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Star Appeal

Cui Zien

Release year: 2004

Run time: 86 min

Film type: Fiction


Coming alone from Mars to the Earth, ET is brought home by Xiao Bo. Xiao Bo’s girlfriend, Wenwen, does not believe that ET is an alien, while Xiao Bo’s boyfriend, Xiao Jian, is simply skeptical. However, Xiao Bo is convinced of ET’s identity. He is very attentive to ET, enthusiastically showing him what the Earth looks like. In order to distract Xiao Bo from ET, Wenwen masquerades as someone from Jupiter. Her plan doesn’t work, however, so to get revenge, Xinxin declares that she’ll have a mixed Earthling-Martian baby with ET. She brings ET home, teasing him and trying to persuade him to have a baby with her, but instead, ET ends up losing consciousness. Coming to his rescue, Xiao Bo inadvertently utters “I love you”, a phrase also used by Martians. Upon hearing this, ET recovers consciousness. ET used to survive merely on sunlight, never taking any food or drink. It is for Xiao Bo’s sake that ET tastes coffee for the first time. He gradually experiences various aspects of life on Earth, learning how to love as well as what the physical limitations of humans are. On the eve of his return to Mars, ET uses the same ultimate human way of expressing love, and makes love to Xiao Bo. Through this, he dedicates his Martian love to Xiao Bo. Not long after ET has left Earth, Xiao Bo, who was “infected” by a certain Martian quality during lovemaking, returns to where they first met, and discovers the way to Mars.


Director biography

Cui Zi’en (born Heilongjiang, 1958) is a film director, essayist, and novelist. He became known in the 1990s as an outspoken queer activist. He is known as an avant-garde underground director in China. His notable films about homosexuality include the documentary Queer China, Comrade China (2009), which deals with changes in Chinese LGBT culture over the last 30 years. He has written books on theory and criticism as well as publishing nine novels in China and Hong Kong, one of which, Uncle’s Past, won the 2001 Radio Literature Award in Germany. He also taught at the Beijing Film Academy.