《酷儿电影与酷儿群体》Queer Movies, Queer Community

《酷儿电影与酷儿群体》

梦之恩

 

Queer Movies, Queer Community

Scott E. Myers

 

2005年12月,当李安的电影《断背山》在美国上映时,保守的基督教右派展开一系列的抗议活动。他们向影院施压,要求影院禁止院线上映此片,并联名请愿,谴责奥斯卡对这部影片的八项提名。甚至支持一名学生向美国教育部提出的诉讼,理由是学生的高中在课堂上放了这部影片。这部电影究竟有什么是让他们如此害怕的?其中部分原由在于他们的信仰(而这个信仰,恐同分子从莫斯科到坎帕拉都有),反同性恋狂热者坚信同性恋电影会诱使人们成为同性恋,特别是儿童。大部分LGBTQ人士认为这纯属无稽之谈,他们坚持认为自己“生来如此”;而这一观点最近又得到了最新的科学证实(和Lady Gaga)的支持。然而,异性恋至上主义者并没有完全错误。作为LGBTQ人群,我们选择自己的酷儿身份和群体,电影则是让这种选择成为可能的一个重要的文化语境。

 

在中国,从上世纪90年代中期到后期,电影中对于酷异性的呈现逐渐出现在不同的年龄层,阶级和民族中。虽然目前对于酷儿艺术的欣赏仍局限于相对少数的固定人群,但是酷儿影像制作和受众群体在城市的增长,对LGBTQ人群文化环境建设起到了助推作用,使得LGBTQ人群懂得尊重和表达多样的非规范性的欲望。北京酷儿影展外地观影资助项目为来自中国不同地区的人们参与该影展活动提供资助。中国酷儿独立影像小组曾经到过国内不同地方和学校,与当地人分享酷儿影片。同志亦凡人创造了一个门户网站,从而多达五亿中国互联网用户者可以有机会看一些无法通过官方渠道收看的同志纪录片。酷儿电影在中国达到了这些里程碑的意义,这不仅在于它让普通人接触到一种娱乐形式或者高雅艺术,更开辟了一条有力渠道使人们可以探索新的生活方式与人际关系的更多可能性并提供新的身份认同语境。

 

中国独立酷儿影像运动出现在改革开放的第二个十年,邓小平“南巡”以后。而今,这场运动承受着来自审查制度、市场经济、恐同心理、对艺术区的非法驱逐和强拆多种压力,以及八九事件遗留对实验艺术家的镇压。因此,酷儿电影是一系列具体历史过往的映射,也是影响并作用于未来的潜在力量。在法律框架下LGBTQ人群(以及部分异性恋者)原来被视为“流氓”的罪名,在90年代初,一些具有同情心并呼吁宽容理解同性恋群体的学者和记者们为流氓罪最终得以废除做出了贡献。然而,这些善意的专家们其中有部分没有自身体验,并没有充分了解中国LGBTQ群体的生活和他们真正面对的压力。酷儿电影从大量的美学、政治和情色的角度出发,运用视觉语言并且触碰情感层面,呈现了一种真实的中国酷儿生活,而这些手段是电影以外的阐述方式无法完全解释的,包括电影评论。

 

当对酷异性的呈现开始在中国的文化领域上逐渐传播开来,摄影机和数码科技的普及使得影像制作逐步民主化。诸如酷儿大学这样的新型文化机构的出现,让影像爱好者有机会接受纪录片制作的培训。北京酷儿影展创办于2001年,当时被称做“中国同性恋电影节”。这个电影节接受放映了所有国内的应征影片,这是一次彻底的媒体民主化实践。与此同时,一些非正式、非官方的渠道,如因特网和独立艺术家网络,不仅对新型科技带来的电影拍摄、字幕制作和发行方式产生深远意义,同时,这些非官方渠道也会分散一部电影如何被定为(或不被定为)“经典”的过程。诚然,“中国酷儿电影”也许是一个名词,但它并不是一个物体。它更像是一个参与的过程,一个社群的中流砥柱,一系列有可能引发激进民主的社会关系,也是一面有助于我们认清自己的镜子,帮助我们建立个人和集体身份。

 

如果说酷儿电影是一面镜子,那么对于我们很多人来讲,刚接触到酷儿电影时所产生的自我认知是痛苦的。1991年托德•海因斯的电影《毒药》(也是我为今年电影节所选的一部影片)中引述了让•热内的一句话,传达了这种痛楚。而这种痛楚并不是出现在我们初次被欲望纠缠的时候(这种欲望本身对我们大部分人来说是很单纯的),而是出现在我们看到这种欲望已经被世界定义的时候,而又不断被这个世界以法律、医学和宗教体系的既定视角解读,而且我们就在这样的框架下被解读。热内写到:“一个孩子出生后拥有了一个名字。突然间,他能看到自己了。他意识到了自己在这个世界上的位置。对于很多人来讲,这种感觉和从母体中降生时一样,是一种恐惧。”

毒药

酷儿电影对这种恐惧提出一种反叙事,这并不是因为它对酷儿生活进行了“正面”描述(通常并不是因为这个原因,这一点从第一届北京酷儿影展的开幕电影《东宫西宫》中就可以看出),而是因为酷儿电影所提出的叙事来源于我们自己的群体。正如我们要重新定义酷儿这个词一样,我们也用酷儿电影来攻击别人对我们所提出的观点;实行这种攻击的武器则植根于爱与愤怒的结合当中。对于我们很多人来讲,拿起这件武器是通向自我认同的重要一步(尽管我们还不知道如何使用它),而这一步反过来也可以转化为行动。恋爱、跟朋友和家人出柜、获得HIV检测、参加文化活动、拍电影、以及组织直接行动,都是世界各地的LGBTQ群体所进行的活动。这不仅是为了改变他们的生活,在某些情况下,也是为了改变他们所生存的社会。

 

第七届北京酷儿影展所展映的影片证明了中国酷儿电影中对社会和美学问题的多样化关注,同时也证明了影展组织者对展示这种多元复杂性的努力。中国酷儿电影在面对这种复杂性的时候非但没有退缩,反而是选择直面它。因为这种包含了身份、经历和欲望的复杂性可以独自成为一种快乐源泉,同时也可以成为个人以及群体的成长基础。在各个层面上酷儿电影都没有义务用某种既定方式去描述酷儿,它只是有责任呈现一种诚实的观点。有些人害怕这种诚实,而我们知道正是这种诚实使得我们能够看清我们是谁。

 

CHI_0824

Scott E. Myers

Queer Cinema, Queer Community

 

梦之恩

酷儿电影与酷儿群体

 

When Ang Lee’s film Brokeback Mountain was released in the United States in December of 2005, the conservative Christian Right in that country launched a series of protests. They pressured theaters not to show the film, sent a petition to The Oscars decrying the film’s eight Academy Award nominations, and even supported a lawsuit against the Board of Education when the movie was shown in a high school classroom. What was it about this film that they so feared? Part of the answer lay in their belief, shared by anti-gay bigots from Moscow to Kampala, that gay movies have the power to make people, especially children, gay. Most LGBTQ people scoff at this idea, holding tightly to the view that we were “born this way” (recent scientific findings as well as Lady Gaga support this view).And yet, the hetero-supremacists are not entirely wrong. As LGBTQ people, we choose our queer identities and communities, and movies are a part of the cultural context that makes this choice possible.

 

In China, cinematic representations of queerness have since the mid- to late-1990s become increasingly accessible to people of different ages, classes and ethnic groups. While viewing queer works of art may be possible only for a relatively small segment of the population, the growth of queer filmmaking and spectatorship in urban areas has helped create a context for LGBTQ people to honor and express a wide range of non-normative desires. The Beijing Queer Film Festival’s scholarship fund has allowed people from different parts of the country to participate in festival events. Members of the China Queer Independent Films group have travelled the country bringing independent films to a number of cities and schools. Queer Comrades has created an independent webcast making it possible for half a billion Chinese Internet-users to view documentary films that cannot be shown through authorized channels. All of these represent milestones in the ability of ordinary people to gain access to something that is not just a form of entertainment or high art—though it can also be these—but is also a powerful avenue for exploring new ways of living, new possibilities for our relationships, and new approaches to understanding who we are.

 

Emerging in the second decade of reform after Deng Xiaoping’s “southern tour,” China’s independent queer cinema movement today faces the multiple and overlapping pressures of censorship, the market economy, queerphobic attitudes, illegal evictions and demolitions of art zones, forced shutdowns of film festivals, and the continuing legacy of the shadow that fell on experimental artists in China after 1989.As such, it is a response to a concrete set of historical circumstances as well as a force with the potential to act on and shape circumstances of the future. A legal framework that defined all LGBTQ people (and some heterosexuals) as “hooligans” was offset from the early 1990s by a handful of sympathetic academics and journalists who advocated for greater understanding of gay people. And yet, these well-meaning specialists often missed the mark when it came to understanding the lives of LGBTQ people and the pressures they faced. Queer cinema offers an authentic take on queer Chinese lives from a great variety of aesthetic, political, and erotic perspectives, employing visual languages and touching affective dimensions that can never be fully accounted for by extra-cinematic modes of representation, including film criticism.

 

Just as representations of queerness have begun to disseminate through China’s cultural landscape, filmmaking itself has become increasingly democratized as camera and digital technologies have become more accessible. New institutions such as Queer University have started giving people with an interest in movies the opportunity to undergo training in documentary filmmaking. The Beijing Queer Film Festival, first launched in 2001 as the “Chinese Homosexual Film Festival,” has instituted a radical practice of media democracy by accepting all domestic films submitted for screening. Meanwhile, informal and non-official channels such as the Internet and independent artist networks have compelling implications not only for the impact of new technology on the way films are produced, subtitled, and distributed, but also for the diffusion and decentralization of the processes by which they are (or are not) established as “classics.” Indeed, “Chinese queer cinema” may be a noun, but it is anything but an object. It is, rather, a process of engagement, an anchor for community, a set of social relations with the potential for radical democracy, and a mirror that helps us see who we are and aid us in the forging of individual and collective identities.

 

If queer cinema acts as a mirror, however, for many of us the first moments of the self-recognition it offers are painful ones. A quote from Jean Genet shown as an intertitle in Todd Haynes’1991filmPoison (the film I chose when asked to select a non-Chinese work for this year’s festival) conveys the sense of pain many of us experienced not when encountering the first stirrings of desire (which were often experienced as pure) but when our eyes were opened to the way in which that desire has been named by a world that continues to interpret it through the lens of the legal, medical, and/or religious frameworks in which we have, in uneven and differing ways, been defined. Genet writes: “A child is born and he is given a name. Suddenly, he can see himself. He recognizes his position in the world. For many, this experience, like that of being born, is one of horror.”

 

Queer cinema offers a counter-narrative to this horror, not because it gives a “positive” depiction of queer life (often it does not, and as an example we may look no further than East Palace, West Palace, the opening film of the Festival’s inaugural year), but because it gives a depiction that is generated from within our own communities. Like our reclaiming of the word queer itself, queer cinema is an assault on narratives about us, with the weapons of that assault being rooted in a combination of anger and love. For many of us, picking up those weapons—even if we are not yet sure how to use them—is an important step toward self-validation, which in turn can lead to action. Falling in love, coming out to friends and family, taking steps to know one’s HIV status, participating in cultural events, making movies, and organizing direct actions are all instances of actions LGBTQ people have taken in different parts of the world, not only to transform their lives, but in some cases to transform the societies in which they live.

 

The films being shown at the 7th Beijing Queer Film Festival attest to the diverse social and aesthetic concerns of Chinese queer filmmakers, as well as to the organizers’ commitment to showcasing this diversity in all of its complexity. Far from recoiling from the challenges of this complexity, Chinese queer cinema embraces it, for complexity—of identities, experiences, desires—can itself be a source of pleasure and a basis for personal and community growth. Queer cinema does not have the responsibility to depict queerness in any particular way; it only has the responsibility to be honest in its perspective. It is this honesty that some people fear, but which we know lets us see who we are.

 

[中译: 吴丹 Chinese Translation: Lydia Wu]

 

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.