Spring Fever Film Analysis

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As exemplary pieces of off-centered queer cinema in contemporary Mainland China, the 1996 film East Palace, West Palace by Zhang Yuan and the 2009 film Spring Fever by Lou Ye denote two distinctive paradigms of artistic approaches in tackling the tension between homosexuality and heterosexuality: the former one is to emphasize power contradictions between the peripheral queer and the dominant straight to constitute the groundbreaking subversion of power relationships traditionally dictated by the authoritarian state apparatus in the 1990s China; while the latter one is to underscore trans-border narrative featured with ement of homosexual relationships and heterosexual ones, representing fluid and dissipated nature of human subjectivity, manifold …show more content…
The interpellation of the symbol of homosexuality in this film, the protagonist Alan, about his home address, company/organization and work address conducted by the policeman Xiao Shi, is actually an interpellation of the suspect who is regarded as infamously disrupting the social order. This scene, together with the following arrest, are quite direct metaphors of the Foucauldian notion of subjects in that juridical systems of power (represented by the policemen in the film) “produce the subjects they subsequently come to represent” and trying to regulate and force deviating subjects back into the system. As Butler elucidates on the basis of Foucault’s ideas, “Judicial notions of power appear to regulate political life in purely negative terms—that is, through the limitation, prohibition, regulation, control and even ‘protection’” of individuals. In East Palace, West Palace, individuals who are considered as deviations from judicially-gendered subjectivities are originally to be “corrected” by the representative of authority, as implied in the policemen’s repeated statement that they will “cure” the …show more content…
What is more, the final intercourse between Alan and Xiao Shi could also be seen as a subversive allegory that marks derision of the temporal power hierarchy, highlighting the groundbreaking subversion of the publicly recognized power relationships dominated by the authoritarian state apparatus and the protectors of heterosexual ideological structure in the 1990s China that is completed by the gender minority. As to the 2009 film Spring Fever, I would like to argue that the queer dimension stresses more on Lou’s obsession with social preoccupations by employing a trans-border, or bidirectional narrative featured with intertwinement of homosexual relationships and the heterosexual ones. Instead of labeling Spring Fever as a sheer queer film, I would rather say that it provokes more complex readings about the contemporary living experiences typical of the era in the larger heteronormative Chinese society rather than absolute

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