Enter the Clowns

  • 82'
  • China
  • 2001
Cui Zi'en (who teaches at the Beijing Film Academy) had a large hand in Liu Bingjian's pioneering gay feature Men and Women. Now he inaugurates a new Queer Chinese Cinema with a movie that says: Everything you know about sexual identity and gender orientation is wrong. From the opening chapter, in which the hunky Xiao Bo gets a blow-job from his dying mother (or is it his father?), the movie delights in splashing about in the moral equivalent of sperm.The characters are deliciously variegated. Xiao Bo lives with Nana, but totally fails to satisfy her. Nana flirts with lots of men, hoping to find someone better, but starts to fear that there isn't a man in Beijing to match her. Dongdong is a high-school boy whose mother goes through a female-to-male sex change. This complicates her relationship with Dongdong's stepfather, who still loves her (him) enough to prelude looking for a new girlfriend...Cui first wrote this as a novel, and its structure of interlocking chapters and the sometimes high-flown dialogue may reflect those origins. But its queering of everyday life in Beijing is anything but literary, and its rough indie edges actually intensify its splendidly perverse approach to gender politics. Witty and touching. Tony Rayns
Director
Cui Zi'en
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
China
Production Year
2001
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003
Length
82'
Medium
Betacam Digi PAL
Original title
Chou jue deng chang
Language
Mandarin
Producers
HI Film, Zhang Tongwei
Sales
HI Film
Screenplay
Cui Zi'en