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Creative Writing
Movie Review
English (U.S.)
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The Youth Subculture "In the Heat of the Sun" (Movie Review Sample)


Movie name: In the Heat of the Sun. References to external resources are not needed and not allowed.
Please discuss Ma Xiaojun's (nickname Monkey, the protagonist of In the Heat of the Sun) activities in his father's room, in other people's rooms, at school, in public spaces in Beijing (streets, restaurant, swimming pool, and others)? How do you
agree with the following argument in the critical article by Weijie Song, “Transgression, Submission, and the Fantasy of Youth Subculture: The Nostalgic Symptoms of In the Heat of the Sun”:
“In the film and in reality, perhaps the most charming fantasy of the youth subculture is the action of ‘walking in the city,' not only physical movement but also a process of alternative education or enlightenment. It indicates youth, action, encounter, discovery, friendship, dreams, longing, passion, and love, especially when the walking is constituted as an ‘imagined memory' connected with lived experiences from twenty years before.”


The Youth Subculture
Ma Xiaojun's actions together with other youths in the film “In the Heat of the Sun” by Jiang Wen in 1994 depict a revolutionary culture of the young people. With little parental care, the youth is left to explore the world with whatever fancies them. “Monkey” as friends call Ma Xiaojun's father goes far away from home to work as military personnel. Monkey states that now he has freedom like other kids whose parents work in town. The monkey and his friends become wild, getting out of control even in class. It is shown how they make their history teacher's class miserable.
Causing trouble becomes Monkey's game. He breaks into apartments steals and does different activities in people's rooms without getting caught. It is evidenced how unruly the young generation of this time lives. Creativity disguised in self-discovery, but based on the wrongful end result characterizes Monkey's life. His anxiety to discover secrets also draws him to his father's box and stuff. In the midst of these actions, Monkey's love life begins to unfold when he accidentally breaks into the Mi Lan's room. A smile on a portrait attracts him to the girl. The desire to know and be close with Mi Lan grows. However, youth desperation, lack of parental guidance and being left in the world of unknown evidently drives the plot of the film. Young people submit to

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