Novelist/scriptwriter Zhu Wen (he wrote Rainclouds over Wushan and worked on Seventeen Years) turns underground director with a movie sure to induce apoplexy in the Film Bureau if they ever see it. A young woman who calls herself Zhang Xiaomei (she has other IDs, other names) visits Beidaihe in mid-winter, clearly intending to kill herself. (The resort is where China's upper-echelon communists take their summer vacations.) But the suicide of a taciturn poet in her hotel makes her hesitate, and the investigating cop pounces on her hesitation. Much - not all - of the film explores the edgy, violent relationship between the cop (a strange, excitable man who thinks women are like seafood) and the woman (a hooker from Beijing, it turns out). But Zhu springs a huge narrative surprise around an hour in, upending the dramatic structure and refocusing the theme to contemplate the space between the real and the fake. Daring, provocative, highly original.