Text | Ling Hu Boguang
2022 is a turning point in China's science fiction theme, first of all, 3 years after the release of "The Wandering Earth" in 2019, finally ushered in Gu Tianle's "Tomorrow's War", and Happy Twist's "Walking on the Moon Alone" two sci-fi blockbusters were released, although the results were not as good as "The Wandering Earth", and at the same time e animation
At the end of the year, the much-anticipated animated version of "The Three-Body Problem" was launched, and the result was too poor and was scolded. The audience is looking forward to the release of Cameron's "Avatar 2" in 13 years. The level of special effects of the film is not to be mentioned, but because the plot is ordinary and the theme is old, it has also been abandoned by the audience, at least for Chinese audiences.
In the opening year of 2023, the TV series version of "The Three-Body Problem" has gained a good reputation. And the release of "The Wandering Earth 2" in the Spring Festival file, the film and television industry is far more visible to the naked eye than the first part, consciousness upload plan, mountain moving plan, monthly plan and Chinese patriotic feelings have pulled the pattern full.
If Liu Cixin single-handedly raised Chinese science fiction to the world level, Guo Fan single-handedly raised Chinese science fiction films to the world level. But such a world-class sci-fi blockbuster has lagged behind at the box office for various reasons, which is still a bit regrettable.
How many people "blush" Chinese science fiction? We know it when we watch "The Wandering Earth 2"
The elements of "The Wandering Earth 2" and sci-fi films have also been written many times before, sci-fi films and genre films have three aspects that need to be solved, one is the concept and consciousness of science fiction, the other is their own sci-fi aesthetics, and the third is the ability to achieve the first two points, such as the level of the film and television industry (not all). We analyze domestic sci-fi "Alone on the Moon", "Tomorrow's War", "Three-Body Problem" animation, and "The Wandering Earth 2" according to these three points, and even the vast majority of sci-fi films are easy to see why they succeed and why they fail.
1, this year's Koo Tianle's "Tomorrow's War" and Korean science fiction films are both lose-lose sci-fi concepts and sci-fi aesthetics, and the only progress is the film and television industry.
These sci-fi films are compared to the now somewhat comical Indian sci-fi films, and then to the industrially backward Japanese live-action sci-fi. The film and television industry, the so-called special effects, is a clear progress, at least presentable. In fact, although the concept of science fiction and science fiction aesthetics are very rich, they have long been played rotten outside, without their own breakthroughs and novelties, and the audience looks like a tailor.
In fact, when the Chinese Spring Festival file "The Wandering Earth 2" was released, Netflix on the 20th launched a Korean sci-fi blockbuster, "Trip to Busan" series director Yeon Sang-ho's new film "Zhenyi". As a result, the reputation was defeated, and the score of a certain petal of the Korean movie touted in China was only about 5 points, which can be imagined how bad.
When I look at the comments, they are talking about "Alita", and the skin result of the sci-fi film is a family love film. Looking at the sci-fi setting again, what is the end of mankind, battle robots are used to end wars, etc., these sci-fi concepts and settings are indeed very reminiscent of foreign sci-fi films such as the famous "Alita".
Before the Korean sci-fi film "Victory" sci-fi concept and setting, you can see the shadow of classic sci-fi works such as American sci-fi "Elysium", Japanese sci-fi "Starry Sky Cleaner", "Dream of Ringing", "COWBOY BEBOP", "Mobile Suit Gundam: Char of the Counterattack" and so on.
When the Korean sci-fi drama "Sea of Silence" was launched, there was an American drama "Doctor Who" on the Internet that was controversially set as a copy. This year's "Alien + Man" is a modern copy of foreign countries, and ancient copies of China.
Last year, Gu Tianle's "Tomorrow's War" had exactly the same problem, the concept of science fiction and the landing of science fiction aesthetics were copied from the West, and there was almost no set of science fiction aesthetics of their own. The end result is that the film is nothing but language, skin and nationality.
The only thing in Korea that has its own sci-fi concept, as far as I know, is Cho Seok's comic "Walking on the Moon Alone". As a result, South Korea itself did not shoot, but was bought by China and filmed, which is quite interesting.
2, "Three-Body Problem" animation sci-fi aesthetics, film industry and script three lose, "Tomorrow's War" sci-fi concept, sci-fi aesthetics lose-lose, the only thing that rises is the film and television industry, "Alone on the Moon" loses in the script.
Science fiction is played well in few countries in the world, the foundation of popular culture is literature, science fiction writers must have their own conceptual awareness, aesthetic style cognition, etc., the most powerful is to learn and learn to build their own system. Behind the writer is the support of a country's regional national strength level, economic development, national defense industry, aerospace science and technology, and then the rise of modern basic science.
The world's science fiction culture is dominated by the United States, and who is second in Japan and Europe? Russia has the Soviet Union to make some good space films, which is in line with the development of modern world powers. Hong Kong is just a city, without the support of the rise of basic science, and there are environmental reasons. At the peak of Hong Kong movies, hard science fiction could not be played, only Ni Kuang's soft science fiction that was alien.
Korean sci-fi films have been ahead of Hong Kong films, but the sci-fi films that have been handed over have failed to solve the concept of sci-fi, and the landing of sci-fi aesthetics has become its own system problems. Chinese science fiction writers have four heavenly kings, and there is also a science fiction writer with a good vote. Liu Cixin is a world-class writer who established a science fiction system. The animation of "Three-Body Problem" is a poor industrial level, and it uses the unsuitable "Spirit Cage" wasteland aesthetics to set, because because the capital behind it was restored by the concept of the original work, and the story plot and character adaptation were deviated, which eventually led to a shocking failure.
The exoskeletons, post-apocalyptic cities, alien plants and monsters of Tomorrow are all filled with American science fiction. Only the action design and police film mode that Hong Kong films are good at are their own things, but they are completely unfolded.
For example, in addition to the mecha jumping to save people, the fight behind is full of the "soft feeling" of the "Avatar 2" indigenous explosion to kill the future army.
This movie is probably a foreigner for mecha conceptualists, and although the industrial special effects landing level is a domestic special effects company, it is completely full of thinking borrowed from American science fiction.
Although "Walking on the Moon Alone" adapts South Korea's sci-fi IP, because it is an industry made by the "Wandering Earth" team, it is actually stronger than "Tomorrow's War" at the level of sci-fi industry and sci-fi aesthetics. For example, the aesthetics of the lunar base, the Chinese elements of the Tao and scenes, the kangaroo of bio-digital technology, and so on.
For example, foreign sci-fi films of the same lunar type, such as "Moon", "Moonfall", "The First Man on the Moon", etc., including the South Korean "Sea of Silence". This kind of foreign science fiction films are silver gray + blue and green in film aesthetics, anyway, cold colors, the service and texture are relatively cold, and there are foreign cultural elements to embellish.
"Walking on the Moon Alone" is a warm color of orange, yellow and white, and there are a large number of Chinese cultural elements in the service road and scene to embellish, to do integration, that is, to land, and finally there is a sci-fi aesthetic that is different from similar foreign sci-fi films.
There is a big difference between Eastern cultural aesthetics and Western, including Japanese. As long as you do Chinese cultural elements well, it is actually easy to make your own aesthetic style (not many people do this is a blank yet). Hong Kong's kind of environmental filmmakers don't understand, forget it, a bunch of mainland filmmakers also copy it.
The only problem with "Walking on the Moon Alone" is that for business, the script is more fragmented, comedy + science fiction + sensationalism all want to take care of, but none of them have achieved the extreme, resulting in which part of the audience is not enjoyable enough.
"Shanghai Fortress" is a sci-fi concept, sci-fi industry, sci-fi aesthetics and script content stewed things, and the main creative team belongs to sci-fi films at all.
What role does "The Wandering Earth 2" have for Chinese movies? Not only science fiction, but also more than the film and television industry
The sci-fi concept consciousness of "The Wandering Earth" and the breakthrough of sci-fi aesthetics do not need to be repeated. The space elevator, digital life, lunar crisis, etc. in the second part have improved far more than the film and television industry, and made China's own sci-fi aesthetic. In China's national feelings and Chinese cultural consciousness, it can be said to be a rare powerful work of Western science fiction.
The only such work in these years, which is very rare. This is the biggest significance of the appearance of "The Wandering Earth 2", then the meaning below this is the film and television industry and the promotion of Chinese science fiction films.
I have previously written that this film regulates the Chinese film industry from the perspective of domestic film investment and film production, and the specific role of this specification is the exploration, promotion and establishment of China's film and television industry.
"The Wandering Earth" is the first domestic film that does not have many Hong Kong and Taiwan teams, most of the mainland teams, from the original story, production, director and screenwriting, concept art, service road, etc. core teams are all mainland teams, and the leading special effects company is MORE VFX to complete the whole process, and part of it is handed over to overseas companies.
Like "Ball 1" when Guo Fan and Ning Hao went abroad to find foreign special effects companies, but "The Wandering Earth" was not optimistic about low investment (there was no Wu Jing at that time), and if you couldn't afford it, you could only do it yourself, Ning Hao's "Crazy Alien" could afford to find a foreign special effects company, because of this relationship and their good relationship, Ning Hao lent the spacesuit to Guo Fan, and also let the foreign special effects company make several sets of exoskeletons.
All other aspects are dominated by mainland teams, and finally some are outsourced to foreign special effects companies, accounting for one to two percent.
"The Wandering Earth 2" is less in conjunction with foreign industries because of the epidemic, and the domestic team occupies the mainstream, and even invited scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to help. If the first film has trained a team of about 7,000 people for the Chinese film industry, and the second has not been promoted, I think it has at least doubled.
Not many people may realize what is the point, the appearance of "The Wandering Earth" proves that the Chinese film industry is more than equal to South Korea, but because there are more works there or slightly better, but "The Wandering Earth 2" appeared, the Chinese film industry officially surpassed South Korea to become the first in Asia.
At present, among the top domestic investment commercial special effects blockbusters, "Changjin Lake" and "King Kong River" are mission films that were originally immature, and "Yahian" has surpassed in some aesthetics and sound pursuits, but Korean war films as a whole are not lost. In addition, Lin Chaoxian's "Operation Red Sea" has surpassed the industrial scale and technical level in an all-round way.
In addition, it was supported by Guo Fan's team, making "Assassination of a Novelist" surpass the costume fantasy of "Walking with God", and "Thousands of Miles Home" surpassed the Korean similar film "Mogadishu". The "Alone on the Moon" and "The Wandering Earth" series completely surpassed the Korean industry and was determined to be the first in Asia.
It is a pity that the strongest in the domestic film and television industry is currently Guo Fan's team, Wu Ershan's "Fengshen Trilogy" died violently, Guan Hu and Ning Hao were still successful, and the rest is the Hong Kong circle. In addition, animation South Korea did not play much, "Deep Sea" surpassed Japan in technology and caught up with American animation.
Here is a cruel thing to tell you, "The Wandering Earth" will be released in the 2019 Spring Festival file, and "The Wandering Earth 2" will be released in the 2023 Spring Festival file. Four years have passed, except for a desperate "Tomorrow's War" by Koo Tianle in the Hong Kong film industry, and "Walking on the Moon Alone" made by the same special effects team.
So far, no company team in the Chinese film industry has entered the sci-fi blockbuster, and there is really none.
Chinese science fiction films reach the world's top? The appearance of "The Wandering Earth 2" may be more than that
"The Wandering Earth 2" is so good, but the current box office can't help but make people sigh, in our country with ideals in mind, it is really uncertain to do things seriously. Not only the vast majority of viewers, but even the mainstream media and the above may not realize the huge effect of this event.
In fact, the development of all walks of life is mainly driven by a small number of extremely prescient and capable idealists. Take the American film industry, if you remove George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron, and kill the movies "Star Wars", "Alien" and "Avatar", then Industrial Light and Magic, Weta and other visual effects companies will not be born.
Hollywood's value output will be greatly reduced, this is not a movie, a little box office trifle.
Guo Fan's role in China is no worse than the above people, and even more than China, because the fact is that there is only Guo Fan in all of China! In this case, our opinions are so divided, allowing the film to remain indifferent and still quarrelling and dividing.
However, this may also be like the birth of "The Wandering Earth" and Chinese science fiction, growing and rising in the reverse mirror, the process is full of twists and turns, but some people just choose hope!