Analysis of a Film Frozen
Frozen is the second work of Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai. The film was shot in 1996 and originally had the name The Great Game. Frozen is cast by professional actors including Jia Hongshen, Ma Xiaooquing, Bai Yu, and Li Geng.
Frozen is a dramatic and challenging picture of Beijings avant-garde world. The film is grounded on real events. It tells the story of a young performance artist called Qi Lei (Jia Hongsheng), who decides to make a great performance by freezing himself and turn his suicide into demonstration against peoples indifference. Moreover, such action would be a sign of great sacrifice in the name of Art. He calls this act of disobedience “A funeral of ice.” Qi decides to commit the suicide during the day, which would be the the longest out of the whole year. His intentions include burying himself in a pile of ice, whereas his body heat will melt the frozen mass and he will die from hypothermia. The artist prepares a symbolical death ritual: he beginswith a mock self-burial in the fall, then water-burial in the winter, burning in the spring, and his actual ice-burial he remains for the summer. In spite of the protest of his girlfriend (Ma Xiaoqing) and sister, Qi Lei decides to accomplish his final step for the sake of art. His first three steps were completed successfully and seemed real; however, Qi thinks that his work is not enough spectacular and insincere. He spends his days in a deep depression and is constantly thinking about the greatest work of art in his entire life. At first, his sister saves him by bringing him to the hospital where Qi Lei survives, but for everybody else the artist remains dead. After his sister breaks his plans, Qi moves to the countryside and lives there alone. He refuses to see his family and friends. When the artist returns to the city, he revises his plans again, whereas nobody knows he is alive. His soul is between two worlds and he does not intend to return to that world which brings him so much pain. Qi Lei secretly watches people he loved and leaves them forever. Three month later, they find his body beneath the tree and it is seen that he cut his wrists with a knife. It was officially stated that the day he killed himself was the first day of autumn. But for other people he had already died 20 June in his Ice Burial (Xiaoshuai, 1997).
A leading role in Wangs film Frozen belongs to the artists, migrants and the youth. They are people who are not accepted by dominating community and cannot find their place in life. The main character Qi Lei is trapped between the indifference, misunderstanding of his family members and the oppressive encouragement of his colleagues. He is disappointed and unsatisfied with relationship between artists and society and cannot ignore this depressing fact.
People who loved him, his sister and girlfriend blame themselves for the tragedy and the fact that they could not save him or convince him not to do it. Nevertheless, they realize that it was the choice of their great artist Qi Lei.
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Such individualist narrative seems strange for people. They think Qi Lei in Frozen ends his life but, actually, the he loves his life, and hidden poetic sentiment fills his heart.
Many film critics and people who do not understand the real meaning which the author want to show them think that the film is very pessimistic in terms of plot, but it seeks to describe the natural emptiness of life. The director thought that it is very effective to depict the restrictions and loneliness of life through their ordinary characteristics. The author supports his heros choice and understands his pain and despair. Frozen still remainsto be one of his favorite works because it is a deep spiritual film. It is the film that calls for attention to desperate people that deserve to be heard.