Venice Film Review: ‘Saturday Fiction’

  • Variety
Venice Film Review: ‘Saturday Fiction’
From 1937 to 1941, Shanghai was dubbed a “solitary island” in that, alone in China after the Japanese invasion, there were areas within it that were under international control, namely the French and British Concessions. They were, undoubtedly, teeming with spies and collaborators and double agents, but it strains credibility that they could have been anything like as fraught and riven as the French-administered enclave in the 1941 of Sixth Generation Chinese director Lou Ye’s grandiloquently incoherent misfire “Saturday Fiction.” Starring/wasting the luminous Gong Li, the black and white film strays further away from the observational art-house calm of Lou’s 2014 “Blind Massage,” and plows deeper into the tangled thickets of dubious motivation and incomprehensible behavior that marred his last film, police procedural “The Shadow Play.”

It takes some time to work out what on earth is going on, largely because of Lou’s most confusing and counterproductive decision, which is
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