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David Douglas
Art 329
4/17/13
Submissive Concubine
The representation of femininity in homosexuality is a constant theme present within each film. Happy Together follows the troubled relationship of Lai Yiu-fai and Po-wing, as they travel from Hong Kong to Argentina. Happy together is the first Hong Kong film to display well-rounded homosexual characters in place of the usual slapstick-comedic stereotypes. The use of Hong Kong and Argentina provide a relationship between home and diaspora space. Their story begins with the theme of “Lets start over again,” a contradictory statement, for starting over wishes to repeat what has already transpired, which for the couple is their crumbling relationship. The relationship between Fai and Po-wing begin to resemble a monogamous marriage. As Po-wing recovers from his injuries, it is here we see Fai’s playing a duel role of the responsible husband as he works to earn money and the domestic wife that cleans, feeds, and is faithful to, displaying the femininity within a homosexual relationship. Happy Together very much focuses on the character’s differences rather than similarities

Happy Together and East Palace, West Palace both address the theme of promiscuity. Po-wing’s character leaves the private sphere of the monogamous home to take part in the gay subculture that values sex adventurism. Within these films the public toilet are the main sites for sexual adventure. After leaving Po-wing Fai becomes Po-wing himself as he indulges in bathroom relations with strangers, and A Lan from East Palace, West Palace secretly looks upon male genitals in public restrooms. The film Farewell My Concubine question that homosexual desire via transvestism may not be the result of identification with femininity rather the institutionalization and legitimization of transgender in theater. In Farewell my concubine Dieyi is subjected to a number of feminizing traditions. The cutting of Dieyi’s is symbolic of his castration. He is then...
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