. . .
In the spring of 2005, the memorial same-sex loving woman made her pres-
ence felt once again with the concurrent release of Tsao Jui-Yuan’s television
and film adaptations of Pai Hsien-yung’s 1970 short story “Gu lian hua”
(Love’s Lone Flower). Tsao’s lavish, sixteen-episode costume-drama adap-
tation of Pai’s memorial narrative of one woman’s love for two successive
female sweethearts, spanning time and space to link late-Republican-era
Shanghai with 1950s Taipei, was screened on Taiwan’s CTS network between
9:30 and 10:30 Sunday evenings, and the film redaction was released in com-
mercial cinemas around the island in May 2005. Throughout April and May,
Pai Hsien-yung, Tsao Jui-Yuan, and a group of the production crew from the
costume designer to the composer of the original score undertook a multi-
city promotional tour, screening a “making of” DVD and selling the sound
track CD and a folio-format commemorative book featuring a selection of
glossy stills, commentary from actors and crew, and a reprint of Pai’s original
story.1 In addition to illustrating again the remarkable popularity of locally
produced gay- and lesbian-themed television drama in Taiwan, the Love’s Lone
Flower phenomenon furnishes an apposite closing example of the continuing
hold that female homoerotic memorialism maintains on the Chinese mass-
cultural imagination (figure 57).
Love’s Lone Flower is a historical drama focusing on love between sing-song
girls. The protagonist Yun Fang’s (Anita Yuen) first love is Wu Bao (Angelica
Lee), a singer/escort with whom she worked in 1940s Shanghai and for whose
affections she competed with the male Taiwanese musician Lin San-lang (Tou
Chung-hua).2 Wu Bao died young, however, in the chaos of the exodus from
Shanghai to Taiwan following the Communist victory in the civil war, and she
Previous Page Next Page