ROTTERDAM 2000: Show Them You're A Tiger, A Look at the Rotterdam Competition

by Mark Peranson

(indieWIRE/2.8.2000) -- This year's Rotterdam festival was overwhelmed by Asia, with a focus on
Japan and the Fukasaku spotlight. So let me join in by saying that the
best films in the VPRO Tiger competition came from the East. As I finish
this wrap-up, sitting in Heathrow during a six-hour flight delay, the
winners of the prizes, which go to directors of first or second films
selected for the competition, are not yet known. If I were on the jury,
this is how it would shape up. Be forewarned: originality is not the
name of the game -- the international exchange and rehashing of ideas in
filmmaking has never been more noticeable. So, in preferential order,
the winners and (mostly) losers.

Heads, tails, and stripes above all other films in competition is the
Chinese Tiger, Lou Ye's very assured "Suzhou River," named after the
murky river that floats through Shanghai, whose filth overflows into a
noirish gangland story of a girl, a motorcycle driver, a kidnapping, and
another pair