Discovering the filmography of director Lou Ye has been quite a frustrating experience. Some of his films are absolutely wonderful, some not so good. Yet there's usually something to make them worth at least one viewing. Spring Fever says some interesting things, but not enough of them, and not with characters that viewers can become invested in.
The lovely coda provides a glimpse of what this erratic film may have been aiming at. In common with the other two Lou films I've seen, characters behave in impulsive, under-motivated ways while expressing very little emotion - the familiar glum posturing of aloof arty melodrama of uncertain purposes. The movie really deserves 2½ stars rather than 3.
Lou Ye excels at conveying complex emotional states through the use of purely cinematic techniques and a minimum of dialogue. A film of the all consuming clash between deeply felt but conventional love and the heady madness of transgressive passion, rich with an aching melancholy, told with wordless intensity.
Another pearl from Lou Ye. Some unedited scenes could have been shorter but the pace similar to Love & Bruises. In terms of a gay romance it was more subtle than Brokeback Mountain - the love scenes graphic but necessary. Lead actors were excellent, determined. Some plots lines added unnecessary twists. Camera's deliberate poor quality advantageous for mood to describe what is a lost society seeking a new identity.
Empty and scarred souls on a quest for love, serenity, identity, meaning. It touches some common themes - pain, loneliness, sexuality - without significantly developing a stand-alone and original discourse. This movie shines where the director takes a breath and builds up long shots and dense silences, but in the end it suffers a lot the discrepancy between the plot pace and mood and the cinematic language.
I enjoyed it and appreciated much of the artistry but although I understand the term 'impressionism' could apply to this film I felt it needed more linked-up framing and fewer camera juxtapositions which at one stage necessitated my looking away from the screen. The ending hangs and I wonder just where it might have rested.
PC. The only fever is that of a camera in constant marabalisms around and against the actors, with the usual jump-cuts, here, truth be said, less present and constant. The fiction is more of the same, two trios that end up in loneliness and memory, but, in certain scenes, the director finds spaces of silence and geometry of looks (like the one picked here) that somehow counteract the noise he has been making.
Lou Ye explores again human obsessions and passions of a double (or mirrored?) love triangle. Fascinating, raw, sensual and devastating. As usual, the director doesn't candy-coat his views and ideas, which gives his film(s) a compelling urgency. When cinema is political, artistic and meaningful.