Film zurück. Auch in seinem meditativen Neo-Noir-Kunstwerk „Der See der wilden Gänse“ ist Diaos Handschrift sowohl in thematischer wie stilistischer Hinsicht erkennbar: So sind seine nahezu sediert wirkenden Figuren, die bedeutungsvoll in die Ferne blicken, erneut stimmungsvoll in das gedämpfte Orange von Natriumdampflampen und grelle Neonschilder getaucht.
„Der See der wilden Gänse“ spielt wie auch „Feuerwerk“ zuvor mit den Genrekonventionen des klassischen Gangsterfilms, wobei sich hier ein Krimineller auf der Flucht vor seinen Kontrahenten in die falsche Frau verliebt. Statt jedoch auf herkömmliche Thrills und eine temporeiche Inszenierung zu setzen,…
another noir banger from this director. nothing else quite like it. and really funny. I could watch these all day.
I don’t like green filter or green lighting but I like this movie. Very nice rain scenes and non dramatic violence