In Mandarin with English subtitles
Director: Lou Ye
Cast: Qin Hao, Cheng Sicheng, Tan Zhuo, Wu
Wei, Jiang Jiaqi
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: GV & Festive Films
Rating: R21 (Homosexual Content)
Official Website: http://www.nuitsdivresseprintaniere-lefilm.com/
Opening Day: 18 November 2010
Nanjing, present day, springtime. Wang Ping's wife suspects
him of adultery. She hires Luo Haitao to spy on him and discovers
that her husband's lover is a man, Jiang Cheng. It's with
this man that Luo Haitao and his girlfriend, Li Jing, form
a torrid love triangle. For all three, it's the beginning
of asphyxiating, sultry nights of physical abandon that exalt
the senses. A sulphurous journey into the confines of jealousy
and obsessive love.
Ah, the triumphant feeling of defiance. One filmmaker who
knows this sentiment well enough is Chinese writer director
Lou Ye, who was banned from filmmaking by the Chinese government
for five years as a result of controversy which arose from
his previous work Summer Palace (2006). Readers who have watched
the film, which was the only Asian film in competition for
the 2006 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, should know
what Lou is capable of – the sexual scenes, the social
and political commentaries are not what your typical Mainland
Chinese movie would have contained.
defiance and determination made Lou direct his latest work,
which was supposedly secretly shot in the city of Nanjing.
And lo and behold, when the film made its premiere at the
Cannes Film Festival in May last year, the “Hong Kong/
French co production” won the award for Best Screenplay.
where defiance and unconformity can bring you.
film takes place in 2007 spring, China. The male protagonist
is a private investigator who has been hired to spy on another
man who is suspected of having an affair. It turns out that
the man was having a homosexual affair and things get complicated
when the investigator becomes involved with the boyfriend
of the man he is spying on.
title is a term describing common psychological symptoms which
occur in the spring season, leading to an increase in energy,
vitality and particularly sexual appetite. The literal Chinese
title means “a night deeply drunk on the spring breeze”.
Both these instances evoke an image of being hopelessly in
love, foregoing all sorts of pragmatism and practicality.
And how magical is this feeling, as you’d realise from
the protagonists’ journey through the 116 minute film.
course, as all consumer advisories go, if you are highly uncomfortable
with seeing two men hugging each other on screen, you should
skip this. There is quite a bit of heavy petting and sexualised
scenes throughout the movie, earning it a R21 “Homosexual
Content” rating from our friends at the censorship board.
Oh, and if you must know, it has also been edited to meet
the community standards of Singapore. To look at it from the
positive end, we are thankful that it’s not banned.
notion of a gay husband is probably highly controversial in
this part of the world, hence making this film a turn off
for the conventional audience. Bring in themes of bisexualism
and transvestites and you’d either get viewers who are
dying to see what the buzz is about, or common folks who would
boycott such audacities in cinema.
to the film – Lou knows better than to engage his viewers
emotionally through highly stylised production values. His
take on the dynamics between the characters is raw but energetic,
which is apt for such a socially unacceptable relationship.
Do not walk into the theatre expecting a candy coated love
story, because what you’d be getting instead is an unrefined
but provocative tale of love and hate.
Sixth Generation director also has his cast to thank for this
recommended piece of work. Although relatively unknown in
our regions, the three men in question - Qin Hao, Chen Sicheng
and Wu Wei manage to capture our attention with their everyday
looks and daring acts on screen. Qin has also nabbed a Best
Actor nomination at the upcoming 47th Annual Golden Horse
Awards. Supporting actresses Tan Zhuo and Jiang Jiaqi also
deliver decent performances in this male centric film.
at almost two hours, the film may not go down well with audiences
who like their movies fast, digestible and choppy, but isn’t
this the exact feeling one would get from the delirium of
drunken nights, when spring brings about the beautiful blossoms
of flowers and all things pretty?
(An unconventional love story which will challenge
the notions of devotion and commitment)
Review by John Li