Nanjing, 2009. Luo Haitao has been hired by Wang Ping’s wife to spy on the passionate relationship between her husband and another man, but slowly loses control of the situation. With his beautiful girlfriend, Li Jing, he is drawn in to the affair, overcome by the fever of drunken spring nights. All are possessed by an exhilarating madness of the senses, a dangerous malady that leads the heart and head astray… —Cannes Film Festival
Lou Ye (simplified Chinese: 娄烨; traditional Chinese: 婁燁; pinyin: Lóu Yè; Wade-Giles: Lou Yeh), born 1965, is a Chinese writer-director who is commonly grouped with the “Sixth Generation” directors of Chinese cinema and is currently banned from filmmaking by the Chinese government for five years as a result of controversy surrounding his film, Summer Palace.
Born in Shanghai, Lou was educated at the Beijing Film Academy. In 1993, he made his first film Weekend Lover, but it was not released until two years later in 1995. Lou, however, did not gain international prominence until his second film, the neo-noir Suzhou River. That film dealt with questions of identity and proved quite controversial upon its release in China. Upon its release, international audiences praised Suzhou River, which several critics felt evoked Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, particularly in how both films focus on a man obsessed with a mysterious woman.
In 2003, Lou Ye made the film Purple Butterfly starring… read more
Contrasting Purple Butterfly’s experimental aesthetics, Spring Fever’s raw storytelling retains focus on repressed adolescents in censorial society: there politically, here sexually; so too its drama subdued, wandering like its hopeless, drunken spring nights. Excess lingerment on Lou’s part, yes; choppy - mise en scene over scenario - but its unflinching portrait deems it one of the more honest depictions of gay relationships - let alone illicit, adolescent or pertinent to modern China - in memory, not to mention the gorgeous images often produced by its camera.
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