《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》

包宏伟

 

Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

HongweiBao

作者介绍:

包宏伟 Hongwei Bao

诺丁汉大学电影、文化与媒体系助理教授,悉尼大学性别与文化研究专业博士。研究方向为媒介与文化研究、电影研究和酷儿理论。

Hongwei Bao is assistant professor in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, UK. He obtained his PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests include media and cultural studies, film studies, and queer theory.

 

北京酷儿影展历经六届,我一直是以电影爱好者和研究者的身份关注影展。今年有幸成为第七届影展的学术观察员,在这里就简单谈一下我对本次影展节目单安排的总体印象。本次影展选片至少呈现出以下三个特点:(1)性别自觉;(2)地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理;(3)重行动主义。在这里我要重点谈的是本次影展中所表现出的女性主义姿态,兼谈其它两点。

 

细心的观众不难留意到,本届酷儿影展增加了大量的女性主义因素。虽然并不是每个导演都自觉认同女性主义,也不是每部影片都能用女性主义影片这一称谓来概括,整个影展的女性主义基调却是令人瞩目的:何小培和袁园导演的影片《奇缘一生》讲述男女同性恋形婚经历;酷儿影展组委会成员、北京女性影展影展策展人杨洋以女性视角和历史参与者的身份回顾了北京酷儿影展过去十几年来不平凡的发展历程;香港女性导演魏时煜的纪录片《金门银光梦》讲述的是第一位在美国执导港片的华人女导演伍锦霞的传奇故事;由夜奔导演、深秋小屋女性文艺网站的女性题材独立电影《链爱》融都市、爱情、剧情、魔幻、轻喜剧等因素为一体,尽情展现女女恋情;《甜蜜的18岁》作为女导演何文超的处女作,甚至被誉为“中国拉拉电影出柜之作”,更是将女女恋情,推向中国的大银幕;主题单元“来自台南的人”回顾的是台湾女性电影导演黄玉珊的两部影片《双镯》和《真情狂爱》;主题单元“云路程裕苏”展映的是三部发生在上海的不同女性主人公的人生经历和心路历程;“有朋自友邦来”介绍巴黎女性主义者和女同性恋影展;“现场影像”、“来一点行为艺术”和“论坛”均有拉拉和女性主义在场;在如此强大的女性主义和拉拉情结观照下,本届酷儿影展呈现出比往届影展更加性别自觉地特征。

 

有观众或许要问:女性主义和酷儿运动的关系如何?为什么要在中国的酷儿运动中增加女性主义因素?这个问题比较复杂。我试着从以下几个方面说明:

 

1.   性别与性的同构关系

 

虽然性别与性作为自然现象,古今中外都有;但两个词作为社会话语(discourse)的历史却并不久远。英语中性别(gender)与性(sexuality)是两个词,似乎暗示了这两个词指代的不同概念。也许台湾对性别一词的译法(“性/别”)更能体现两者相互关联的本质。根据福柯的考证,现代意义上的“性”是在十八、十九世纪的欧洲在医学、心理学、精神病学和法律等一系列社会话语的共同作用下形成的。[1] 女性主义学者斯科特的研究则表明,“性别”这一词与本世纪六七十年代女权运动的推动不无关系:当时的女性主义者为了避免将性别本质主义化,制造了“生理性别”(即我们常说的“性”sex)与社会性别(即我们常说的“性别”gender)的二元对立,发明并推广了“性别”这一概念。[2] 巴特勒指出,“性别”这一概念基于“性”这一概念而产生;在男/女生理性别二元对立的基础上建构了男性气质/女性气质这一社会性别的二元对立。这一过程呈现出强烈的“异性恋霸权”:即男/女,男性气质/女性气质,性/性别等范畴只有当一个社会默认异性恋是规范的条件下才能成立。[3] 由此可见,我们有必要认识到性别与性在异性恋霸权社会语境下的同构关系,打破二元对立,质疑和挑战异性恋霸权。酷儿一词就是对异性恋规范性下传统性与性别秩序的挑战。

 

2.   同性恋身份政治、女性主义与酷儿理论

虽然在国际语境下同性恋解放运动和女性主义有着看似迥异的发展轨迹,二者的关联性也是无可否认的。第二波女性主义和同性恋解放运动同属身份政治,即借助性与性别身份的同一性表达政治诉求。二者同时兴起于二十世纪六、七十年代,在反战和反集权、追求自由平等的历史和社会背景下展开。到了二十世纪八、九十年代,受后结构、后现代主义思潮的影响,第二波女性主义和同性恋解放运动开始受到广泛质疑:这种建立在同一性基础上的身份政治是否有效?身份政治在有效社会动员的同时又遮蔽了哪些声音和怎样的政治可能性?酷儿理论就是在这样的背景之下产生的。它一方面借鉴第三波女性主义的理论成果,批判第二波女性主义为建立其统一性和正统性对多元性和性别表达形式的压制;另一方面它又对同性恋身份政治的得失也进行了反思,指出同性恋身份政治对多元性与性别的排斥和边缘化。不无巧合的是,许多酷儿理论的领军人如巴特勒、劳丽蒂斯等人都同时是第三波女性主义中的重要人物。酷儿理论的理论源泉直接来源于女性主义,其产生和发展依托于与女性主义的对话与交锋。从这个意义上,没有女性主义,酷儿理论和酷儿政治是难以想象的。

 

3.   中国的女性主义和酷儿理论

必须承认,当前中国大陆的女性主义和酷儿理论的发展是在全球化、后殖民的语境下进行的。

 

学者白露在其论著中展示了二十世纪中国女性主义的发展与跨国女性主义之间的紧密联系:“妇女”、“女性”和“女人”这些看似可以互换的概念,与不同历史时期迥异的权力结构、治理方式和主体构成有着千丝万絮的联系。二十世纪八十年代,作为社会主义性别主体的“妇女”地位在市场经济的冲击下趋于式微,女性主义的主体“女性”和消费文化的主体“女人”在全球资本主义和新自由主义意识形态的影响下地位开始上升。[4] 1995年在北京召开的第四届联合国妇女大会标志着着中国女性主义的发展被正式纳入后冷战时期、跨国资本全球治理的世界版图。酷儿理论几乎是在同时被翻译介绍到中国大陆。在这里需要强调的是,翻译不仅仅依靠的是文字转换, 文化的翻译同等重要。在中国学者和社会活动家翻译西方性别理论的过程中,女性、酷儿等词,作为身份指称、主体位置、政治和文化形式、价值观念和意识形态被引入了资本主义全球化背景下的中国。这一过程本身就是建立在政治、经济、文化等领域的不平等基础上的,体现了西方文化的霸权。但是这些有关性和性别的话语传入中国后在中国社会所产生的影响以及自身在文化翻译过程中所产生的变异更是我们关注的焦点。

 

比较遗憾的是,女性主义和有关同性恋的理论引入中国大陆后,两者的交集并不多。这一方面是由于以妇联为代表的国家女性主义对有关性的问题的漠视,仿佛谈论性便会损害女性主义的正统性和道德制高点。在这种情况下,一夫一妻制的、以生殖为目的的异性恋规范得到了强化,多元的性与性别受到了压制。中国的同志运动虽然借防治艾滋病的名义在资本全球治理的语境下得到了发展,但其男同性恋主导性也致使“同志”这一身份带有强烈的男权主义色彩。同志运动一度在中国大陆成为反对女权主义的男权主义运动。

 

正如不同流派的女性主义在八十年代同时涌入中国,在中国大陆的社会语境中争奇斗艳一样,同性恋身份政治和酷儿政治在西方语境下虽然有着三十年的间隔,但却是在几乎同时被引介入中国大陆的社会语境中。于是便出现了同志电影与酷儿电影并存,或一部电影中既有身份政治的因素又有酷儿的元素的有趣现象;于是也就出现了同志社区内“美少女战士拉拉”等引领的同性恋身份政治与酷儿政治的争论和交锋。我们不能将这些简单看作“滞后的现代性”或“文化翻译”的失败;中国社会特定语境对“酷儿”的创造性解读和灵活使用挑战着酷儿定义的单一性和欧洲中心主义,并让酷儿一词更具文化多元性和包容性。

 

值得注意的是,女性主义在中国的酷儿运动中一直起到至关重要的作用。许多酷儿活动家也是自觉的女性主义者;拉拉和男同在酷儿运动中长期合作、相互促进,积累了许多具有中国特色的酷儿运动经验:女同组织同语策划的情人节同性婚礼等活动便是很好的例证。女性主义的因素在往届酷儿影展中一直存在,只是在本届影展中由于轮值主席的性别主体身份以及其它一系列偶然和必然的因素凸现出来。在酷儿影展反思异性恋和男权霸权的指导思想下,本届影展突出女性主义主题有着重要意义。

 

4.   地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理

在全球化、后殖民的今天,我们是否有资格谈论本土性和民族性?答案自然是肯定的,关键是怎样谈才能让我们既有本土关注,又不至于落入民族主义和中西方二元对立的认识误区。本届影展节目安排对此作出了自己的回答。本届影展较好地体现和突出了地方性:魏时煜、黄玉珊、程裕苏的电影都带有强烈的地域特征;他们的电影分别讲述的是旧金山、台南与上海的故事,这些故事与民族国家的宏大叙事或许有关或许无关,它们在一定程度上挑战着民族国家和跨国资本的单一叙事。这些故事又共同构建着跨国华人酷儿身份和社区的想象共同体,对酷儿理论与酷儿政治的西方霸权表下面出自觉的抵制和抗衡。这一点与台湾学者陈光兴提出的“作为方法的亚洲”有一定的契合之处:华语世界和亚洲文化圈应该这样的文化自觉性,联合起来对抗西方文化霸权和想象新的政治文化格局。[5]

 

本届北京酷儿影展在安排节目单时还打破了国别界限,从而构建起跨国酷儿共同体。所以便有了“长歌”和“短句”单元里中文电影与外文电影平起平座的现象。这些迹象表明:北京酷儿影展的组织者们在认真思考着跨国酷儿运动中不平等的权力关系,并用实际行动挑战着和重构着这些关系。

 

5.   重行动主义

 

本届酷儿影展明确提出“重行动主义”:从“反恐礼,518”到“家长志”,从“现场影像”到“来一点行为艺术”,“行动主义”成为本次影展的关键词之一。如果说传统的影展注重的是电影的艺术性、技术性以及商业价值,北京酷儿影展注重的则是影片的社会功能,即如何使用电影这一媒介来影响和改造社会。影展中的许多影片都是社会运动影片:他们的拍摄过程本身就是社区参与和群众动员的过程。影展不排名、不评奖、不请领导和明星、不搞红地毯效应。所有报名影片只要符合参展要求就一律展出;影展的组织工作也在最大程度上体现了民主的原则。这种影展形式的存在本身就是一种社会行动:它在改写着传统影展的定义,也在创造着一种民主的、自由的社会文化组织形式。

 

影展组织者之一崔子恩指出:“我们不认为那些所谓标准的、艺术精良的、优质电影那样的概念是值得推崇和提倡的。我们提倡的是用影像作为行动,来改造世界。用电影的这种方式跟硬性的时代接壤或者接轨,或者改造这个时代,是比较便利的,也是十分直接的。”[6] 另一位影展组织者扬洋在第五届北京酷儿影展举办受阻的紧要关头直陈主流意识形态对于影展的影响和继续举办影展的意义,她反问道:质疑、对抗这种“主流”意识形态,不也正是酷儿影展存在的价值和追求的目标么?[7] 由此可见,举办北京酷儿影展本身就是社会行动。它的成败与否在当今中国的语境下同样重要。影展的存在和持续发展,就是当今中国社会发展进步的明证。

 

以上我简单谈了本届影展呈现出的三个主要特征:(1)性别自觉;(2)地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理;(3)重行动主义。当然本届影展还有其他突出特点,如注重历史书写和理论总结、突出“微电影”在当今中国的作用等,在此篇幅有限,无法一一展开论述。影展的主角是电影。我们要看同性恋电影,也许是因为电影好看,也许是因为电影表现的题材和内容与我们的生活和情感经历息息相关,也许是因为看电影为我们提供了与新老朋友聚会的机会,也许仅仅是因为看电影是虚度时日的有效方式:所有这一切都是看电影的正当理由。有一点是可以肯定的:“独乐乐”有自己的逍遥,“与众乐乐”也有自己的快乐。很希望能借着本次影展的机会,和年轻的电影作者和观众们一起共同享受看集体电影的美好时光。

 

[1] Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol.1. New York: Vintage, 1990.

[2] Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91, No. 5 (December 1986), pp. 1053–75.

[3] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge, 1990.

[4] Tani Barlow, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

[5] Kuan-Hsing Chen, Asia as Method—Towards De-Imperialization, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

[6] 崔子恩《解读酷儿影展:用影像作为行动,改造世界——崔子恩访谈》,载程青松主编《青年电影手册(第三辑)》,山东人民出版社,2010年。

[7] 杨洋《致辞》,载第五届酷儿影展手册, 2011年。

 

 

Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

Hongwei Bao

 

《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》

包宏伟

 

As a film fan and film researcher, I have been fascinated by the development of the Beijing Queer Film Festival during the past six editions. This year I have been invited to be an ‘academic observer’ of the Festival and to write on my impressions of the programme before the Festival starts. As far as I am concerned, at least three features can be observed of this edition: (1) a clear focus on gender; (2) the interplay of the local, the regional and the global; (3) an emphasis on social activism. I will focus on the first point and touch on the second and the third briefly in this article.

 

It is not difficult to notice the strong emphasis on feminism in this year’s programme. Admittedly, not every film director whose works are on the programme subscribes to feminism; and not every film can be referred to as a ‘feminist film’. The feminist stance of the Film Festival is, however, strongly manifested. The festival starts by showing feminist filmmakers’ He Xiaopei and Yuanyuan’s film Our Marriages, which presents a fascinating account of ‘contract marriages’ formed between lesbians and gay men; this is followed by Yang Yang’s documentary on the Beijing Queer Film Festival, Our Story, which reviews the history of the Festival during the past ten years from a feminist perspective. Golden Gate Girls is an impressive documentary made by Louisa Wei about the female film director Esther Eng who made Cantonese language films in San Francisco in the early 1900s and whose story remains largely unknown to date. Links to Love, directed by Ye Ben, unfolds a fascinating and magic story of intimacy between women. Sweet Eighteen is not only the first film directed by He Wenchao but the first lesbian-themed film that passed Chinese government’s film censorship, hence the celebratory news headline of ‘China’s lesbian film came out’. This year’s film festival also features works by Taiwan feminist film director Huang Yu-Shan and mainland Chinese film director Andrew Yu-Su Cheng. Although Cheng is a male film director, most of his films portray lives and emotions of young Chinese women. The ‘diversities’ unit showcases selected films from the Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival. Both feminism and lesbianism have a strong presence in other sections of the Film Festival. It is evident that this edition is particularly gender conscious than past editions.

 

Here are the questions I shall try to address in this article: what is the connection between feminism and queer politics? How do we justify the strong feminist presence in the Beijing Queer Film Festival?

 

  1. The Gendered Sex and the Sexed Gender

It is often known that gender and sex exist in all societies and at all times in history; it is less well known that as social categories, neither term has a particularly long history. Although gender and sex are two separate words in English, the Taiwanese translation of gender, xing/bie (sex/difference), vividly captures the relation between the two terms. Michel Foucault traces the birth of sexuality in the West to the eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe as a proliferation of discourses on sex and sexuality in medical science, psychology, psychiatry, law and others.[1] Joan Scott attributes the emergence of the term gender to the second wave feminism which ‘invented’ the sex/gender binary.[2] As Judith Butler convincingly demonstrates, the concept of ‘gender’ relies on the concept of ‘sex’: the gender binary of masculinity/femininity is constructed on the basis of the sexual binary of men/women. This process follows strong heteronormative logic: the sexual differences are only possible in a gendered framework; gender is necessarily always already sexed and sex gendered; gender and sex are mutually constitutive.[3] In the light of these theories, it is important that we realise the mutual construction of gender and sex and challenge the established binary oppositions. ‘Queer’ is a powerful way to challenge the sex/gender binaries and norms and to open up possibilities for alternative expressions of genders and sexualities.

 

  1. Gay Identity Politics, Feminism and Queer Theory

Distinct as feminism and Gay Liberation Movement in their own trajectories, the connections between the two are well worth noting. Second Wave Feminism and Gay Liberation Movement both emerged in the 1960s and 70s; they both articulated politics of equality and freedom on the basis of a coherent identity, which was exactly why they were problematised and challenged in the 1980s and 90s by Third Wave Feminism and queer politics: Was identity politics an effective way to articulate politics? What possibilities had identity politics marginalised and hidden? Queer politics emerged in this context: it reflects on the pros and cons of identity politics represented by Second Wave Feminism and Gay Liberation Movement and explores possibilities for alternative politics. Feminism and queer theory converged: Queer theory emerged and developed through active engagement with feminism; it expanded the parameters of traditional feminism by bringing the question of sex and sexuality into feminist debates. Many leading queer theorists, such as Judith Butler and Teresa de Lauretis, are also important feminists. In this sense, queer theory would not be what it is today without feminism.

 

  1. Feminism and Queer Theory in China

The development of feminism and queer theory in China must be understood in a transnational and postcolonial context.

 

In her influential work on feminism in China, Tani Barlow demonstrates the close connections between Chinese feminism and transnational feminism: although funü, nüxing and nüren all translate women, the three terms denote different subjectivities under varying power geometrics and governmentalities. In the 1980s, funü the socialist subject began to decline; nüxing the subject of feminism and nüren the subject of consumerism began to rise with the influence of global capitalism and transnational neoliberalism.[4] The Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing marked the entry of Chinese feminism into the geopolitics of gender in the post-Cold War era. Queer theory was translated into the mainland Chinese context at almost the same time. It must be noted that translation is not merely about rendering one language into another; it is also about making social changes possible. Chinese scholars and activists have not only translated terms such as women and queer from Western to Chinese context; they have also brought specific subject positions, political cultures, values and ideologies into China. The whole process of translation occurs in a global geopolitics characterised by unequal power relations and manifests Western hegemony of culture. Our focus here, however, is on the impact of Western discourses of gender and sexuality on China, as well as the variations and mutations that cultural translation brings about.

 

Oddly, feminism and gay identity politics have not had many intersections in Mainland China. This can be attributed partly to the ignorance about sex and sexuality by state feminism represented by the Women’s Federation. The state feminism in China advocates monogamous and heteronormative sex by promulgating specific norms of gender and sexuality. The Gay Liberation Movement in China, on the other hand, has been heavily dominated by men; their interests in global capitalism are intertwined with their complicity in patriarchy.

 

In the same way that various strands of Western feminism entered China in the 1980s and left their own imprints, gay identity and queer politics were introduced into China at almost the same time in the 1990s. It is no surprise that gay films and queer films coexist in China at the same time, or there are both ‘gay’ elements and ‘queer’ elements in the same film. Gay identity politics and queer politics coexist and contest each other in today’s China. This should not be seen as ‘belated modernity’ or failure in cultural translation. Rather, it demonstrates the dynamics of queer in its active process of formations and translations in various locations; it challenges the Eurocentrism of queer and opens up possibilities for various forms of queer existence.

Feminism has played a crucial role in China’s queer politics. Many queer activists are also self-identified feminists. Lesbians and gays often work together in community empowerment and social engagement. A good example in case is the same-sex weddings designed by Tongyu, a lesbian NGO, and participated by both gay men and women. Beijing Queer Film Festival has always had a feminist presence. The presence this year is particularly evident, in part because of the gender identity of this year’s chairman-on-duty. I believe that the emphasis on feminism is an important step in the history of the Beijing Queer Film Festival.

 

  1. the Interplay of the Local, the Regional and the Global

Is it possible to talk about indigenousness and national identity in the context of globalisation and postcoloniality? The answer is yes but the question is how: how can we have a local focus without subscribing to nationalism and the China/West dichotomy? The programme of this year’s Festival addresses the question in its own way and with a strong focus on locality: Louisa Wei, Huang Yu-Shan and Andrew Yu-Su Cheng’s films are distinctively local; they tell stories specific to locations such as San Francisco, Tai Nan and Shanghai. These stories may or may not intersect with the grand narratives constructed by the nation state and global capitalism. Together they form imagined identities and communities of Chinese queers in the attempt to challenge the Eurocentrism of global queers. This echoes Kuan-Hsing Chen’s notion of ‘Asia as method’: the communication and dialogues between different countries and regions in Asia may challenge the Western cultural hegemony and contribute to imagining alternative worlds.[5]

 

The films in this year’s programme are not divided by nationalities. In feature-length films and shorts, Chinese language films and foreign language films are put together and in dialogue with each other. This demonstrates a strong consciousness of the unequal power relations in global geopolitics on the part of the Film Festival organisers and their conscious efforts to remap and reimagine these relations.

 

  1. Activism

‘Activism’ has been clearly raised as a slogan in this year’s Film Festival. Traditional film festivals have paid much attention to the artistic and technical merits, as well as commercial values, of films. Beijing Queer Film Festival, on the other hand, places great emphasis on the social impact of films; that is, how films can participate in and promote social changes? Many films in the programme are activist films and they serve the purpose of social movements; filmmaking itself is the process of community engagement and mass mobilisation. The Festival refuses to rank films and give awards to individuals; there are no celebrities, stars and red carpets. All the submitted films that meet the requirement for exhibition are shown at the Festival. The organisation of the Festival is democratic. The film festival in its current form is social activism in itself: it changes the definition of film festivals and initiates an open and free form of community culture.

 

Cui Zi’en, one of the organisers of the Film Festival, states: ‘we do not think that we should prioritise the so-called standardised and refined films. We advocate the type of social activism that aims to change the society with filmmaking. Films can be directly connected to, and thus to transform, the hard world and times we live in.’[6] Yang Yang, another organiser of the Festival, remarks on the significance of the Festival in contesting dominant ideologies at the critical juncture of the Fifth edition of the Festival being closed down by the government, ‘To question and to challenge the dominant ideology, isn’t this the value and objective of the Beijing Queer Film Festival?[7] From these statements we can conclude that organising the Beijing Queer Film Festival is in itself social activism. The continuing existence of the Film Festival is an important marker of the development of the Chinese society.

 

I have so far discussed three characteristics of this year’s Festival: (1) a clear focus on gender; (2) the interplay of the local, the regional and the global; (3) an emphasis on social activism. This edition also manifests other features such as its emphasis on history-writing and theoretical reflections and a strong focus on shorts as a popular form of contemporary media. The central focus of the Festival is on films; the slogan ‘we want to see queer films’ can be interpreted in many ways: we see queer films either because these films are interesting, or because the topics of the films speak to our experiences and emotions, either because these films offer us opportunities to get together with friends old and new, or because watching films is a good way to kill time … all of them are perfectly legitimate reasons to watch films. And we can be sure that it is fun to watch films, either alone or with a group of people. I look forward to the happy time of watching queer films with young filmmakers and audiences.

 

[1] Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol.1. New York: Vintage, 1990.

[2] Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91, No. 5 (December 1986), pp. 1053–75.

[3] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge, 1990.

[4] Tani Barlow, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

[5] Kuan-Hsing Chen, Asia as Method—Towards De-Imperialization, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

[6] Cui Zi’en, ‘Interpreting Beijing Queer Film Festival: Filmmaking as Social Activism: an Interview With Cui Zi’en’, in Cheng Qingsong ed. The Youth Film Manual, Vol. 3, Shandong People’s Press, 2010

[7] Yang Yang, ‘Preface’ in the 5th Queer Film Festival programme, 2011.

 

《一路酷到迈阿密》On a Cool Road to Miami: Queering Performance

《一路酷到迈阿密》

徐蓁

 

On a Cool Road to Miami: Queering Performance

Jane V. Hsu

 

作者介绍:

徐蓁 Jane V. Hsu

独立电影和艺术演出的策展人,她的工作集中在中国的性/别,爱滋病和暴力等议题。她参与评审了一些独立电影节,其中包括北京独立电影节,期间她遭遇了政府的软禁。目前她正在做的工作包括与巴巴拉翰墨合作的实验电影项目、联合国妇女基金的联席主席、以及与哥伦比亚大学东亚图书馆合作编辑第一部后中国电影综合目录。

Jane V. Hsu is an independent curator of moving image and performance. Her work focuses on gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS awareness, and violence in China, and she juries numerous independent film festivals, including the censored Beijing Independent Film Festival, where she was held under house arrest. Current projects include producing an experimental film with Barbara Hammer, co-chair of the UN Women’s Committee, and co-editing the first comprehensive catalog of post-2000 Chinese films in collaboration with the East Asian CV Starr Library at Columbia University.

大约自二十年前,中国的独立电影在西方电影节斩露头角。基于在国内受到高度审查和长期打压的情况,一批中国独立电影导演跳过国家认证版权,直接让作品在国外参展,一系列的放映成功取得了西方国家的关注,并在国际电影节上占领一席之地。

多样化的网上视频亦提供给国内观众一个空间得以欣赏中国独立电影。“中国酷儿遇到迈阿密”是首次在佛罗伦达迈阿密的同志骄傲月上播放中国独立LGBT电影。公开的放映活动和讨论环节,让一些中国的电影工作者能有机会与迈阿密的观众交流观映感受和分享创作经历。尽管在中国同性恋的圈子已经不小,但是与同性恋有关的活动仍然有限。

中国电影的工作者崔子恩、何小培、袁园以及范坡坡透过拍摄独立纪录片见证着过往二十年中国社会的改变,向国内的观众展示了中国同性恋者不为人知的一面。相对90年代的纪录片环境,那时的中国电影在国外放映并扬名,而在国内却鲜为人知。

同时表演的还有艺术家妮娜多提的艺术作品“潮热吧”。2009年艺术家妮娜多提曾在上海西方租借地的薄荷吧,试图一人演绎她女性更年期的心路历程。不幸的是,在表演开始之前,妮娜多提收到必须终止演出的消息,而且所有道具被黑色垃圾袋收走。妮娜多提是“酷概念博物馆”的始创人及艺术总监,受到中国女权主义及同性恋者艺术活动的影响,“酷概念博物馆”已经收藏了中国重要的独立电影导演拍摄有关同性者恋题材的作品。

妮娜多提过去计划在上海演出被叫停一事,亦是导致“酷概念博物馆”举办“中国酷儿遇到迈阿密”活动的原由。同样,对于生命的期待,亦使她愿意让她的表演不断重演,再重演,直至圆满、成功、完美。而尝试以酷儿角度,去重看生活中的一些被禁止、被停演,又能体验出其中被忽略的感悟。

“潮热吧”的演出被叫停绝不是单一发生的偶然性事件。诸如纪录片中的主角们,每天的生活本就充斥着不同的无法如愿的期望。“奇缘一生”(2012) 中,导演何小培和袁园利用「形婚」来反复探讨婚姻机制。男同性恋者与女同性恋者通过网络认识,寻找能够「形婚」的伴侣,维持传统的家庭婚姻观念及异性恋婚姻的需求。形式婚姻不仅给同性恋者的组织活动开辟了一个空间,而且给异性恋的婚姻提供了借鉴,说明所有的婚姻都是仪式,都有荒谬的一面。

崔子恩导演的作品“雾语” (2003) 则是北美首映。这部作品亦纪录了二十年前中国独立电影活动所隐藏的一面。画面弥漫抽像的气氛以及诡异的光影:晨曦时份,一个接一个来自金星和天王星的外星男人,以人类裸体的面貌现身,唱出和谐的歌声,步落弯弯曲曲的山峡。当他们抵达山脚的时候,男性人类围绕着他们,以形恶相声称要绑架他们。梦常被形容为日常生活里的自我防卫系统。的确,于2003年拍摄这部以外星人作隐喻的诗作的时候,男同性恋于父权社会之中是没法可以高调地论述的。为了避开严谨的审查,崔子恩选择以演绎的方式进行。

「相信眼前所见的,才能看得见眼前的景像。」范坡坡透过两部他的作品:彩虹伴我心 (2012),讲述中国新一代成年人向母亲表白性取向及来自阴道(2013),讲述一场中国学生开放舞台让女性放声说出她们的性器官。这两部作品都假定故事会以失败告终,新一代的年青男女不敢向他们的母亲承白同性恋取向,女性始终会害怕及漠视在公众场合公开讨论自己的性器官。结果却完全相反,范坡坡不但推反了预先的假设,反得到正面的结果。“彩虹伴我心” 里的母亲鼓励子女的坦诚,即使面对反对的政治环境和社会声会,依然给予支持。演出“来自阴道”的女性在舞台上赢取一众观众的热烈掌声和接纳,赞咳她们的开放和慷慨分享。

尽管如此,仍然只有在一幕幕期许失望的情节重复在生活中上映,才能够引领一众地下组织能够走到最终完满的一步。

 

On a Cool Road to Miami: Queering Performance

Jane V. Hsu

 

 

《一路酷到迈阿密》

徐蓁

 

Twenty years ago, Chinese independent film made its mark in the Western world because it was heavily censored or banned in China. Chinese directors used piracy to spread their films beyond Chinese borders and gained worldwide notoriety at international film festivals and screenings.

 

Online streaming video has provided Chinese audiences to watch Chinese independent films. “Queer China Meets Miami” was the first survey of Chinese independent LGBT films from China during gay pride month in Miami, Florida. The film screenings and discussions allowed the filmmakers an opportunity to publicly screen and discuss their work with a Miami audience, LGBT related activities are limited in spite of the large gay population.

 

Works by filmmakers Cui Zi’en, He Xiaopei, Yuan Yuan, and Fan Popo have used independent documentary film as witness to the changes in contemporary Chinese society, but in the last twenty years, used this platform to expose the Chinese audiences about LGBT life in their own country. This is a step beyond the Chinese documentaries of the 90’s, often screened and celebrated at festivals abroad yet completely unknown to the very population the films are about.

 

There was also a re-performed performance piece by Nina Dotti, “Hot Flashes Bar.” In 2009, the artist attempted to perform a one-woman work about menopause at the Mint bar in a westernized section of Shanghai. Before the performance could begin, she was told to stop and place all props in black garbage bags. The artist, who is also the director and founder of the Chill Concept, was inspired by the political advancements in feminist and LGBT related art events and China. The Chill Concept has collected the works of key Chinese independent film directors focusing on LGBT issues.

 

It was in the discussion of Nina Dotti’s performance that the topic of actually re-performing a failed event from the past that precipitated the selection of the following films for the program at The Chill Concept titled, “Queer China Meets Miami.” For some reason, life sets forth an expectation to re-perform achievements and goals–to practice again and again until a satisfaction, or perfection is received. With successful performances, there lies the inevitable defeat. Why not take performance from a queer perspective and revisit the underappreciated moments of failure?

 

The re-performance of failure is articulated not just in the “Hot Flashes Bar” performance, but documentation of performances in everyday life. In Our Marriages: When Lesbians Marry Gay Men (2012), directors He Xiaopei and Yuan Yuan reexamine the institution of marriage with contract marriages, when gay men and lesbian women meet, usually online, to form a marital union in order to maintain traditional family expectations and receive benefits otherwise left to heterosexual couples. Not only is the idea of the marital union often wrought with the expectation of failure, but the irony in the contract marriage assumes the failure of incompatibility of the marriage of a gay man and lesbian woman. The probability of performance failure here is certain.

 

Director Cui Zi’en presented the world premiere of his film, The Narrow Path (2003), a founding documentary that was part of the underground movement in Chinese independent film twenty years ago. A surreal atmosphere frames a strange occurrence: one by one, at dawn, alien men from Venus and Uranus in the shape of nude humans arrive on early, walking down a curvy mountain road, singing in harmony. As they reach the bottom of the mountain, they are approached by human men, who circle around them, harass and threaten to kidnap them. Dreams are often said to be the protective mechanism for the performance of everyday life. Certainly, at the time of the filming in 2003, this poetic metaphor of aliens in the company of everyday men speaks clearly of a gay voice that could not be so directly stated on video. In order to avoid censorship, Cui Zi’en chose to perform

 

Have trust in what you see, and you will see exactly what’s in front of you. This notion presents itself by the two of Fan Popo’s films: Mama Rainbow (2012), about Chinese youth adults coming out to their mothers, and VaChina Monologues (2013), a compilation of live performances by Chinese college students on women speaking out loud about their vaginas. There is a pre-assumption of a failed performance, both by the young men and women afraid to tell their mothers about their homosexuality, and the fear and ignorance that comes with speaking about a woman’s vagina in public. However, Fan Popo turns this assumption of failure around, creating positive outcomes to the performative moments: The mothers in Mama Rainbow embrace their children’s bravery and support them both personally, even with political and public activism. The women performing the VaChina Monologues receive roaring laughter, acceptance and applause for the openness and generosity.

 

However, there’s only the re-performance of failure that can lead the ultimate perfection of the underground.
July, 2014, New York, NY
Filmography

 

Mama Rainbow (dir. Fan Popo, 2012) HD video, color, 28 min.

The Narrow Path (dir. Cui Zi’en, 2003) DV video, color, 73 min.

Our Marriages (dir. He Xiaopei & Yuan Yuan, 2013) HD video, color 60 min.

Queer China, China Comrade (dir. Cui Zi’en, 2008) Cui Zi’en Studio, DV video, color, 60 min.

VaChina Monologues (dir. Fan Popo, 2013) HD video, color 28 min.

 

[中译Chinese Translation:何小培He Xiaopei]

《在中国独立数字纪录片中体现的酷儿主体》

《在中国独立数字纪录片中体现的酷儿主体》

陆克

 

Embodying the Queer Subject in Independent Chinese Digital Documentary

Luke Robinson

 

作者介绍:

陆克Luke Robinson

苏塞克斯大学媒体与电影系电影研究专业讲师。主要著述有专著《从摄影棚到街头:中国独立纪录片研究》((Palgrave Macmillan出版社,2013), )以及有关华语故事片、动画片、纪录片和电影节的论文若干。

Luke Robinson is Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of Media and Film at the University of Sussex, UK. He is the author of Independent Chinese Documentary: From the Studio to the Street (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and various book chapters and articles on Chinese-language feature film, animation, documentary and film festivals.

 

本文先从杜海滨2005年的作品《人面桃花》(Beautiful Men)中的两个片段说起。影片在开始的大约20分钟内就带我们进入到成都的一个因其变装表演而出名的“同志吧”的舞台后场。画面聚焦在那些作为纪录片主角的反串舞蹈演员们身上。伴随着演出者们陆续从化妆室出来准备登台,一个叫Shu Qi的演员单独留了下来。尽管Shu Qi已经明显注意到正在拍摄他的摄像机,但他仍然非常专注地沉浸在自己舞台形象的装扮上,并且对着化妆室的镜子上下打量精心调整着。他裸露着的大腿从裙子的侧缝中依稀可见。接着,他便转身通过后台的一个门帘然后就消失了。摄像机在简短地中止后,也跟随他穿过门帘进入到一片漆黑之中。然后,摄像机便在舞台两边的一个过道空隙处窥视着舞台上的一切,在这里它可以毫无障碍地观察到所有反串角色们在舞台上的表演。大约10分钟后,画面又回到了化妆室,此刻,我们看到的是脱了演出服装的反串角色们。摄像机聚焦在一个男孩身上。坐在镜头前的他,脸上仍然打着粉底,头上戴着假发,而且还戴着一个内置软垫的加厚胸罩。他脱掉假发,瞥了摄像机一眼,上身摆弄出一种时尚的姿势,嘴里还一边伴随着舞台那边传来的歌声而哼唱着。接着,他匆匆地脱掉胸罩,然后就突然站了起来。胸罩的垫片从他裸露的躯干上滑了下来。他穿上了牛仔裤。随着镜头拉回放低,反串角色说道:“结束了,完工了,我们终于可以回家做回男人了。现在,我又要变回男人了,每一天我们不得不既要扮演男人又要扮演女人。”

《人面桃花》是20世纪初中国很多关注室内同性恋场景的独立电影之一。这些独立电影尤其将反串作为它们主要的研究对象。这些独立电影包括了:张元的《金星小姐》(Miss Jin Xing)(2000),陈苗(Michelle Chen)的《上海男孩》(The Snake Boy) (2002),韩涛的《宝宝》(Baobao)(2004),张涵子的《唐唐的故事》(Tangtang)(2004),高天的《美美》(Meimei)(2005),蒋志的《香平丽》(Xiang Pingli)(2005)。这些纪录片都体现出一种关怀社会底层群体(subaltern communities)的趋势。而这种趋势完全得益于上世纪90年代末数码摄影设备的发展和大量使用。然而,我认为,这两个片段之所以特别值得我们关注是出于两个方面的原因。首先,它们视觉化了数字视频的一个特质,即中国独立电影人经常强调的纪录片创作的意义在于其轻巧性(lightness)的特质。第二,与这些纪录片的视觉语言相关的轻巧性[的特质也产生了一系列]的问题化后果(problematic consequences)。[而这些问题化后果在这两个片段中同样]表现了出来。

Paola Voci于2010年最先提出“轻巧性”(lightness)的概念来描述当代中国视频生产的许多特性。1 需要强调的是,这个概念可能在其他的情境中被称作数字的“低阻抗”因素(“low impedance”factor):无论线上线下,都能够被容易地复制和传播,而且轻量级DV摄影机体现出极其灵活性和便捷性的特点。而后者正是一些中国纪录片电影导演所强调的二十世纪九十年代以来改变电影实践的重要特性。吴文光(2001)认为DV摄影机的尺寸[的变小]促进了个体或个人电影制作实践,同时也改变了电影制作者和被拍摄主体之间的关系。2 吴文光还认为,DV摄影机尺寸已经小到一个人就可以进行操作。这种操作的灵活性和可移动性使纪录片主体能够很好地适应拍摄装备的在场(presence),从而不自觉地打破了拍摄者和被拍摄者之间的边界。吕新雨(2005)等学者则认为DV摄影机进入了以前无法进入的空间,因此,摄像的个人空间和公共空间之间的关系被打破了。3这个过程更是受到了图像的电子化传播的影响而加速进行,因为电子化的传播让图像的线上和线下流通变得更加快捷。因此,潜在的偷窥(voyeurism)成倍的增长。如果DV摄影机尤其擅长进入私人空间,或者是那些以前不可进入空间,那么它们也能够呈现那些仍然应该保持私密的事件——诸如太过直接和令人尴尬的照片——也能够让那些不愿公开的纪录片主体被迫[曝露在公众的视野中]。

而上述所有的争议点都可以在先前我所描绘的两个片段中找到。第一,我们看到摄影机出现在化妆室,接着移动到后台区域,窥视着舞台上的表演。DV摄像机可以进入那些不寻常的空间,同时,它对于各种不同的空间的侵入能力使人担忧。第二,在第一个片段中,反串角色离开化妆间,然后在门关掉的最后一个镜头处暂停,并且在镜子中看着自己。在那个时候,让观众感觉表演者已经忘记段锦川仍在拍摄。换言之,那个瞬间不是为公众记录的,而是纯私人的影像。这再次涉及到了窥视的问题。尽管这个问题在第一个片段中没有很好的呈现出来,因为最后我们还是从表演者的背后观看了表演。但我认为,在第二个展现演员脱衣过程的片段中,[拍摄者]对那些反串角色的身体的兴趣直指[对偷窥问题]的担忧。[在第二个片段中,]摄像机对于表演者生理特征的过度迷恋,以及段锦川为观众寻找那些可以表明表演者们故意模糊的性和性别身份的符号变得非常明显。在这个过程中,反串的身体成为了Bill Nichols(1992)所说的“求知窥视”(“epistophilic voyeurism”)的中心,即一种为获得知识而进行的观看行为。4

我认为这种对身体的关注表明,尽管数码摄影机帮助生产了这样的影像,但它并不能决定它们的形式。相反,正是其轻巧性让那些与独立纪录片生产相关的问题更加显现。对酷儿身体的迷恋可以被看作是九十年代初期以来对独立电影、纪录片和表演艺术中对于身体在场(physical presence)的担忧。这和“现场”的实践相关——在某个情景或地点。而这个实践是被当时很多的从事各种媒体工作的艺术家和电影人所发展出来的。涉身经验的核心其实就是作为一种实践的现场的显著部分: 艺术者或者导演,在某种意义上,是表演或是被记录的事件的一个组成部分,也是关于世界的知识生产的一个组成部分。然而,在《人面桃花》和所有这个时期关于反串角色的纪录片作品中[所呈现的]身体都不是导演的身体,而是被拍摄的纪录片主体的身体。正是纪录片主体的身体而不是导演的身体成为了通向关于世界的知识的渠道。我认为这是因为杜海滨和大多数这个时期拍摄关于反串纪录片的导演一样,[他们]并非来自于[他们所拍摄的主体]的群体。他们用局外人的身份来看待[这些纪录片主体]。因此,他们对于表演者的身体的关注是因为他们[将拍摄主体]作为一种景观(spectacle),并将他们的身体看成是进入一种异样的亚文化的切入点。这种亚文化里充斥着有关摄像机前和摄像机后的人们之间的有关责任、认同、参与和权力差异的动量关系。

因此,《人面桃花》中的影像想告诉人们的是技术、电影实践和社会关系之间的互动关系。轻便的数码摄影机的在19世纪90年代末期的大量使用使电影人能够进入底层民众的空间。而在此之前,局外人进入这样的底层空间是非常难的。但由于电影人通常是局外人,他们通常将他们的拍摄主体看成知识的客体,或者作为景观,而不是主动生产知识的主体。结果,当在拍摄酷儿主体的时候,[电影人]尤其关注反串的身体,[并总是将这种身体]与一种偷窥的视角相联。而这种偷窥的视角正是被数字摄像机自身的方便性所强化的。我认为这种偷窥视角在拍摄经历手术——通常是变性手术——的酷儿身体的时候达到了顶峰。人们可以找到当时的相关电影,比如张元的《金星小姐》和蒋志的《香平丽》。

如果上述这组关系是20世纪初期的有关同性恋主体的数字纪录片的主要特点,那么最近的数字纪录片在很大程度上开始打破这种范式。早期的纪录片太过于关注反串,或者常常将在“同志吧”等场景所进行的拍摄融入到[拍摄者]的叙事之中,而新近的作品则突破了这些界限。近期的一些纪录片关注的主题包括了“出柜”的故事(“coming out” stories)(范坡坡,《柜族》(Chinese Closet)(2009));中国酷儿的历史和经验(崔子恩,《志同志》(Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China)(2008);赤裸裸的性描写(周鸣,《Gay那活儿》(All About Gay Sex)(2010));当今中国同性恋的平凡的每日生活经验(“同志亦凡人”网站的视频(the webcast Queer Comrades)(2007-))。也许这种多元化是不可避免的。如果“轻巧性”是数字生产技术的一个特性,那么“民主性”便是其另外一个特性。随着业余[影像]生产的增长,更加易得和更加廉价的软件和硬件让那些非专业的媒介从业人员参与到了影像生产的过程中来。而这个过程也正是“民主化”的过程。但我这么说是有特定的[影像]生产的语境的:人们开始认同由酷儿导演(queer-identified director)所拍摄的关于酷儿主体的影像。这些电影再也不是由局外人从外部的视角看待[圈内的事情]。取而代之的是,人们开始看到一些[关于酷儿主体的]自我民族志(auto-ethnographic)的影像作品。也许这解释了为什么当下的酷儿纪录片呈现出多样的叙述,并与21世纪早期的电影作品逐渐不同。

接下来我的问题便是:这种民主化的生产会对独立纪录片对于酷儿主体的呈现(representations)带来什么样的影响?在这里我并不是指题材或叙事,而是指视觉形式(visual form)。那些原来在镜头前的人现今成为了摄像机的操作者,而这种变化正是中国酷儿媒介生产[所经历的]。正如Wang Yiman(2010)指出,这成为了一种被广泛接受的中国独立纪录片的实践形式。5你可以从目前大量的正式的参与性纪录片(participatory documentary projects)中看到[这种实践形式],比如吴文光的“村民影像计划”(Village Video Project)(2005-)。专业人员和非专业人员合作生产了一系列的电影。接着便出现了农民工和乡村电视录像制作人通过在地的非正式的媒介机制所生产的更加业余的[纪录片]。最后,你可以看到很多围绕着具有潜在政治影响的事件而展开的各种由行动主义者们所拍摄的影像,比如电影人艾晓明关于北川地震的作品。而这些作品所面临的最严峻的问题就是[电影]作者身份及主体性:究竟在何种程度上“村民影像计划”让那些个体的村民的声音被真正听见?那些由农民工和为农民工所生产的非正式的影像与国家电视台[所拍摄的类似题材的]影像有何不同?前者与那些由受过很好教育的、中产阶级的电影人所制作的独立影像又有何不同?为了将这些问题融入我对酷儿媒体生产的思考,我现在将转向分析范坡坡和郑凯贵的(David Cheng)《新前门大街》(New Beijing, New Marriage)(2009)。

《新前门大街》是一部三十分钟的短纪录片。该片记录了两对同性恋于2009年情人节在北京前门举行婚礼的故事。影片追踪了两对恋人——一对男性,一对女性——穿上了西式白色婚礼的礼服,坐上开往前门的出租车,然后在公众面前进行了一些诸如合影的婚礼仪式。当时,人群开始聚集在这两对恋人周围,于是[纪录片导演便]直接与那些围观的人进行交流,并探讨他们对同性恋的看法。最后,影片以世界各地的同性恋婚礼的蒙太奇剪辑而结束,并呼吁人们在中国认可这种同性的婚恋。

在观看《新前门大街》的时候,你能直接并强烈地感受到一种全新呈现范式(representational paradigm)。没有赤裸裸的窥视,也没有那种你在《人面桃花》中可以感受到的对作为身体景观的电影主体的身体的强烈兴趣。与《人面桃花》中的化妆室的场景不同,《新前门大街》在呈现新娘和新郎为婚礼而着装打扮的场景时避免了“裸露”的镜头,换之以他们精心化妆和认真整理衣服的镜头。在这部片子的进程中,身体不再作为“求知窥视”的客体,而是作为一种能动[主体](an agent),从而在公众面前建构一种全新的酷儿身份:身体成为了媒介本身。这尤其表现在《人面桃花》中,以及这两对恋人是如何使用婚礼仪式的涉身表演(embodied performance)来向一个外部世界展示一种公共的、明晰的且平常的酷儿身份。他们不再是电影人通向和“理解”某种亚文化,或者阐释某种亚文化的渠道。《新前门大街》和《人面桃花》的关键区别就是范坡坡和郑凯贵探索了数字摄像机的“轻巧性”并将这种“轻巧性”随着电影主体从一种内部的空间(interior space)——即电影开始的那个空间——移向了一个外部的(exterior)、公共的空间——即前门。在这部纪录片中被创造的正是对该事件以及对电影主角们的性的一种明确地、公开的记录。但是范坡坡和郑凯贵同样使用这个过程来公开地表达他们自己作为酷儿电影人的身份。在电影的后半段,镜头从这两对恋人那里移向了观众,访问他们对于他们所看到[的事件]的看法。他们不仅仅呈现了他们自己对[他们所记录的]主体的认同,他们还将身份认同的问题抛给了观众,让观众成为了摄像机的客体,而让自己成为了公共话语的能动[主体](agents of public discourse)。因此,电影拍摄作为一种涉身实践成为了一种新的酷儿身份。这种新的酷儿身份存在于真实的实践和空间中,而不仅仅只是被视频捕捉到的。

我认为这里存在着一种转变,一种Paul Connerton(1989)所形容为从“标记”(“inscription”)到“融入”(“incorporation”)的转变过程。6标记就是一个身体被作为知识的客体而被捕捉或记录的过程——正如《人面桃花》。与此不同的是,涉身实践不仅支持社会知识的形式,同时也产生着新形式的知识。而这个过程正是“融入”的过程。它体现在《新前门大街》的主体们为表达一种新的、公共的酷儿身份而进行的白色婚礼仪式的过程中。同样重要的是,在范坡坡和郑凯贵的纪录片中,电影拍摄的这个过程本身变成了一种可以被融入的过程。当酷儿主体参与到摄纪录片生产过程时,他们已经使用电影实践来融合他们自身的身份,不管他们是在镜头中,还是通过使用摄像机的方式。在这个过程中,他们通过生产反串电影的方式为酷儿身体建立了一种新的、显著的空间。在这个空间中,他们是能动[主体]而不只是客体。

总的来说,这最终让我们回到技术,电影实践和社会关系之间的联系。如果说数字摄像机的“轻巧性”帮助增加了早期反串电影中的电影主体和电影制作者之间的复杂关系,那么它同时也生产了一种不那么具有窥视性的影像的新形式。当酷儿主体拿起了数字摄像机,他们开始探索摄像机的方便性以生产一种新的酷儿主体性。这在《新前门大街》中表现得淋漓尽致:用想象酷儿涉身体验的方式让该片与早先的纪录片截然不同。我认为这个例子正表现了数字生产的冲击对纪录片的形式和语言产生了显著的影响。

 

 

参考文献

 

[1] P. Voci, China on Video: Smaller-screen Realities. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2010.

[2] 吴文光:《镜头像自己的眼睛一样》,上海:上海文艺出版社,2001年。[W. G. Wu, Jingtou Xiang Ziji de Yanjing Yiyang: Jilupian yu Ren, Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi Chubanshe, 2001.]

[3] 吕新雨:《后记:中国纪录片的力与痛》,载郭净编:《云之南记录影像论坛》,昆明:云之南纪录片库系列, 第166-168页,2005 年。[X. Y. Lü, “Houji: Zhongguo Jilupian de Li yu Tong” (“Afterword: The Power and the Pain of Chinese Documentary”), in Guo Jing (ed.), Yun zhi Nan Jilu Yingxiang Luntan (Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival Catalogue). Kunming: Yunfest Documentary Archives Series, 2005, pp. 166-168.]

[4] B. Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992.

[5] Y. M. Wang, “‘I Am One of Them’ and ‘They Are My Actors’: Performing, Witnessing, and DV Image-Making in Plebian China”, in Lü Xinyu, Lisa Rofel and Chris Berry (eds) The New Chinese Documentary Movement: For the Public Record. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010, pp. 217-236.

[6] P. Connerton, How Societies Remember. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

 

Embodying the Queer Subject in Independent Chinese Digital Documentary

Luke Robinson

 

 

《在中国独立数字纪录片中体现的酷儿主体》

陆克

 

My point of departure for this essay is two short sequences from Du Haibin’s documentary Beautiful Men (2005). About twenty minutes into the film, which is set in a Chengdu gay bar famous for its drag shows, a scene occurs backstage among the fanchuan who are the documentary’s main subjects. As these performers file out of their dressing room in preparation for going onstage, one, named Shu Qi, lingers. Apparently half aware of the camera, but also absorbed in his stage persona, he looks over his shoulder into the dressing room mirror and poses slightly, exposing his thigh through a slit at the top of his skirt, before turning and disappearing backstage through a curtain. The camera pauses briefly, then follows him. It passes through the curtain, into darkness, before peeking through a gap in the stage wings. Here, the director has an unobstructed and unobserved view of the fanchuan performing. Ten minutes later, we are back in the dressing room. In this sequence, the fanchuan are undressing. The camera focuses on one boy, sitting at front of shot, still wearing makeup, a wig and a padded bra. He takes the wig off, glances at the camera, and strikes a stylized pose with his upper body, singing along with the music we can hear coming from the stage. Then, throwing off his bra, he stands up abruptly, sliding the padding down his naked torso and over the jeans that he is now shown to be wearing on his lower body. As the camera draws back and down, the fanchuan says: “Finished. Work’s over. At last we can go home and be men. I’m also going to be a man. Every day, we have to play at being men and women.”

 

Beautiful Men is one of a number of independent documentaries made in China in the early 2000s that took the domestic gay scene in general, and the fanchuan in particular, as their object of investigation: other examples would include Zhang Yuan’s Miss Jin Xing (2000), Michelle Chen’s The Snake Boy (2002), Han Tao’s Baobao (2004), Zhang Hanzi’s Tangtang (2004), Gao Tian’s Meimei (2005), and Jiang Zhi’s Xiang Pingli (2005). These films in turn were part of a broader trend towards shooting documentaries about subaltern communities that took off with the popular dissemination of digital video equipment at the end of the 1990s. I think, however, that these two brief sequences are particularly interesting for two reasons. First, because they help visualise one of the qualities of the digital camera that independent Chinese filmmakers have often emphasised as particularly significant for their documentary practice: its lightness. Second, because they capture some of the problematic consequences of this lightness in relation to the visual language of these documentaries.

 

‘Lightness’ is a term proposed by Paola Voci (2010), who uses it to describe many properties of contemporary Chinese video production. I want to concentrate here on what in other contexts might be termed digital’s ‘low impedance’ factor: the ease with which electronic images can be duplicated and distributed, either online or off, but also the flexibility and portability of commercially produced, light-weight DV cameras. It’s this latter quality that certain Chinese documentary directors have highlighted in relation to changes in film practice after the late 1990s. Wu Wenguang (2001) argues that the size of the DV camera has facilitated the growth of an individual or personal filmmaking practice, changing the relationship between filmmaker and filmed subject. Not only is the DV camera small enough to be handled by one person, but, Wu suggests, its consequent flexibility and mobility have encouraged the documentary subject’s acclimatisation to the equipment’s presence, implicitly breaking down the barrier between filmmaker and filmed. Scholars such as Lü Xinyu (2005)talk about the ways in which the DV camera can penetrate spaces that were previously hidden from view, in the process breaking down distinctions between private and public space on camera. This is further exacerbated by the electronic distribution of these images, given the speed with which they might widely circulate both on and offline. As a result, the potential for voyeurism increases exponentially. If DV cameras are particularly adept at entering private or previously inaccessible spaces, they are also capable of capturing events that should perhaps remain private – explicit or embarrassing images, for example – or which the documentary subject may prefer not to be made public.

 

All these issues are easily identifiable in these two short sequences. First, we have the presence of the camera first in the dressing room itself, and then moving into the backstage area, looking out onto the performance space proper. This gives a good sense both of the kinds of unusual spaces that the DV camera can give access to, but also how its ability to trespass between different kinds of spaces might give cause for concern. Second, there’s the moment in the first clip just as the fanchuan leave the dressing room, when the last one out of the door turns, pauses, and looks at himself in the mirror. In that moment, it feels as if the performer might almost have forgotten that Duan Jinchuan was still filming; in other words, that the moment wasn’t really intended for public record, that it’s a private one. This brings us directly to the question of voyeurism. Although this issue is formally shadowed in the first clip, where we end up peeping out onto the performers from behind their backs, I think it’s the interest in the bodies of the fanchuan – particularly in the second clip, where we’re watching them undress – that resonates most directly with this concern. There is a very strong sense here, I think, of how the camera is perhaps overly fascinated with the biology of the performers, of how Duan is looking for signs that will clarify their deliberately ambiguous gender and sexual identities for the viewer. In the process, the bodies of the fanchuan become the focus for what Bill Nichols (1992, 98) terms ‘epistophilic voyeurism’: the act of watching in the service of knowledge.

 

What I think this focus on bodies suggests is that, though the digital camera may facilitate the generation of such images, it doesn’t determine their form. Rather, its lightness helps foreground a number of other issues pertinent to independent documentary production. This fascination with the queer body could be seen as part of a broader concern with physical presence in independent film, documentary and performance art that stretches back to the early 1990s. This is related to the practice of xianchang – being ‘on the scene’, or ‘on location’ – developed during this period by artists and filmmakers working between the various media. The centrality of embodied experience was part of what distinguished xianchang as a practice: the artist or director was, in a sense, an integral part of the work performed or the event documented, and part of how knowledge about the world was generated. But in Beautiful Men, and in all the documentaries from this period about fanchuan, the bodies in question are not those of the director, but of the documentary’s subjects. It is their bodies, not the director’s, that have become the conduit for knowledge about the world. I think this reflects the fact that Du Haibin, and most of the other directors of this period who shot documentaries on fanchuan, were not part of this community. They came to it from the outside, looking in. Consequently, they seem drawn to the body of the performers both as spectacle, but also, I think, as a point of entry into a slightly alien subculture – a dynamic which raises questions around responsibility, consent, participation, and the power differential between those behind the camera, and those in front of it.

 

What these images in Beautiful Men speak to is therefore the interplay of technology, film praxis, and social relations. The proliferation of lightweight digital cameras in the late 1990s enabled filmmakers to enter subaltern space in ways that had previously been much harder to effect. However, since these filmmakers were often outsiders, they approached the people they were filming more as objects of knowledge, or as spectacle, than as active subjects in the creation of such knowledge. The result, in the instances of documentaries on queer subject matter, is a particular focus on the bodies of fanchuan that verges at times on the voyeuristic, a perspective only further exacerbated by the flexibility of the digital camera itself. I think this reaches its zenith in images of the queer body undergoing surgery – gender reassignment surgery, usually – that one can find in certain films from this period, such as Miss Jin Xing or Xiang Pingli.

 

If this particular set of relationships characterized digital documentaries on queer subjects through the early 2000s, what’s striking about more recent digital documentary is the extent to which it breaks with these paradigms. While the earliest documentaries focused overwhelmingly on fanchuan, or often made a point of incorporating similar scenes shot in gay bars into their narratives, more contemporary work has expanded beyond these confines. More recent documentary work addresses ‘coming out’ stories (Fan Popo, Chinese Closet (2009)); considerations of Chinese queer history and experience (Cui Zi’en, Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China (2008)); explicit sexual narratives (Zhou Ming, All About Gay Sex (2010)); and the mundane, everyday existence of gays and lesbians in the contemporary PRC (the webcast Queer Comrades (2007-)). Perhaps this pluralisation is inevitable. If ‘lightness’ is one set of qualities associated with digital production technologies, ‘democratization’ is another. Connected to the growth of amateur production, ‘democratization’ invokes the way in which accessible, affordable digital hardware and software have opened up the means of production to non-professional media workers. In the very specific production context I’m talking about here, however, it has meant that what one can start to identify is work on queer subject matter, by queer-identified directors. No longer are these film being produced from the outside, looking in; instead, we’re starting to see work that’s in some senses auto-ethnographic. This perhaps explains the variety of narratives present in contemporary queer documentary, and the ways in which they diverge from those of the early 2000s.

 

The question I want to finish on, then, is related, but distinct: what impact has this democratization of production had on independent documentary representations of the queer subject? I mean this not in relation to subject matter or narrative, but rather visual form. The kind of transition in which those who were previously in front of the camera have become camera operators is hardly unique to queer media production in China. As Wang Yiman (2010) suggests, it’s become a widely accepted practice in independent Chinese documentary. You can see it in the formal participatory documentary projects that now abound, such as Wu Wenguang’s Village Video Project (2005-), in which professionals and non-professionals collaborate to produce a series of films. Then there are the more strictly amateur productions that migrant workers and rural videographers cameras circulate through local informal media economies. Finally, you have the kinds of activist footage that coagulates around events of potential political significance, such as the Beichuan earthquake, and which in turn gets incorporated into work by, for example, filmmakers such as Ai Xiaoming.   Critical to all these productions have been questions of authorship and subjectivity:to what extent does the Village Video Project actually allow the voice of individual villagers to emerge? How do informally produced productions by migrant workers, for migrant workers, differ in form and subject matter from state television, or indeed from independent productions produced by educated, middle-class filmmakers? As a way of framing these problems in relation to queer media production, though, I want to turn to a documentary by Fan Popo and David Cheng, called New Beijing, New Marriage (2009).

 

New Beijing, New Marriage is a thirty-minute documentary short that chronicles the performance of two gay weddings at Qianmen in Beijing on Valentine’s Day 2009. It tracks two couples – one male, one female – as they get dressed as if for a western-style white wedding; travel in a taxi to Qianmen; and then perform a number of wedding rituals in public, such as having their photos taken together. As this takes place, crowds gather to watch the couples, who then engage directly with the people watching, talking to them about their views on homosexuality. The whole piece concludes with a montage of gay weddings from around the world, and an appeal for the recognition of same-sex partnerships in China.

 

Watching New Beijing, New Marriage, one gets a strong and immediatesense of a different representational paradigm emerging. There is no obvious voyeurism, no overt interest in the bodies of the film’s subjects as physical spectacle, of the kind that you get in Beautiful Men. In contrast to the dressing room scenes in the latter film, New Beijing, New Marriage avoids any trace of nudity in the sequences when the brides and grooms dress up for the ceremony, focusing instead on the application of makeup and the careful adjustment of clothing. Over the course of the documentary, the body’s status as the object of epistophilic voyeurism is replaced by its function as an agent through which queer identity can be constructed anew in public: the body as a medium in its own right. This is obvious if we think about the behaviour of the couples, and how they use the embodied performance of wedding rituals to enact queer identity as public, unambiguous and ordinary – bringing it to the outside world – rather than acting as a conduit through which filmmakers can access and ‘understand’ or interpret a subculture. But I’d argue that the filmmakers are doing the same. One of the key differences between New Beijing, New Marriage and Beautiful Men is the way in which Fan and Cheng exploit the lightness of the digital camera to move out from interior space – which is where the documentary starts – into exterior, public space – Qianmen – alongside the subjects themselves. What’s being created in the documentary is therefore an explicitly public record of this event, and of the sexualities of the protagonists. But Fan and Cheng also use this process to publicly articulate their own identity as queer filmmakers. In the second half of the film, they turn the camera away from the couples and onto the viewers, questioning them about their views of what they’ve seen. Not only do they present themselves as identifying with their subjects, they also turn the tables on their audience, making the crowd the object of the camera, and themselves agents of public discourse. Filmmaking as an embodied practice therefore becomes a way in which a new queer identity can actually be enacted in real time and space, and not just captured on video.

 

What I suggest we can identify here is a shift that Paul Connerton (1989) describes as the transition from ‘inscription’ to ‘incorporation’. Inscription is a process whereby the body is captured or recorded as an object of knowledge – as in Beautiful Men. In contrast, incorporation occurs when embodied practice functions to both sustain forms of social knowledge, and to generate new ones. This is what the subjects of New Beijing, New Marriage are doing when they appropriate white wedding rituals to articulate a newly public, queer identity. But what is equally important, however, is that in Fan and Cheng’s documentary, the process of filmmaking has itself become incorporative. As queer subjects have been absorbed into documentary production behind the camera, so they have used the practice of filmmaking to incorporate their own identity on and through the camera. In the process, they have established a new and distinct space for queer bodies in the production of xianchang filmmaking, one in which they are agents, rather than objects, of the praxis.

 

In conclusion, this ultimately returns us to the relationship between technology, film practice and social relations. If the lightness of the digital camera served to exacerbate the complex relationship between subject and filmmaker in the earliest films about fanchuan, it has also enabled new forms of image making to emerge that were less voyeuristic. As queer subjects have picked up the digital camera, they have started to exploit its flexibility to generate a different kind of queer subjectivity. In New Beijing, New Wedding, this is characterised by ways of imagining queer embodiment that diverge quite radically from those of the older documentaries. This, I would suggest, is definitely one example of how the impact of digital production can have a pronounced impact on documentary form and language.

 

References

 

Connerton, Paul. 1989. How Societies Remember. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lü, Xinyu. 2005. “Houji: Zhongguo Jilupian de Li yu Tong” (“Afterword: The Power and the Pain of Chinese Documentary”). In Yun zhi Nan Jilu Yingxiang Luntan (Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival Catalogue) edited by Guo Jing, 166-168. Kunming: Yunfest Documentary Archives Series.

Nichols, Bill. 1992. Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Voci, Paola. 2010. China on Video: Smaller-screen Realities. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Wang, Yiman. 2010. “‘I Am One of Them’ and ‘They Are My Actors’: Performing, Witnessing, and DV Image-Making in Plebian China”. In The New Chinese Documentary Movement: For the Public Record edited by Lü Xinyu, Lisa Rofel and Chris Berry, 217-236. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Wu, Wenguang. 2001. “DV: Yige Ren de Yingxiang”. In Jingtou Xiang Ziji de Yanjing Yiyang: Jilupine yu Ren, 257-263. Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi Chubanshe.

 

《记录酷儿時空于后社会主义中国》Documenting Queer Chronotope in Postsocialist China

Documenting Queer Chronotope in Postsocialist China

Shi-Yan Chao

 

《记录酷儿時空于后社会主义中国》

赵锡彦

 

作者介绍:

赵锡彦Shi-Yan Chao

纽约大学电影研究博士, 曾发表数篇有关华语酷儿文化的文章, 并任教于纽约大学与哥伦比亚大学。

Shi-Yan Chao received his PhD in Cinema Studies at New York University. He has published articles on Chinese queer culture and taught classes on documentary, horror, and Chinese/Taiwan cinemas at New York University and Columbia University.

 

The People’s Republic of the 1990s saw the fluorescence of independent documentary filmmaking. Wu Wenguang, Duan Jinchuan, Zhang Yuan and Jiang Yue launched a wave of documentary filmmaking commonly referred to as the Chinese New Documentary Movement. The movement’s filmmakers generally reject the official tradition of newsreels and zhuanti pian (literally, special topic films), which are characterized by images compiled in accordance with pre-written scripts, and by directly addressing the audience from a grand, top-down angle (1). Rather, they highlight a sense of immediacy and an “unscripted spontaneity” (2), showing a deep concern for “civilian life” from a “personal standpoint” (3). Distancing themselves from official discourses, they choose to document the lives of ordinary people, especially those on the margins of society, such as peasants, migrant workers, the homeless, the elderly, the homosexual, etc.

 

Whereas lesbianism has come into the focus of several films since the new millennium (beginning with The Box [Ying Weiwei, 2001] and Dyke March [Shi Tou, 2004]) (4), female impersonation, transvestism, and transgendering are also salient queer subjects (arguably beginning with Miss Jing Xing [Zhang Yuan, 2000]) in this wave of independent documentary filmmaking. In the following pages, I would like to zoom in on Snake Boy/Shanghai Nanhai (Michelle Chen and Li Xiao, 2001) and on Mei (Gao Tian, 2005), two DV documentaries of the latter category that were shown in the first and second Beijing Queer Film Festival, respectively. As the eponymous subject of Snake Boy, Coco is a talented, gay-identifying jazz singer based in Shanghai. Coco’s persona, however, has drawn criticism by noted China studies scholar Paul G. Pickowicz, for whom Coco appears to be little more than “a neocolonial invention and soulless plaything of the new and profoundly unattractive ‘expatriate’ community in Shanghai” (5). While Pickowicz’s stance is admittedly informed by some postcolonial criticism from a macro approach that unwittingly downplays the individual, my analysis on a micro level will point to the contrary, particularly the queer agency involved in Coco’s self-fashioning of his stage performance and offstage persona.

 

Whereas Coco’s performance enrolls transvestism not so much in attire as in vocal style, I will, then, bring in a discussion of stage artist Meimei, the central character of documentary Mei Mei. As the documentary shows, Meimei’s transvestism not only involves both attire and vocal style, but also comes in modulations in accordance with the changing geopolitics interwoven with the subject’s life trajectory. By bringing together Snake Boy and Mei Mei, I mean to highlight the queer agency negotiated through a spectrum of gender performance. In tension with Judith Butler’s formulation of the totalizing, heteronormative “gender performativity” (6), the queer agency thereby animated is notably played out against the parameters of both temporality and spatiality, reverberating with Judith Halberstam’s stress on “queer time and place” (7)—or simply “queer chronotope” (my term)—that is so foundational to the subject formation of many sexual dissidents. The subjects’ negotiation of their dissident subjectivities, as will become clear, is imbricated in China’s postsocialist economy. To some measure, it also contributes to what Chris Berry and Lisa Rofel call an “alternative archive” that, as a feature of the New Documentary Movement, houses unofficial records and affects unrecognized or marginalized by the official discourse (8).

 

Shot in 2001, Snake Boy presents a vivid portrayal of Coco, a then 24-years-old jazz singer who had been performing in Shanghai nightclubs since age seventeen. Trendy and fluent in English, Coco, to many’s surprise, is not a Shanghai native, but is originally from Shaoyang, a remote county in Hunan Province. While the word “snake” in the film’s English title refers to both the sign of the Chinese zodiac Coco belongs to and the mystical image of the snake to which Coco likens his own persona, the film’s Chinese title—literally “Shanghai Boy”—indicates Coco’s intimate blending of himself into Shanghai’s cosmopolitan culture and glamorous nightlife. Aside from the shots that follow the subjects or showcase the settings, the film is, for the most part, composed of newly conducted interviews with Coco, his parents, his former teachers, and those who befriend him either personally or professionally, interspersed with various footages, photos, and print materials about Coco from the past. Through pieces of information emerges a picture of Coco, who, with his parents both professionals in local Chinese opera, was born in 1977. He had shown his musical talent since childhood, and—at age sixteen in 1994—became the youngest student in the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The first years of Coco’s study in Shanghai happened to witness the prospering of the city’s nightclubs that featured musical performances. Here Coco encountered jazz for the first time; enthralled by this particular musical genre, he soon began performing jazz in nightclubs too. He particularly modeled his singing style after Billie Holiday at that stage. In the meantime, Coco also came to terms with his gay identity. The film then recounts his first relationship—an interracial one—that happened in France in 1997, following his decision to drop out of school while pursuing a career as a stage and recording artist.

 

It is clear that two themes are fundamental to this narrative: one is about Coco’s performance, and the other concerns his sexual orientation. I find these two themes not only inseparable from each other but interwoven by a sense of queer agency. The subject’s immense attraction to jazz, notably, involves layers of negotiation in Coco. As a musical genre that underlines the performers’ improvisation and personal expression, jazz for many is characterized by expressive freedom and a sense of individualism. This characteristic, in a postsocialist setting, potentially resonates with some deep-seated sensibility that overtly rejects the previous generations’ forceful renunciation of any individualism in favor of the collective interests under socialist nation-building. Indeed, as an artist who grew up in post-Mao China, Coco associates his own pursuit of musical profession with his father, who, in Coco’s view, possesses great musical gifts but “his times [the socialist era] did not allow him the full opportunity to showcase his talent and fulfill his dream.” Given that Coco sees his artistic pursuit as succession of his father’s ambition, Coco’s artistic pursuit inextricably involves a negotiation for personal expression that, while bearing a postsocialist ramification, finds its clear voice in jazz performance.

Further, Coco’s jazz singing involves multiple boundary-crossings. When Coco sings like a Billie Holiday or a Lena Horne, he—as a non-black male jazz vocalist—virtually crosses the boundaries of race, gender, and culture on a phantasmatic level. He engages in a kind of sonic drag that, by crossing the boundaries of race, gender and culture through singing, recreates the mise-en-scène for his subject formation. This recreated mise-en-scène, so to speak, is key to Coco’s staging of a subjectivity that is different from the Chinese mainstream, and that is foremost marked by gender ambiguity and queerness. While Coco’s particular performing style allows him to exercise his queer agency, it also provides Coco with a strategy to negotiate his gay identity in public, where he can strategically act out—but not specifically spell out—his queer identification. This strategy was especially significant before March 2001, when homosexuality was finally classified as “normal” sexual behavior by the Chinese Psychiatric Association.

 

When Pickowicz criticizes Coco as a “neocolonial invention and soulless plaything” patronized by Shanghai’s expatriate community, I find Pickowicz essentially takes a macro approach, trying to critically define Coco’s performance in relation to a cultural framework dominated by the West. His criticism somehow neglects Coco’s gay identity, along with Coco’s negotiation for his queer subjectivity through musical performance. In his critique of Coco’s lack of agency, Pickowicz also conveniently ignores the fact that Coco does not stop at imitating Billie Holiday or being what Pickowicz describes as a “lesser version of the original” (9). As the film shows, Coco and his band have been avidly experimenting on fusing jazz to a variety of music, ranging from Chinese percussion music, to Chinese folk song, to bebop. Those musical experiments, of course, point to yet another layer of negotiation in Coco, who is first and foremost a self-conscious musical artist besides a gay vocalist.

 

As a Beijing-based stage performer, Meimei, like Coco, is not native to the metropolis, but was born and raised in Dandong, a small border city in Northeastern China (10). Meimei’s gender-bending performance, unlike Coco’s though, involves both vocal style and costuming. Shot between late 2003 and early 2005, this documentary consists of three sections. While the first section leads to Meimei’s “farewell concert” before his marriage to a man, which turns out to be short-lived, the second section revolves around Meimei’s attempt to return to performing life, which is eventually cut short by his illness, and the third section depicts Meimei’s sojourn in Dandong with his parents. While the film involves the subject’s travel between Beijing and his hometown, it notably sheds light on certain aspects of cross-dressing that are mediated by the changing geo-politics. For instance, when in Beijing, Meimei sometimes chooses to wear skirts even when he is offstage. But when Meimei leaves for Dandong, he must wear trousers instead, so as to eschew the scrutiny and gossip of the locals. Clearly, Meimei enjoys more autonomy in regard to his looks in Beijing, a metropolis, than in hishometown, a remote small city. As a small-town sexual dissident whose personal desire contradicts public expectation, Meimei could have sought relative autonomy in Beijing. However, by the film’s third section Meimei cannot help but concede to the more constricted regulatory institution of his hometown after losing his mobility due to his poor health and economic distress. Not only must Meimei give up his preferred feminine apparel and long hair, but he loses the stage for cross-dressing performance in his desired fashion. Meimei, during his protracted recovery, nonetheless starts to learn and practice Peking opera. In a broader sense, we must take into account that in Peking opera, a matrix of “formulated” (chengshi hua) skills associated with various role-types (hangdang) together with an abstract signifying system of stage installation have been developed throughout the centuries. While the gender system in Peking opera is not fully subject to the principles of “reality,” the operatic cross-dressing is also justifiable as a form of “art.” The fact that Meimei practices Peking opera while stranded in Dandong can thus be understood as an expedient through which he can moderately channel his desire for female impersonation, yet simultaneously distance himself from the negative imaginaries associated with “gender inversion.”While Coco’s jazz performance, as noted, registers a postsocialist ramification in its emphasis on personal expression and a Westernized outlook illegitimate in socialist China, Meimei’s cross-dressing performance inBeijing is likewise inflected by postsocialism on at least two levels. On one level, Meimei justifies his transvestite performance by arguing that he earns his living by his own labor (kao ziji de laoli zhuanqian). This argument acutely blends “money” and “labor” into each other, where money and labor represent two valuations most foundational to capitalism and socialism, respectively, while China’s postsocialism, as has been pointed out, is exactly marked by the uneasy coexistence of capitalism and socialism. On another level, Meimei’s rendition of Chinese pop songs from Hong Kong (particularly Anita Mui’s “Woman as Flower” [Nüren hua]) further indicates a cosmopolitan dimension in his queer subject formation that desires phantasmatic transcendence of the local by way not so much of the West (e.g. Coco’s case) as of the regional.

 

In sum, my analysis of Snake Boy and Mei Mei foregrounds the queer agency negotiated through a spectrum of gender performance, and it is played out against the parameter of temporality—namely postsocialist vs. socialist eras—and the parameter of spatiality, particularly the urban/rural divide, and the local-regional-global nexus. The subjects’ negotiation of their dissident subjectivities also brings into focus China’s postsocialist economy, as exemplified by how the subjects come to terms with such valuations as individuality vs. collectivity, and labor vs. money. Together they shed light on the intricate dynamic between queer agency and queer chronotope in a postsocialist setting. These two documentaries manifest a crucial part of the queer experience that is socially grounded yet marginalized in official discourse. With the commitment of the filmmakers and their queer subjects alike, such queer experience also becomes an indispensable dimension of the expanding alternative archive contributed by China’s New Documentary Films as a whole.

 

1. Chris Berry, “Getting Real: Chinese Documentary, Chinese Postsocialism.” In Zhang Zhen (ed.), The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. 115-34.

 

3. Lu Xinyu. Jilu Zhongguo: Dangdai Zhongguo xin jilupian yundong. Shanghai: Sanlian Shudian, 2003. 14-15, 335.

 

4. For a discussion of the lesbian documentary films from China, please see my article, “Coming Out of The Box, Marching as Dykes.” In Chris Berry, Lu Xingyu and Lisa Rofel (eds.), The New Chinese Documentary Film: For the Public Record. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010. 77-95.

 

5. Paul G. Pickowicz, “Social and Political Dynamics of Underground Filmmaking in China.” In Paul G. Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang (eds.), From Underground to Independent: Alternative Film Culture in Contemporary China. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006. 16.

 

6. Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York: Routledge, 1993.

 

7. Judith Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: New York University Press, 2005.

 

8. Berry and Rofel, “Alternative Archive.” In Chris Berry, Lu Xingyu and Lisa Rofel (eds.), The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010. 135-54.

 

9. Pickowicz, “Social and Political Dynamics of Underground Filmmaking in China.” 16.

 

10. For a more detailed discussion of Mei Mei along with Zhang Hanzi’s Tang Tang, please refer to my article, “Performing Gender, Performing Documentary in Post-socialist China.” In Yau Ching (ed.), As Normal As Possible: Negotiating Sexuality and Gender in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010. 151-75.

 

 

 

《有谁在云路上飞,在云路下也飞》Who Flies Above and Below the Clouds?

《有谁在云路上飞,在云路下也飞》

崔子恩

 

Who Flies Above and Below the Clouds?

Cui Zi’en

 

1, 云引

 

汤尼﹒雷恩(Tony Rayns)在径直把片名<浮云>翻译为Zero Thousand Li Under the Clouds and Moon,用典40年代<八千里路云和月>.<浮云>发生地之一是世博会期间的新上海. 王为一导演<八千里路云和月>的发生地是国共日三方角力的旧上海.都有国际背景.翻译延展了历史.

 

0千里和8千里,一个多,一个不仅是少,而且是无,可谓泄尽”浮云”天机.他为我的<少年花草黄>改过英文片名Withered Lads in a Blooming Season,也有典故和引文,此不赘述.

曾经,《我们害怕》和《目的地,上海》是一枚金币的正反两面,正面是价值,背面也是价值。但是,<浮云>浮现以后,金币的刃楞挥斩出圆弧的线条,把价值归0.

 

是否修平道路,还是随云路瞬息兴灭曲折反转?

 

0千里路,铺展在云层和星月之上.

 

是行走,还是云路本身就在高速掠走?

 

2,浮云

 

<浮云>原名<雍布拉康>.雍布拉康是坐落在西藏山南地区行署所在地泽当镇的觉姆扎西次日山头上的西藏第一座宫殿——雍布拉康,始建于公元前2世纪,距今已有2200年的历史。相传是苯教徒于公元前2世纪为第一代藏王聂赤赞普建造,后来成为松赞干布和文成公主在山南的夏宫,五世达赖时改为黄教寺院。

 

以下是出自导演的简短陈述-影片取材于真人真事,由三段构成:女作家是个孤儿,在一次采风中结识了嫁到青海玉树的上海女人,并认其为干妈。干妈在返回上海接受女作家采访时,突然坐化。遗嘱中,干妈请女作家将一串红念珠带回玉树,交给她的上师,以此来超度她的灵魂。大伟被医生告知得了癌症,只能活3个月。大学毕业时,大伟曾和同学翔子约定:在离开这个世界前,彼此一定要见一面。而此时,翔子已扎根玉树支教二十多年。小宝从小就对外星人和UFO感兴趣。一天晚上,外星人托梦给小宝,让他去玉树。外星人说在那里,他们会把小宝带离地球。三个人为了各自的目的,在唐蕃古道上相遇、相知、分离……沿途,青藏高原美幻绝伦的浮云如影随形,春风化雨般地洗涤着天地人间。

 

外景地从上海北京那样的核心都市,迁移到藏区,聚焦于雍布拉康.程裕苏在受访时说:藏区地广人稀,冬季时间长,人们之间缺乏交流的机会。静默修行,成为他们日常的一种生活方式。《浮云》这部影片中,就引入了静默禅。

 

区域广阔,时日漶漫,寺庙旗立.对应的是全球化,大都会,信息时代,信仰危机.影片的影像,坚定地把云层主角化.程裕苏的社会批判,尽在其中.当然,他不去多语,不去道破,以免自限于教派教义,自陷于繁复的老生常谈.

 

被导演剪辑掉的素材和隐藏起的剧情有:小宝外婆被风吹走的线索,女作家的作品,大伟和翔子的同性情谊.那些错综复杂的故事线,那些世间的轨迹,原本存在于<雍布拉康>中.云层浮起的时候,扫荡了这些似是而非的故事.

 

这部影片用4K的Red One拍摄.影片技法有很强烈的冲突.都市的人,戏剧的拍法,戏剧化存在;藏乡的人,纪录的拍法,真实的存在.寻找道路的人,貌似步履宁静,实则心事重重;祷告的人,步履蹒跚,内心却与高云一般澄净.高清凝止,对应了Red One的某些物理影像.

 

浮云若世,原本对应的是,浮生若梦.

 

汤尼﹒雷恩(Tony Rayns)说,这是一部佛学公路电影.我说,这是一部云路片.云路片的特征是神马?多云少人,人类成为浮云的镜像.

 

我曾经为浮云作为人生的喻体而不平.<浮云>援助我还原人间性与浮云性的互喻修辞.

 

人物之上的云层是真正的主角,不仅仅是在影片中出场的时长,和连续性,不是逻辑主语,是宇宙关系.它与UFO结盟.UFO是地球外围的另一种浮云.影片时间年代清晰,人物流脉曲折可见,但是完全被配角化.在云层之下,地球种种,都为光与影的残迹.

 

3,我们害怕

 

这是一部拍法很飞的影片。灵动的手持摄影,飘飞的影像,俯拾可见的随机拍摄的段落镜头,演员不加修饰的即兴表演,以及剧情间的刺痛和才华,使《我们害怕》从第一个镜头开始就呈现出一种十分异质的品性。

 

一个美丽的上海少年和他的友伴们在上海吞吃了用三块钱购买的摇头丸。他们快乐了,在迪厅里摇摇摆摆,快乐无限。尔后,贝贝开始肉体不适。他无端地怀疑自己得了艾滋,不敢见人,不敢回家,也不敢去医院检查血样。闻知消息的棉棉和菲菲满腔关切地将他保护起来。她们出于对艾滋的愚昧无知,把他藏匿起来。妖怪告诉她们,得上艾滋的人要像麻风病人一样被关到小岛上,与世隔绝。她们不愿让乖乖的、温良的、美妙的贝贝身陷小岛。她们带着他东躲西藏,并且私下里探听到在香港可以医治艾滋。她们开始为他筹措赴港看病的经费。无计可施的时候,棉棉要菲菲去找过去的傍家,向他开口要钱,菲菲不肯,因为她已经与他了断了关系。无钱赴香港治病,贝贝似乎只能等死。绝望勾起了贝贝周围人一个又一个悲伤的记忆,有的来自于爱,有的来自于家庭,有的来自于婚姻。他们在绝望之余,听说北京的一位医生既可以为病人检测IHV是否呈阳性,又可以为病人保守秘密,便大着胆子把贝贝送去抽血化验。检测结果出来,贝贝安然无恙。虚惊一场的人们一时失去了可以依存的中心事件,百无聊赖起来。幸亏贝贝似乎永远有独自解决不完的问题:他在因特网上观看相关幼女的色情网页,被棉棉发现,在回答她的追问时,他坦白说,他会与幼女发生性的关系。这个时候,我们看到棉棉在画中画的DV屏幕中抱出了自己未满周岁的女儿。类似的问题还有:他自认为不是一个同性恋者,却喜欢一个叫杰的跳舞男生,想与他有一夜性爱,而杰表示,如果同他上过一次床,他就会失踪,让他永远也见不到他。棉棉把杰吸收到他们的队伍里,期望他能与贝贝相互珍惜。在杰参与的家中聚会上,菲菲和妖怪记忆起相关于美好的命名和出生,双双流下悲辛交集的热泪。然而,杰在影片结尾,还是失踪了,不知是带着爱,还是带着对爱的恐慌与拒绝。

 

程裕苏不仅用DV作为载体,也作为观念,相当彻底地划破真实与虚构、记录片与剧情片、写实与寓言的界限,营造出一个既真切又超乎于真切之上的影像世界。当他把影片中的上海作为一个寓言来看待的时候,寓居其中的人物便有了几分寓言色彩,上海寓言着现代上海,棉棉寓言着上海关怀,贝贝寓言着艾滋时代的上海恐惧,菲菲则寓言着上海由来已久的伤害与愈合。当他把片中的人物作为现实来看待的时候,贝贝、菲菲、棉棉、妖怪和杰便一一具有了自传色彩。镜像中的人物相像于现实中的人物,或者说,真实的人物进入了镜乡。演员们掏出的是私藏的故事和绝无表演的血泪。

 

这部影片是编、导、演对记忆与才华全无保留的一次集体大消费。

 

不是储存,不是累积,不是铺垫,就是一泻千里,就是才情横溢。

 

4,目的地,上海

 

《我们害怕》通篇用SONY 150P拍摄,镜像语言冲绝而幽微,贯通着创作者的呼吸和血流的热温。手持摄影的身体性完全摒弃了电影传统中的“机械主义”,在掌温和胸温的烘烤中,上海的重重夜色鲜活起来,流丽起来,颤动起来。“客观”在这里,被扫荡得一干二净。《我们害怕》的纯净透明,因此而骤然升起。

 

然而,对于被胶片电影拉动百年的国际影坛来说,《我们害怕》的轻盈与青春姿态,毕竟太过朝气,太过冲动,太过无法无天,太过不认胶片祖师,太过挑战电影传承。它激怒了很多“权威”,当然也得到像汤尼·雷恩那样的“权威”的赏识与赞誉。于是,到了《目的地,上海》,程裕苏开始游戏电影传承,运用它,再消解它,回收它,再报废它,再重构它。无论如何,程裕苏这个电影坏孩子显示了他技艺超群而全面的悉尼本色,一种在悉尼电影学院浸淫多年,对电影传统了如指掌的“学院派”根基。其实,这原本是他不想显露也不屑于显露的电影注脚。当然,如果作“眉批”那帮子人要依赖它,不妨事先注明,以免他们多方苦苦索求,终于不得要领,索然起来。

 

《目的地,上海》开篇的辉煌,痴迷了太多痴迷红尘、痴迷于声色犬马的“观众”。追随它的放映现场,我发现了“热爱电影”的另一层含义:热爱宫殿生活,无论前宫后宫,正宫偏宫,热爱殿堂般的堂皇风景。厌恶棚屋,厌恶贫穷,鄙视清苦,是“热爱电影”的潜台词。

《目的地,上海》将外滩的上海与苏州河畔的上海,将政治风云多变的上海与经济风云多变的上海,将中国特色的上海与全球化进程中的上海,将平民的上海与崇尚富贵的上海,将写实的上海与寓言化的上海,有点有线有饱满有余白地呈现出来,构织了一组组“上海后现代百态百媚图”。

 

如果说《我们害怕》是程裕苏的个人主义表达,《目的地,上海》就是程裕苏对上海社会众生的观看与关注。《我们害怕》里的“我们”,在泛个人的单一“小群体”里,对抗着十分具体的恐怖原——HIV阳性,诉说着各自童年的创伤和青春的欲想。《目的地,上海》责把视野推广到远大宽阔的“社会”,在繁华与落寂、消费与被消费、角落里的失语与场面上的喧嚣、悄然的死亡与顽强的奋斗之间,织造出抽象的社会现实与具象的社会现实鲜活联通的影音实现。

 

电影国际的固定或流动成员们,透过《目的地,上海》,看到了一份无奈、挣扎、黑暗然而依旧坚实的城市空间,它其实并不外在于影片中的阿玲、乖乖、平原和林达。它也是那些人物内在中的城市,一个不能不居住、不能不共存的“目的地”。

 

深入到《目的地,上海》的万花筒构造里,程裕苏作为编剧的才能兀然凸显。煌煌空镜中“他在”的都市,由一个主观的画外叙事所主观化。片头如是,但是,一进正片,这种视角便蓦然消隐,“主观”缺席,“叙事者”缺席,SONY 790 BETA 数码摄像机固定在珍尼芙的“黑店“里,如同无人监控的监视器,拍摄下一场黑暗、酷砺的男妓招聘会。从此以后,影片的这种客观化立场便相当残酷地耸立在人物的肩头,不进逼,也不关怀,不施暴力,也不施温慰。无助中的人物开始了一幕又一幕自助或互助的行动戏剧,程裕苏只需顺应他们的出出没没,就可以看到万花筒内人众熙熙攘攘的变化和结局;一个又一个人物出现,又不知所终,一个又一组人际关系开展、绽放,然后又悄然凋零。在影片的结尾,一大片黑暗代替了所有的荣耀与耻辱、繁荣和伤败。黑片加歌声,与片头的浓墨重彩加歌声的格局相呼应,工整而变迁,体现着电影传统中令人津津乐道的“大师手笔”。

 

“异端”的力量来自于那个姐姐,平原在街上遭遇而追随的一个美女。她兀自掌握起主观叙事的“特权”,拦腰将影片一统的叙事风格切割或粉碎。在向电影传承靠拢的步骤间,程裕苏难抑电影革命的本能冲动,让“姐姐”拦在影片当腰,在画外娓娓独语起来。平原的故事,那个父亲是酷儿,母亲坚持婚姻、操劳不息的家庭,突然变成了她的叙述对象。在《我们害怕》里,程裕苏也曾对影片的叙事系统进行过这种篡夺:观众从未谋面的导演突然在篇尾出现,以叙事者的身份介入,开始了寻找“杰”的工作。当然,“姐姐”的摇身一变,兼职起人物与叙事人的双重角色之后,《目的地,上海》的品质也悄然转换了:无助的人们开始受到关怀。然而,关怀着依旧在不失时机地自我放浪——如同“姐姐”当着小平原的面与男友做爱一样——关怀者加重了受关怀者的孤独无援。于是,平原的小狗在同平原一同经历了姐姐的那夜女欢男爱之后,死去了,平原也发起了高烧。程裕苏的人道主义努力失败了。他只好回归着、回归到影片的基础定位上:超越人道主义关怀,让现实的上海作为一个群体化的城市漠然耸立。

 

骨头里,程裕苏坚硬的后结构主义立场不停地抗击着电影精英主义的侵蚀,但是,电影精英主义又不断地将他推向职业电影的道路,激发他拿出相应的策略和手段与之抗衡或游戏。这种尖锐的冲突,体现在程裕苏身上,缩写了一个影像时代:从胶片精英主义到DV大众主义、从电影经典主义到DV反经典主义、从影像精致主义到DV真实主义的拉锯时代。

 

由义无反顾地使用PD150、全数手持摄影、不使用人工灯光和调音设备,到选择790高清晰数字摄影、高保真调音台和现场高静音的拍摄方法,从很少用后期加工手段到大量启用后期加工软件——调色、滤光、三维、音乐配置,程裕苏从“真实”回归了“静美”,又在用新启的、数字化的精美,超越胶片所能达到的精美极限。

 

质疑人生的、生活的“目的地”何在的同时,程裕苏也在向电影的“目的地”提问。

胶片与DV,到底存在着怎样的血源/亲缘关系?DV革命是否可以全无依凭?由国际影展所建立起来的评价体系,是否有足够的准备和实力迎接DV的八面劲风?

 

5,也浮云

 

在上海拍上海, 是地平线视角,是平视,在平视中破界.是为<我们害怕>.

 

从澳洲飞下来拍上海,是俯视,在俯视中沉寂.是为<目的地,上海>.

 

在地面上拍云,是云路下的仰拍.在云层上航拍,是云路上的俯拍.我试过在云间拍摄,云立即化成雾,云路终结或者消隐于雾.

 

程裕苏穿云破雾,使人际成为云层的镜像.是为<浮云>.

 

云如雾.

 

云里雾里.是一个电影辞格,一种佛哲学境界.在假花盛开全无境界的世代,有人选择浮于云上.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Flies Above and Below the Clouds?

Cui Zi’en

 

《有谁在云路上飞,在云路下也飞》

崔子恩

 

Prologue

 

When Tony Rayns translated the film title Floating Clouds (fuyun) into Zero Thousand Li Under the Clouds and Moon(Zero Thousand Li hereafter), he probably had in mind Eight Thousand Li Under the Clouds and Moon(Eight Thousand Li hereafter), the classic Chinese film produced in the 1940s. The story of Zero Thousand Li took place in contemporary Shanghai during the World Expo, while Eight Thousand Li occurred in the old Shanghai where the Communist Party, the Nationalist Party and the Japanese fought to have their own shares in the city. The two Shanghais are both international cities. Translation expands history.

 

In comparison to eight thousand li, zero thousand li exposes its scarcity, or rather its void. This seems to be revealing the secret of Zero Thousand Li. Tony Rayns translated one of my film titles into Withered Lads in a Blooming Season also with specific references, a story that requires further elaboration elsewhere. Two other films made by Andrew Yusu Cheng, Shanghai Panic and Welcome to Destination Shanghai, are like two sides of a gold coin: both its head and its tail have values. When Zero Thousand Li emerges, the gold coin is split in halves and its value immediately returns to zero.

 

Shall we pave the roads, or shall we follow the transient and forever-changing clouds?

 

Zero thousand li of roadexpands beyond the moon, the stars and the clouds.

 

Are we walking, or are clouds floating past us continuously at high speeds?

 

Zero Thousand Li under the Clouds and Moon

 

The original Chinese title for Zero Thousand Li is Yumbulakang. Yumbulakang is a Tibetan Palace located on the mountaintop in Tibet’s Tsedang County. It was believed to have been built by Bonismo monks for the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo in 2 BCE. Later, the palace became the summer palace for the then Tibetan king Songtsan Gambo and Princess Wencheng. Later, the fifth Dalai converted the palace to a monastery for the Gelupa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

 

According to the director, the film is based on a true story, or rather, three true stories. The first story: a woman writer, an orphan at her birth, befriends an old woman from Shanghai who had been married to a man from the Tibetan region of Yushu in Qinghai Province and moved to live there. The writer soon addresses the old woman as “godmother.” The old woman dies peacefully in meditation on her trip to Shanghai for the writer’s interview. In her will, she asks the writer to take a chain of red prayer beads to her guru in Yushu so that he can release her soul from purgatory. In the second story, Dawei is diagnosed with cancer and has only three months to live. He remembers his promise with his university friend Xiangzi that they should see each other again before they die. Xiangzi is based in Yushu and has been working there as a teacher for more than twenty years. In the third story, Xiaobao had developed a strong interest in extra-terrestrials and UFOs since childhood. He is told by ETs in a dream that they will take him away from the earth if he travels to Yushu. The three stories intersect and intertwine when the three people meet, get to know each other and then depart on the ancient Tangbo Road which leads to Yushu. The forever-changing clouds on the Tibetan Plateau accompany their journeys and they clean and purify the mortal world.

 

The film’s shooting locations shift from metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai to the Tibetan region in northwest China, with Yumbulakang being the final stop and the central focus. In an interview, Cheng explained the importance of Buddhist meditation as a way of life for local Tibetans as a result of remote locations, scarce populations, difficult travelling, and long and harsh winters on the Tibetan Plateau. That is why meditation is frequently used as a theme in the film.

 

The Tibetan Plateau with its stretching land, never-ending time and forever-flowing monastery flags is juxtaposed with big cities shrouded by globalisation and information age and devoid of beliefs. The film makes the clouds its central character. The director’s social critique is implicit; he remains silent about his critiques to avoid being trapped in dogmas and clichés.

 

Some storylines are cut or treated with ambiguity: the mysterious disappearance of Xiaobao’s grandmother in the wind, the woman writer’s works, the same-sex intimacy between Dawei and Xiangzi … those complicated storylines and traces from the mortal world existed in Yumbulakang. When the clouds rise, they wipe away these ambiguous stories.

 

The film is shot with a Red One 4K camera. It utilises different filming styles and shooting techniques for various locations: the scenes in big cities are shot in a dramatic style to represent urban dwellers’ dramatic existence; the scenes in Tibetan regions are shot in a documentary style to indicate the Tibetans’ authentic existence. The urban travelers seem quiet and confident; they are in fact burdened with countless worries. The praying Tibetan travelers seem to walk slowly and unsteadily; their minds are as noble and carefree as high clouds. This contrast is vividly manifested through the physical features of Red One.

 

Floating clouds are like the world. This line is a parody of the widely known Buddhist motto: floating lives are like dreams.

 

Tony Rayns describes the film as a Buddhist road film. I suggest that it is a ‘cloud film’. The characteristic of a ‘cloud film’ is its abundance of clouds and scarcity of human beings. Human beings are in this instance merely mirror images of clouds.

 

I have once complained that people often compare human lives to clouds. Zero Thousand Miles reveals the inter-metaphorisations between mortality and cloudality. The true character of the film is thus the clouds instead of the human beings. This is manifested not only through the temporality and continuity of the cloud presence in the film. The clouds are not substitutes to other things; they point to certain cosmological correlations. They make alliances with UFOs, which are in fact clouds outside of the earth’s hemisphere. The film has a clear timeframe and a distinct storyline made up of people’s lives, which are made completely insignificant. Everything below the clouds are merely traces of light and shadows.

 

Shanghai Panic

This is a free-flowing film in its shooting techniques. Hand-held camera, fast-flowing images, ubiquitous random shots, spontaneous acting, as well as the pains and talents manifested in the screenplay … from the first take, Shanghai Panic demonstrates its heterogeneity.

 

Beibei, A beautiful young man from Shanghai, manages to get some ecstasy at the price of three yuan and he shares them with his friends. They are all overwhelmed with happiness after taking the drugs so they dance around with abandon in the discotheque. After that Beibei feels sick and suspects that he has contracted HIV/AIDS. He fears going out, going home, or going to the hospital to have his blood tested. Knowing nothing about HIV/AIDS, his friends Mianmian and Feifei hide him in order to protect him. Hearing from their mutual friend Yaoguai that those infected by HIV/AIDS will be isolated on a desert island like people with leprosy, Beibei’s friends try to hide him and raise money for him to make a trip to Hong King for treatment. Mianmian suggests that Feifei get money from her wealthy ex-boyfriend, but Feifei refuses as they have already broken up. Despair overwhelms everyone; they are reminded of their sad memories associated with family, marriage and love. Almost in despair, they send Beibei to a doctor based in Beijing who offers HIV/AIDS test without disclosing the patients’ identities. Beibei learns that he is HIV-negative after the test; it turns out that everything is perfectly normal with his health. After this incident, the friends lose their motivation for living and soon become bored again. Unfortunately, Beibei seems to have endless problems: when Mianmian finds Beibei browsing porn websites with little girls’ nude pictures, Beibei admits that he has sex with underage girls. The audience then sees Mianmian carry her baby daughter out of a hand-drawn DV screen. One incident happens after another: Beibei does not identify as gay, but he falls in love with a male dancer called Jie. Jie tells Beibei that he will disappear and will never be seen again if they have sex with each other. Mianmian tries to extend their relationship by including Jie in their friends’ group. She invites Jie to a home party where Feifei and Yaoguai shed tears while recalling the naming and birth of Meihao. Jie disappears at the end of the film, either feeling loved or fearing to be loved.

 

For Cheng, digital video is not only medium but concept as well. It disrupts the boundaries between reality and fiction, documentary and feature film, life and allegory. It constructs a visual world that is both real and unreal. Shanghai is treated as an allegory in the film; so are the characters living in the city. Shanghai symbolises modernity; Mianmian symbolises care in modern life; Beibei symbolises fear in the age of HIV/AIDS; Feifei symbolises trauma and reconciliation. If we read the characters in the film against reality, all of them seem to be autobiographical. The characters’ stories in the film correspond to the actors’ and actresses’ experiences in real life; in other words, real people enter the cinematic world. In this sense, actors and actresses present their own life stories without having to perform.

 

This film marks a collective and unreserved consumption of the memories and talents of the scriptwriter, the director, the actors and actresses.

 

It is not storing up, nor accumulating, nor building up the momentum; it is expressionism without restriction and creative talents overflowing beyond the film.

 

Welcome to Destination Shanghai

 

Shanghai Panic was made with a SONY 150P camera. Its visual languages are idiosyncratic and unique; they are intertwined with the life experiences of the filmmakers and actors/actresses. The bodies with handheld cameras discard the technocentrism of cinematic tradition. Warmed up by palms and chests, the cold nights in Shanghai become refreshed, fluid and dynamic. “Objectivity” has been swept away completely; the film thus displays its purity and transparency.

 

Shanghai Panic, with its dynamic revolt against the cinematic traditions formed during the celluloid era, appears too undogmatic for the international film community. It outrages many authorities in the field and is appreciated by some others, Tony Rayns included. In Welcome to Destination Shanghai, Cheng toys with cinematic traditions by borrowing, discarding, reusing, destroying and reconstructing them. Cheng, as a “bad boy” of cinema, displays his excellent academic training in film in Sydney. However, he is quite critical about, and even contemptuous of, his academic background as a film major. The “traditions” and techniques are only used to help film critics to understand and to “annotate” the film in case they cannot follow it.

 

The rather grandiose beginning of Welcome to Destination Shanghai fascinates many audiences who are obsessed with the spectacle of wealth and pleasure. At its screening venue, I discovered another meaning, an implicit one, of “loving films”: love of splendid palaces and luxurious lives and contempt for dilapidated residential neighbourhoods and poor lives.

 

Welcome to Destination Shanghai juxtaposes a Shanghai on the bund with a Shanghai on the Suzhou River, a Shanghai of changing political climate with the Shanghai of unpredictable economic development, a Shanghai with Chinese characteristics with a Shanghai as a global city, a Shanghai for the ordinary people with a Shanghai for the rich and the powerful, a ‘real’ Shanghai with an allegorical Shanghai … all of these pictures are presented with great complexity and precision; together they constitute a picture series of multi-faceted and polymorphous postmodern Shanghai.

 

If Shanghai Panic is characterised by Cheng’s individual expression, Welcome to Destination Shanghai presents Cheng’s perspectives into, and concerns about, social life in Shanghai. The “we” in Shanghai Panic (the Chinese title is Women Haipa or We Fear) is a small group of individuals combating a big and powerful HIV virus and telling stories about childhood trauma and youthful desires; Welcome to Destination Shanghai pushes the lens onto a broad “society” by weaving together abstract and concrete social realities in sound-image combinations, rife with prosperities and declines, consumption and being consumed, silence of the margins and noisiness of the central scenes, and quiet death and persistent struggles to survive.

 

Permanent and temporary members from the international film community see from the film a sense of helpless and desperate struggles, as well as dark and concrete urban spaces. These urban spaces are not outside of main characters such as A Ling, Guaiguai, Pingyuan and Linda; they are inside the characters. They are urban spaces impossible not to live in and to live together in; they are “destinations.”

 

The kaleidoscopic narrative structure of the film fully displays Cheng’s talent as a scriptwriter. The film begins with an off screen narrator’s perspective, which subjectifies the city and presents it as the “other.” The perspective suddenly disappears when the story unfolds, resulting in the absence of subjectivity and the narrator. The SONY 790 BETA digital video camera is fixed on Jennifer’s “business premise” like a CCTV monitor, ready to shoot the next scene of the male prostitutes’ competition. From that moment, the film presents a sense of objectivity by focusing the camera lens above the characters’ shoulders. It refuses to become a close-up; there is no sympathy or comfort; nor is there violence. The helpless characters perform their activist theatres scene by scene, in solos or in groups. Cheng only needs to follow their entries and exits. Without much effort, Cheng displays the wanes and waxes of the crowd in the kaleidoscope: one character appears and disappears after another; one set of social relationship starts, blossoms and withers quietly after another. At the end of the film, a blackout concludes all the glories and humiliations, prosperities and failures. The blank screen with off screen music is juxtaposed with the grandiose scenes with music at the beginning of the film. The film appears structured but with variations; the beginning and the end of the film shows signs of maestros in film history.

 

The ‘deviance’ of the film comes from the ‘sister’, a pretty young woman whom Pingyuan meets on the street and follows. She suddenly grabs the ‘privilege’ of subjective narration and breaks the coherence of the film’s narrative style. In his acknowledgment of cinematic traditions, Cheng cannot help resisting the impulse to revolutionise films. Pingyuan’s story and the story of the family in which the father is gay and the mother refuses a divorce and works hard to support the family become part of her narrative. The technique of disrupting narratives also appears in Shanghai Panic, when the director suddenly appears at the end of the film as a narrator and starts looking for Jie. In Welcome to Destination Shanghai, the “sister” assumes the double role of the character and the narrator. After this, the tone of the film starts to change: the helpless is taken care of. The “carer”, however, spares no chance to indulge herself in pleasure and this deepens the sense of loneliness and helplessness of the cared. The “sister” has sex with her boyfriend in front of Pingyuan; Pingyuan’s dog dies after that and Pingyuan falls ill with a high fever. Cheng’s humanistic endeavor has failed and he has to return to the starting point of the film: moving beyond humanistic concerns and presenting Shanghai as it is, a strange collective city.

 

Cheng has been resisting relentlessly against the erosion of cinematic elitism with his solid post-structural spirit. In the meantime, cinematic elitism pushes him to be a professional filmmaker and inspires him to come up with more strategies to negotiate with cinematic traditions. This conflict serves as a metonymy for the Digital Video Age: this is an age when celluloid elitism and DV populism, cinematic classicism and DV anti-classicism, as well as image-professionalism and DV realism fight against each other.

 

Cheng starts his filmmaking career with a hand-held PD150 digital video camera, natural lighting and sound, with little post-production editing. He later switches to a high-definition 790 digital video camera, with hi-fi mixer, studio-environment recording and extensive post-production editing (in colour-mixing, light-filtering, three-dimensional presentation and music composition). Cheng thus returns to “beauty” from “reality” and starts to explore the capacity of digital videos in presenting refined and sophisticated images.

 

As he raises questions about the “destinations” of lives, Cheng also raises questions about the “destination” of cinema.

 

What is the relationship between films and digital videos? Does the DV Revolution need to build on something more traditional? Is the film industry established by international film festivals ready to meet the powerful challenges from digital video?

 

Floating Clouds

 

Shooting Shanghai in Shanghai is a horizontal shot. Shanghai Panic breaks the limits of horizontal shots.

 

Shooting Shanghai on a plane from Australia is a crane shot. Welcome to Destination Shanghai presents a birds’ eye view of a silent Shanghai from the sky.

 

Shooting clouds from the ground is a low-angle shot; shooting clouds from above is a high-angle shot. I have tried to shoot between the clouds; the clouds turn into mist; the roads disappear into mist.

 

Cheng sees through these clouds and mists; he makes humanity into the mirror images of clouds; hence Floating Clouds/ Zero Thousand Li.

 

Clouds are like mists.

 

In clouds and mists. This is a cinematic rhetoric and a moment in Buddhist enlightenment. At an age when artificial flowers compete to blossom, Cheng chooses to fly above the clouds.

 

[英译: 包宏伟 English Translation: Hongwei Bao]

 

 

《交换《双镯》立誓为姐妹夫妻》Exchanging Twin Bracelets as a Vow to Become Sister Spouses

《交换《双镯》立誓为姐妹夫妻》

颜培根

 

Exchanging Twin Bracelets as a Vow to Become Sister Spouses

Bacon Yen

 

黄玉珊是台湾新电影后期由中影征招培养的导演之一,之后转往独立制片的拍片模式,纪录剧情电影都有所涉猎,拍片之余,创办女性影展、南方影展、高雄电影节。黄玉珊的电影中除了对女性自身凝视与所遭遇处境特别关注,浓浓「乡土情怀」与「融合绘画、文学、剧场原素」也成为明显的风格特色。剧情电影方面,黄玉珊从早期女性三部曲《落山风》(1988)、《双镯》(1990)、《牡丹鸟》(1990),而后《真情狂爱》(1998)、《南方纪事之浮世光影》(2005)、《插天山之歌》(2006),带领「南方工作坊」一起完成的《夜夜》(2008),创作历程有超过二十年,在台湾电影圈历经高潮起伏,风霜雨露的多变冷暖下,依然保持着影像的生产,足可见黄玉珊对音像创作的热情及在男性为主制片环境下身为女性的勇敢坚持。

 

《双镯》的题材来自1986年大陆作家陆昭环同名小说,在台湾《联合文学》的「大陆性解放」单元发表,描述福建惠安当地风俗传统、姐妹夫妻、男女地位等,如此「大陆风情」的电影在反共诉求的戒严时期是不能出现的,台海两岸交缠的政治恩怨与国族情仇,就算到了今日,仍轰轰烈烈上演着,大陆对台湾而言,既非本土也非跨国,那游移浮动的模糊地带,是每个台湾人心中最难解的结,由于这样共同的「失根漂流感」,使酷儿/同志在台湾能比其他亚洲国家多了一份宽容与理解。

 

《双镯》中使用不少象征手法,除了以「双镯」来比喻惠花秀姑的感情。也善用「海」的元素,运用在惠花初经来「潮」的场景与最后步入海中而亡的意象(令笔者联想到《时时刻刻》中的吴尔芙)。还有经典的「扇子语法」,不同的动作姿势中惠花间接传递情感给秀姑(令笔者联想到纳粹营里的同性恋情故事《Bent》,当我摸眉毛的时候代表我爱你,这个桥段在《泡泡公寓四人行》里也有再运用)。

 

惠花秀姑两人的姐妹夫妻关系,一共分为五个阶段:第一个阶段,两人刚住在一起时,有点打闹玩的嚷着:「我俩结为姐妹夫妻,生同生,死同死,我中有妳,妳中有我,永不分开。妳不负我,我不负妳。」第二个阶段是在一场共浴的戏中惠花担心秀姑以后有了男人会忘了她,于是秀姑发誓:「上天下地过往的神灵听着,我秀姑要是嫁了人,忘了惠花,天打雷劈,上刀山,下油锅,不得好死。」第三个阶段,秀姑在嫁人前夕,再与惠花严肃立下姐妹誓约,交换镯子,此时惠花的银镯与秀姑的铜镯正式承载两人情感,互为信物(定情之物)。第四个阶段,秀姑要与光哥搬离惠安村时,惠花把铜镯子还给秀姑,要她留给未来出世的惠生,秀姑亦归还银镯,象征两人爱情所属的分离。最后,惠花投海而死,并把两个银镯子留给秀姑,说着:「我愿来生再与妳结为姐妹夫妻,双镯为凭,镯中有我,我中有妳。妈祖娘娘为证,我心中永远、永远有妳。」

 

黄玉珊将惠花与秀姑身体上的亲密关系暗示性地带过,着墨较深的是惠花在镜中看着自己的前后两次画面。在与秀姑共同入浴前,惠花将缠在身上的束带解开,松了一口气却又很讨厌似的丢着,是对传统风俗的反感而出气着。她看着镜中的自己深深一吻(《私颜》、《艳光四射歌舞团》也有如此表现手法)。凝视自身的过程,是对身为女性的认同/矛盾/爱慕;临死前再一次的观望镜中的自己并抚摸着,表达一种对女性自身/肉体/爱情的不舍依恋。

 

美学设计上,笔者特别注意到当两人共浴惠花起身要秀姑立誓时,技巧性的用镜子遮住了身体,而镜子背后正是惠花与秀姑两人的剪影照,在之前惠花观玩着镜中自己时,就可以看到。另外,一幕秀姑与光哥俩人在调侃对方做爱的戏,特别运用卧房建筑结构的设计,从「洞」中看着两人的调情,两人做爱时,把画面由墙上一幅小童子以手指「戳」弥勒佛肚子的特写画面展开,前后的表现手法特别令人遐想。另外当剧中发生某个事件时,利用罗大佑的音乐成功营造紧张又扑朔迷离的情绪,几场黄昏的海景,也流露一种日暮西垂的沧桑。最后梅艳芳主唱的〈似是故人来〉,惠花与秀姑之间的感情余音缭绕在观者心中。

 

笔者对于「传统」也有很深的感触,「重男轻女」的观念「男的是龙,女的是泥」,纵使惠花课业成绩再怎么好过她哥哥,也夺不到重视,而且是由亲身体验过的母亲来传承实行。「白天拳打脚踢,晚上被他压」、「女人被打个两三下算什么」,男尊女卑的封建思想,没有怀孩子一年只能见三次面的规矩,传统加诸在女性身上的枷锁到底有多沉重。美珍偷偷与丈夫见面被捉后喊着:「丈夫想见妻子都不行,这是规矩错,不是我的错。」清楚说出固守传统旧俗不知变通演进的荒谬。

 

Vivian Price(2004)在〈女同志主体在中文电影中的崛起〉一文中,将惠花解读成伴侣关系的T,以她的强势勇敢及一场打蛇的戏来做验证,笔者并不太建议如此的阅读法。在同志文化发展下的次文化,逐渐形成男同志会以「哥」、「弟」,女同志以「T」、「婆」名词来定义自己,这是某种程度的方便但不是绝对,这样的分类朝着异性恋模式建构,但其实酷儿/同志们的世界本身并没有那么僵化。譬如现在越来越流行的「不分」,或是根本「没有分」,我就是爱上了你/妳,为什么要被性别角色再一次困住呢?况且,笔者也不认为,秀姑最后走入婚姻,或是比较温柔就是偏向「婆」的角色。还记得片初秀姑与唱戏的小云,那你来我往的挤眉弄眼含情脉脉,可是比惠花还早进入女女世界的样子。而两人相拥而睡时,也是秀姑「压下」惠花、「搂着」惠花,秀姑给人的感觉反倒多了些成熟稳重,惠花则是小孩子气、任性的感觉较重。笔者想要强调的是,或许同性间的关系并不一定要再分类,两个人互相照顾,个性合得来,不就是很好的关系了吗?

 

黄玉珊也曾在接受采访时,针对男性女性对《双镯》是否为同性恋电影认知不一的问题表示:「我是想要把诠释权交给观众。我在之前拍摄和后来剪接完成时的心情是不一样的:起初我认为是一般东方的姊妹情谊,剪接时我却改变心意,认为结局应该是开放的,观众当然可以从同性恋的角度去看(台大女研社访问、阿绿整理,1993:61)。」笔者倾向朝有同性恋情的角度去看,因为就算是作为过渡的一段旅程,也是生命的一部分,不容否认,但每个人要怎么认知有其诠释的自由。

 

《双镯》在制片公司不希望与同性恋电影沾上边的情况下,仍积极参加女性影展、同志影展,并夺下1992年旧金山同性恋影展观众票选最佳剧情奖,早《喜宴》一步预告了台湾酷儿/同志电影即将在影展发光的实力。虽然在制片公司要求「更戏剧化」一点的调整下,「悲剧化」的女性宿命被强调的有些不自然(美珍、大嫂、惠花的死亡)。但在叙事流畅的铺陈下,黄玉珊成功带领观众领会故事中的重要主题,看见女性的种种存在,不失为一部兼顾商业与艺术的电影作品。

 

《安静的力量——黄玉珊的女性三部曲》The power of quietude: Huang Yu-Shan’s female trilogy

《安静的力量——黄玉珊的女性三部曲》

刘亚玉

 

The power of quietude: Huang Yu-Shan’s female trilogy

Liu Yayu

 

无需置疑,女性导演比男性导演更能揭露女性的生存境遇中赤裸裸残酷真相的一面,黄玉珊的电影坦诚地将女性自身“不完美的真实”呈现在银幕上,而这些弱点转而又成为她们的小宇宙爆发的内在动力。

 

黄玉珊导演的女性三部曲全然抛弃了男性主导的视点,讲述台湾社会变迁中的“她史“。她的第一部影片《落山风》彰显了女性对自身情感、身体的控制权。影片根据汪笨湖的同名小说改编,在佛门禁地上演了一出“不伦恋”,讲述了一个从封建家庭流落到寺院的女性,她用自己的身体反抗来对抗父权的压迫。被封建家庭抛弃的妻子带着不能生育的愧罪感来寺院修行,却在最后意识到自身的完整和男性的不完整,完成了一个自我认同的过程。

 

影片淳朴而唯美地展示了女性的身体,导演让姜受延对着镜子端详自己,试图激发她在镜像中寻找自己内心被压抑的情感和欲望。在性爱场面中,女导演展现出了与男性导演不同的视角,建立了一种女性主导的情爱关系。这种反转的性别关系建立在女性自主身体书写的自觉意识之上,她建构了女性“精神出走”的全新面貌。

 

在《落山风》之后,小说改编加情色曾一度在台湾成为电影票房的保证,其中不乏跟风之作,颇有哗众取宠的意味,很多以“身体解放”为噱头消费女性身体的后起之秀与黄玉珊最初呈现女性身体的初衷相去甚远。资本主义社会的消费意识营造出对幸福身体的共同幻想,而“欲望的身体”被安置进了一个理性结构中。

 

《双镯》根据福建作家陆昭环小说改编,导演将它进行了本土化的融合,描写台湾的原住民惠安女,在已经逐步实现民主化的现代社会,偏远的渔村中女性仍忍受着传统习俗观念的压迫。后来有很多影评解读常常将这部影片当做同性恋电影来做分析,但从黄玉珊导演自己的创作初衷来说,她当时并没有这样主题先行的概念,最初她更加着重于表现姐妹情。然而,导演虽没有女同志理论的主导意识,却在影片中探究出女性同志生成的一种可能性。导演在无意识中,用到了“天生”(by nature)、“后天”(by culture)、“选择”(by choice)三个范畴来界说女性的性取向。

 

影片中透过惠花的视点看到了台湾落后的渔村地区的封建婚姻体制对两性的迫害。在传统的伦理关系中,年轻的女性处于绝对弱势的地位,她被夹在一个紧张的、甚至是相互仇恨的家庭关系中,包括婆媳、夫妻、母女之间的矛盾,而黄玉珊导演将家庭中不可告人的暗面曝露出来,使人惊觉其中隐藏的某种反抗力量。

 

《双镯》的结尾,惠花和丈夫一起到他乡打拼,似乎喻示着女性要进入都市文明才有救赎的可能,这恰好与她的下一部作品《牡丹鸟》产生了内在的衔接。电影《牡丹鸟》中导演用母女两代人的生命经历记录了台湾从农业到工业社会的变迁,这也象征着女性导演的影像中,乡土文化的萎败解体和都市文化的重新建构。故事可分成两段,前半段由女作家陈烨的《黄金之旅》改编而成,后半段则加入导演自己的情感体悟。她突破了以往的线性叙事,用跳跃的时空穿插,从女儿书琴的视点来讲述故事。

 

对于置身于1990年代的台湾女性来说,情感已经不再是她们生活的全部依托,自我追寻则是更重要的议题。女性从封建的乡村制度中踏入工业化的城市,从思想度独立到经济独立,已经彻底摆脱了笼中鸟的命运,即使离开供养的人,依然可以适应社会发展事业独立生存。这部影片延续了“出走的女性”的主题,不同的是,电影《落山风》中女主角是从被动到主动的出走,而《牡丹鸟》中的两位女性从一开始就带着强烈自觉意识。

 

《真情狂爱》更加直面地讲述一位从事色情行业女性的残酷青春和坎坷的生命历程,其中蕴含着更深的社会批判意识和宗教情怀,影片改编自慈济义工陈爱兰的真人真事,导演经历了数年田野调查,将素材反复思索整理成为影片中的故事。

 

这部影片与1980年代后期台湾妇女团体发起的“反对贩卖人口——关怀雏妓”行动有着密不可分的关系,这是台湾的妇女团体第一次集体抗议女性人权被剥夺走上街头抗议。影片对于问题少女、雏妓的生成,从家庭和社会各个层面探究原因,批判了台湾社会中人与人之间的疏离、传统家庭结构的崩溃和教育体制的弊端,阶级分化已经由、家庭、学校延伸到整个社会。导演用一种极其冷静的旁观视点来拍摄,试图充当小兰生活的记录者,拒绝低俗的煽情,也不乏极其写意狂想的段落。

 

黄玉珊导演善于用平静的电影语言中触及着深层的精神冲突,她不断地反思着时间变换所带给人的无序感,试图在随波逐流和标新立异中找寻一种平衡,她在自我的内在抗争中逐渐走向了理性思辨的道路。

 

《北京酷儿影展与其政治可能性》The Beijing Queer Film Festival and its political possibilities

《北京酷儿影展与其政治可能性——以其与中国独立电影运动以及性少数人群权利运动的关联为中心》

于宁

 

The Beijing Queer Film Festival and its political possibilities: A look at the link between China’s independent film movement and the movement for the rights of sexual minorities

Yu Ning

 

电影节的历史最早可以追溯到1932年的意大利威尼斯国际电影节。而1977年在美国旧金山举办的旧金山国际同志电影节(Frameline: San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival)则被认为是世界上最早的LGBT/酷儿影展。从上世纪80年代末,世界各地开始创办当地的LGBT/酷儿影展,而中国内地唯一一个通过电影放映、交流活动来展开性与性别身份探讨的LGBT/酷儿影展–北京酷儿影展于2001年创办。

 

LGBT/酷儿影展作为基于身份认同(identity)的影展,在世界影展中地位特殊。基于此一特征,历来的关于LGBT/酷儿影展的研究,主要围绕影展与性少数人群的政治、社会运动的关系展开。目前,围绕LGBT/酷儿影展与性少数人群社区/观众的相互形构(mutual formative)关系的研究所占比重较高。近年,围绕与LGBT/酷儿影展的关系,对南希・弗雷泽(Nancy Fraser)所提出的(对抗性)公共领域[(counter) public sphere]概念进行演绎的研究也有所增加。但由于北京酷儿影展的特殊性,以上两个方面的研究,对于北京酷儿影展并不适用。

 

与世界上大部分的LGBT/酷儿影展不同,北京酷儿影展并不是从性少数人群权利运动中发源。北京酷儿影展于2001年12月由北京大学学生社团北大影协创办。北大影协自1999年创办伊始,便致力于中国独立电影在校园内的传播,受到中国首个独立影展、2001年在北京电影学院举办的首届中国独立影像节的启发,北大影协在举办了“运动的视域”2001北京国际“新影像”作品展之后,北京酷儿影展的前身–首届中国同性恋电影节作为北大影协的一次主题放映得到举办。由此看来,北京酷儿影展是作为独立影展被举办,它是从中国独立电影运动中诞生而来。而在它至今十几年的发展过程中,伴随着北京同志社区的发展壮大,同志团体的组织者也加入到北京酷儿影展的组织工作当中,进而北京酷儿影展成为为酷儿群体发声的平台。由此看来,北京酷儿影展是在与中国独立电影运动和性少数人群权利运动这两个运动的关联中发展起来的,这是北京酷儿影展不同于其他LGBT/酷儿影展的独特之处,不容忽视。

 

鉴于北京酷儿影展的这一特点,在笔者看来,影展中产生了基于独立电影运动的独立电影节的政治(the politics of independent film festivals)与基于性少数人群权利运动的身份政治(identity politics)之间的拉锯。在当下的电影政策下,性少数人群主题电影的制作虽然仍受到限制,但随着DV和DVD技术的发展以及互联网的普及,在某种程度上影片的制作和观赏得到了实现。与此对比,由于电影政策禁止独立制作的电影公映,独立电影节遭到强力打压,无法正常举办。所以,围绕性少数人群主题电影,重要的不是“看”的问题,而是“如何看”的问题。正是鉴于此,北京酷儿影展通过坚持影展的形式,确保一个物理空间,即使无法实现正常的影片放映,即使无法获得观众参与,用这个由“电影节”所确保的“公共空间”跟当局对独立电影放映的控制进行对抗。这个“公共空间”不同于一般意义上的(对抗性)公共领域,是独立电影节的政治的最佳体现。这一政治取向与北京独立影像展等其他独立影展相应和。由此,北京酷儿影展远离了社区,没有对社区产生积极的形构。而在影展举办之后所进行的酷儿巡展,则可以看作是基于身份政治的放映,性少数人群观众聚集的放映场所则接近于一般意义上的(对抗性)公共领域。

 

独立电影制作是对主流规范电影制作的对抗,而酷儿(queer)则是在性/别领域中对主流规范的否定。两者都在寻求规范之外的其他可能性。正是由于这种天然的亲近性,北京酷儿影展在远离身份政治,坚持独立电影节的政治的过程中,变得非常“酷儿”,酷儿政治(queer politics)在影展中的出现是笔者对北京酷儿影展政治可能性的预测。

 

 

 

The Beijing Queer Film Festival and its political possibilities: A look at the link between China’s independent film movement and the movement for the rights of sexual minorities

Yu Ning

 

《北京酷儿影展与其政治可能性——以其与中国独立电影运动以及性少数人群权利运动的关联为中心》

于宁

 

International film festivals can trace their roots back to that held in Venice 1932. As for LGBT/Queer film festivals, the San Francisco Frameline International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival of 1977 is widely considered to be the first. Since the late 1980s, such festivals have proliferated around the globe, and the Beijing Queer Film Festival, launched in 2001, set the scene in China, where it has served as a unique forum for showing films and exchanging ideas in the field of gender and gender identity.

 

Across the world, LGBT/Queer film festivals hold a special position on account of being identity- based film festivals. Owing to this, the research into such events has tended to examine the politics and social movements of sexual minorities, much of it focused on the mutually formative relationship between LGBT/Queer film festivals and the sexual minority community and audience. In recent years, researchers have also given increased attention to the relationships between such festivals, and utilized the concept of what Nancy Fraser has termed the counter public sphere. Due to the distinct nature of the Beijing Queer Film Festival, however, research in these two areas is not applicable in its case.

 

Unlike the majority of LGBT/Queer film festivals around the world, the Beijing festival did not grow out of the rights movement of sexual minorities. Rather, it was initiated by the Peking University Student Film Society in December 2001. Founded in 1999, this film society strove from its inception to promote China’s independent cinema on campus and in 2001, inspired by the first Chinese Independent Film Festival held that year at the Beijing Film Academy, it organized its own international showcase for new film works, under the title “Movement in Vision” 2001. On the heels of this event the Society went on to show a festival of gay and lesbian films, the antecedent of the Beijing Queer Film Festival. From this perspective, the Queer Film Festival maybe seen as an independent event born out of China’s independent film movement. In the dozen or so years since that time the development of the festival has been accompanied by the growth of Beijing’s lesbian and gay community, with community organizations joining in its work, and turning it into a platform to air the views of the community. Thus viewed, the Beijing Queer Film Festival grew out of the link between the Chinese independent film movement and the movement for minority sexual rights. This distinguishing feature between the Beijing Queer Film Festival and other LGBT/Queer film festivals should not be overlooked.

 

Because of this, the author believes the Beijing Queer Film Festival has given rise to a seesaw battle between the politics of independent film festivals on the one hand, and the identity politics of the movement for the rights of sexual minorities on the other. Despite the continued restrictions placed on films focused on sexual minorities under current film policy, the production and enjoyment of such films has nevertheless been facilitated up to a point by the development of DV and DVD technology. In contrast, due to the official policy of banning independent films from public venues, independent film festivals have been hit hard, and have not been able to carry on in a normal way. Therefore, the main problem facing films taking sexual minorities as their theme has been the matter of not whether they are seen, but how. It is precisely for this reason that the Beijing Queer Film Festival has persisted in the form of a film festival, ensuring it has a physical space, even if it is one where the normal showing of films is not possible, and where audiences have been unable to participate. It has used this “Public Space” provided by the “Film Festival” to confront the controls placed upon the showing of independent films by the authorities. The “Public Space” referred to here differs from the generally perceived sense of the (confrontational) public space, and is the best display of the politics of the Independent Film Festival. This political orientation coincides with that of the independent film festivals in Beijing and elsewhere. Thus the Beijing Queer Film Festival has kept a distance from the community, and made no positive impact on the formation of the community.

 

Just as Independent film production challenges the paradigms laid down by mainstream film production, so queer represents the negation of mainstream paradigms in gender. Both are searching for possibilities beyond their paradigms, and it is due to this natural proximity that the Beijing Queer Film Festival, by staying removed from identity politics and, persisting with the politics of the independent film festival has become truly “queer”, and the appearance of queer politics within the film festival is what this author perceives to be the political potential of the Beijing Queer Film Festival.

 

[英译: 柯鸿冈 English Translation: Paul Crook]

《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]