Posts Tagged ‘spring fever’

New York Times profile of Spring Fever director Lou Ye

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
by Isabella Tianzi Cai

Spring Fever (dir. Lou Ye)

In The New York Times, critic Dennis Lim profiled Chinese director Lou Ye and his film Spring Fever, which opens in New York this weekend. Spring Fever won the best screenplay at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. It centers on the story of a married man’s extramarital relationship with another man; the drama also involves his wife, a private detector, and the detector’s girlfriend.

The Chinese state banned Lou Ye from making films for a period of five years in 2006 for the production of Summer Palace, whose story alluded to the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre in Beijing. In order to shoot Spring Fever, Lou moved underground and had to work constantly under the fear that his equipment might be confiscated and the production halted.
Lim’s article highlights Lou’s determination to make the sex-loaded Spring Fever “in defiance of that ban, with a subject guaranteed to vex the Chinese censors.” In Lou’s words:
Sex is an indispensable part of a natural human being. Starting from sex, each individual human being can learn how to frankly face himself and the freedom he has, and learn how to listen to and follow himself instead of others.

Hail! Hail! Hail! The State of Chinese Cinema, Part Three

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

This is the second part of a three-part essay by Zhang Xianmin on the state of contemporary Chinese cinema. Read Parts One and Two.

Translation by Yuqian Yan

IV. New Theaters

Another aspect of capital operation is the development of new theaters and their surroundings. A significant trend is that after international capital was fully withdrawn from China due to policy reasons, the newly raised major players are all domestic partnerships.

Megabox Sanlitun Theater, Beijing

Withdrawn capital is mainly from the States and Europe, but those from Hong Kong or Korea are allowed to stay. Even though according to government policy, Hong Kong and Korean capital can only account for a small proportion, their existence allows theaters to maintain their original status as international chain brands. For example, the new theater built in the middle of Sanlitun, Beijing uses a Korean theater brand. One reason is that Hong Kong and Korean investors sometimes agree to disguise international capital under the name of domestic capital through an intermediary, whereas European and American investors always hesitate to make such a suspicious deal. For instance, Warner has stopped expanding its business in China for years. But European and American giants are just waiting for new policies that will offer better opportunities. In the long run, more than half of the Chinese theaters will be controlled by American capital in the future.


Report on the China Independent Film Festival by Chris Berry

Friday, January 15th, 2010
Spring Fever

Spring Fever (dir. Lou Ye)

In the new issue of Senses of Cinema, Chris Berry offers a review of the 6th China Independent Film Festival, held this past October in Nanjing. An excerpt:

By international standards CIFF is a relatively small and under-resourced event. Screenings are scattered across a range of minor colleges, art galleries and museums in Nanjing, a former capital up the Yangtze from Shanghai. This year, approximately 70 experimental films, documentaries and dramatic features, almost all of them low-budget Chinese films, were included. Lou Ye’s Chunfeng Chenzui de Yewan (Spring Fever) won the Best Film award, and Ying Liang’s Hao Mao (Good Cats) and Zhang Jianchi’s Bai Qingting (Take Me to Vietnam) shared the Jury Prize. Anywhere else in the world, such an event would be a minor festival attracting little if any international coverage. But the very particular circumstances of China mean that CIFF can claim to be the most important film festival in the country.

Berry goes on to explain the significance of the festival’s programming, describes the collegiate atmosphere of the community forged by the festival, and identifies trends in Chinese independent filmmaking as reflected in the festival lineup. As a fellow attendee of the festival, I can attest to the festival’s extraordinary atmosphere and a special sense of camaraderie cultivated among its participating artists.

The rest of Berry’s report can be found at Senses of Cinema.

Chinese Cinema at Cannes: Reviews of Lou Ye’s Spring Fever

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Another Cannes has come and gone; reports from my peers who attended were mostly lukewarm about the quality of the films they saw. I thought it would be worth taking a moment to collect a critical consensus on the one Chinese film in this year’s competition line-up, Lou Ye‘s Spring Fever, which went on to win the Best Screenplay Award. Many of you may know that Lou Ye’s previous film Summer Palace, which depicted the Tiananmen Square incident, led to his being banned for five years from making films by the Chinese government following its premiere in Cannes. Lou Ye was able to sidestep this ban by shooting the film undercover as a Hong Kong-France co-production.