Lou Ye, born in 1965, is a Chinese screenwriter, director and producer. The son of actors, Lou Ye graduated in 1983 from the Shanghai School of Fine Arts (in animation) and then joined the Beijing Film Academy (Filmmaking Department) in 1989. Lou Ye is part of a new generation of Chinese filmmakers who are open to the West and ready to tackle themes from all cultures.
He worked as an assistant before directing his own debut film in 1994, WEEKEND LOVER (Zhoumo qingren/周末情人). A portrait of disaffected youth in Shanghai, the film was banned for two years in China, but received the Werner Fassbinder Award for Best Direction at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in 1996.
Also interested in production, Lou Ye initiated the "SUPER CITY" project for television, with contributions from 10 of the most promising Chinese directors of the time, and established the production company Dream Factory.
In 2000, western audiences discovered Lou Ye through his second feature, SUZHOU RIVER (Suzhou he/苏州河), which he wrote, directed and co-produced. Secretly shot on the streets of Shanghai, the film attracted widespread international acclaim and was banned in China for having been presented at the Rotterdam Film Festival without permission from the Chinese authorities.
In 2003, Lou Ye was recognized for the ambitious PURPLE BUTTERFLY (Zi hudie/紫蝴蝶), with Zhang Ziyi, which portrayed the conflict between China and Japan in the 1930s. The film was selected in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, as was SUMMER PALACE (Yihe yuan/颐和园) three years later. In this latter film, Lou Ye revisited the events of Tiannnmen Square through the erotic relationship of two students. For breaking this taboo, the director was banned again from making and producing films in China for five years.
Shot clandestinely in China and bearing French and Hong Kong nationality to avoid censorship, SPRING FEVER (Chunfeng chenzuide yewan/春风沉醉的夜晚) received the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Two years later, Lou Ye returned with LOVE AND BRUISES (Hua/花), shot in France, and starring Tahar Rahim. The film was presented at the Venice Film Festival.
In 2012, MYSTERY (Fucheng mishi/浮城谜事) was selected for the opening night of Un Certain Regard in Cannes. MYSTERY confirms the official return of Lou Ye in China, after 5 years of censorship.
BLIND MASSAGE (Tui na/推拿) was presented in competition at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival in 2014. Like all of his recent films, BLIND MASSAGE is a French coproduction.
THE SHADOW PLAY (Fengzhong youduo yuzuode yun/风中有朵雨做的云) was selected in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018. This film is a Chinese production film of Lou Ye.
In 2019, SATURDAY FICTION (Lanxin Da Juyuan 兰心大剧院) was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.
SATURDAY FICTION (Lanxin Da Juyuan 兰心大剧院)
- Venice Film Festival 2019, Competition
THE SHADOW PLAY (Fengzhong youduo yuzuode yun/风中有朵雨做的云)
- Golden Horse Film Festival 2018
- Berlinale Film Festival 2019
BLIND MASSAGE (Tui na/推拿)
- Berlin Film Festival
MYSTERY (Fucheng mishi/浮城谜事)
- Cannes Film Festival
- Venice Film Festival
SPRING FEVER (Chunfeng chenzuide yewan/春风沉醉的夜晚)
- Cannes Film Festival, Best screenplay
SUMMER PALACE (Yihe yuan/颐和园)
- Cannes Film Festival, Competition
PURPLE BUTTERFLY (Zi hudie/紫蝴蝶)
- Cannes Film Festival, Competition
SUZHOU RIVER (Suzhou he/苏州河)
- Rotterdam Film Festival
WEEKEND LOVER (Zhoumo qingren/周末情人)