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Mobile intimacies in the queer Sinophone films of Cui Zi’en

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Queer Sinophone cinema includes queer Chinese cinemas outside of China, and queer Chinese films in China that are beneficiaries of peripheral Chinese and global western queer film markets. Located in the margins of Chinese heteronormativity, queer Sinophone cinema questions the ontology of kinship and new queer subjectivities that are produced by the global reordering of Chinese modernity. This article examines the cinema of China’s foremost gay film-maker, Cui Zi’en, as an example of queer Sinophone cinema. In particular, it analyses two films, Refrain (2006) and The Narrow Path (2004), to critically consider how Cui’s films exploit the discourse of mobile intimacy to reveal gay intimacy as a site of movement between sign, image and constituency; straight and queer men; and ethics of exposure and concealment. As intimate and excentric to Chinese heteronormativity, these films articulate and question how emancipatory and regulatory neo-liberal Chinese gay identities are governed and challenged.
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Keywords: Chinese digital video (DV) cinema; Cui Zi’en; mobile intimacy; queer Sinophone cinema; queer cinema; queer neoliberalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Melbourne

Publication date: 21 March 2012

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