Spring Fever (2009 film)

Spring Fever

Taiwan poster (the film however was never allowed to publicly screen in Taiwan[1])
Traditional 春風沉醉夜晚
Simplified 春风沉醉夜晚
Mandarin Chūnfēng Chénzuì de Yèwǎn
Literally The Night Deeply Drunk on the Spring Breeze
Directed by Lou Ye
Produced by
  • Lou Ye
  • Nai An
  • Sylvain Bursztejn
Written by Mei Feng
Music by Peyman Yazdanian
Cinematography Zeng Jian
Edited by
  • Robin Weng
  • Zeng Jian
  • Florence Bresson
  • Dream Factory HK
  • Rosem Films
Distributed by Le Pacte
Release dates
  • May 13, 2009 (2009-05-13) (Cannes)
Running time
116 minutes
  • China
  • France
Language Mandarin

Spring Fever is a 2009 Chinese film directed by Lou Ye. The production of the film is in defiance of a five-year ban on filmmaking imposed by China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) for his previous film, Summer Palace.[2] Filmed in Nanjing, the film was described to be about a young threesome overcome with erotic longings.[3]

By the time of the film's premiere at the Cannes Festival on 13 May 2009, it was known that Lou had circumvented the five-year ban imposed upon him after Summer Palace by having Spring Fever registered as a Hong Kong/French co-production.[4]


The story begins in Nanjing. Suspecting that her husband Wang Ping is cheating on her, Lin Xue hires an unemployed photographer named Luo Haitao to follow him. Indeed, Wang is having a steamy affair with Jiang Cheng, a gay man. Lin confronts Wang and storms into Jiang's office to make a scene. Jiang cuts off all contact with Wang. He becomes depressed and hooks up and has sex with Luo. Luo actually has a girlfriend Li Jing who loves him.

Wang becomes desperate and commits suicide. Meanwhile, Li's factory is shut down by the police. As her boss has been good to her, Li helps to secure his release from detention, but comes to the realization he just wants to get into her pants.

Jiang is devastated after hearing Wang's suicide. He quits his job and plans to go to Suqian with Luo for some materials. However, Li tags along and discovers their relationship. She is very upset but as she really loves Luo, decides to "share" him with Jiang.

On their way back to Nanjing, it becomes clear the dysfunctional love triangle cannot be sustained. Li leaves first, and Luo and Jiang also break up with some tears shed. Jiang is ambushed by a vengeful Lin and almost killed. He recovers and begins a relationship with another gay man.



In April 2009, it was announced that Spring Fever was to be shown in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6] Little else was known about the film at the time, except that Lou was in the process of editing the film in Paris.[2] Like Summer Palace, Spring Fever was to be screened without government approval.[2]


An early review by industry watcher Variety, following Spring Fever's premiere in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, was critical of the film's "overlong" running-length of 116 minutes, and its overly "Euro tastes (and Western sensibilities)," especially when compared with Lou's breakout film Suzhou River.[4]

The film won the award for Best Screenplay at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for its writer Mei Feng.[5]


  1. (Chinese) 新聞局擬全面封殺《春風沉醉的夜晚》
  2. 1 2 3 Associated Press (2009-04-24). "Banned Chinese film at Cannes". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  3. McCarthy, Todd (2009-04-16). "Cannes taps heavy hitters". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  4. 1 2 Elley, Derek (2009-05-13). "Spring Fever Review". Variety. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  5. 1 2 "Festival de Cannes: Spring Fever". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  6. Elley, Derek and John Hopewell (2009-04-23). "Cannes unveils lineup". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
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