Tian has replaced the use of low fixed cameras that are present in the original version with a gently gliding camera that is almost continuously mobile. The camera is made to tracks and pans laterally in all the scenes. The camera is made to roam continuously and move in the direction that the characters move to. This makes us to conclude that camera freedom is determined by the choice of the characters in the film rather than the film maker. It is the character that determines the movements of the camera throughout the film. The cinematographer, Mark Lee used the same technique in a more flexible version of the style in Flowers of Shanghai. The technique is derived from the central party scene of the original. In this scene, Fei Mu used a more carefully planned camera movements to particularly isolate different pairings of the characters as complex dynamics of the scene unfolded. Tian and Lee have rather generalized the style to cover all of their interior scenes in the film. This has created a rather elegant surface of the whole film rather than something that is focused expressively. Therefore, the effect of the style is felt in the whole film.
The use of actors from Shanghai theatre rather than cinema underlines the literary feel of the screenplay. Fei chose only five characters from the theater that are unknown. The powerful, acutely nuanced performances of the actors gives an entirely feel of psychological realism to the film. For example, the Wei portrayal of Yuwen that weds incandescence to quiet control which is expressed in her minutely subtle changes of expression and slow motion gestures. Both of these actions play a fastidiously controlled “stagedness” and thus probe deeply into their characters. Fei Mu therefore presents a version of psychological drama in her version of the film. This is emphasized especially in the narration that is used in the entire film. The narrators engage the minds of the audience thereby making the version rather psychological film. The original film is dominated by the use of black and white as the theme colors. This brings out a rather classical version of the film. The suppressed passions are therefore more pronounced in this version than Tian’s.
The narrators in the film precisely dominate than the characters. They are given time to talk in between the scenes of the play. Narrators have been used to the audience about what takes place in the different scenes of the film. The variation of tone in the voice also causes some effects. It makes the audience to attach the appropriate emotional intensity to the various actions in the play.
Tian Zhuang Zhuang’s version of spring in a Small Town is rather a traditional classical film. This is in contrast with Fei’s modernist version of the film. The film rejects every element that is present in Fei’s avant-garde style. Unlike Fei’s version, the film does not have a narrator throughout the entire cast. The language used in the film makes it to be rather more traditional than modern. We cannot be able to figure out any dissolves between the shots in the film. There is increased tension of the original version. This is made even more expressively by the dark atmosphere in the film. Unlike Fei, Tian does not use low fixed cameras.
Tian has rather much longer remarks in the scenes of the film. This is not the case in the original version. The long remarks are seen at the beginning when the visitors are arriving. This is however delayed in the original version. Tian’s version also includes a scene at the young sister’s school. The scene displays a group of young people who belong to a particular class dancing. There is also an extended inclusion of the sister’s sixteenth birthday party that is not present in the original film. The husband’s illness is also treated very differently in this film, making him to be more of a morose character.