Text | Ling Hu Boguang
On April 14, "The Wandering Earth 2" officially landed on streaming media, and although the movie has been released for several months, it has now aroused the enthusiasm of netizens. How significant this movie is to Chinese science fiction, Chinese film and television industry, Chinese cultural industry, and Chinese cultural awareness, and I have written a lot before.
Bo Guang insists that "The Wandering Earth 2" is a Chinese movie that meets once in 20 years, and Guo Fan is the domestic entertainment "Purple MSI" in 2023 that was previously rumored on the Internet.
For example, we talked about the impact of "The Wandering Earth 2", what Chinese cultural industry, Chinese cultural awareness is too macro narrative. It's too far away for ordinary people. There are two on the surface, one is the influence on Chinese science fiction films, and the other is the construction of China's film and television industry.
Today's article is still written for China's film and television industry, in fact, the domestic film industry, especially industrial manufacturing, has made efforts very early, and the effort invested is also very large, but the things behind the scenes are generally not very concerned by friends, and they don't know how much it has a role.
"The Wandering Earth" is the main theme? Why are the main theme movies more and more populous
The definition of domestic film and television dramas is becoming more and more broad, because the box office of mainland films has been rising steadily in the past two years, resulting in the box office of many foreign blockbusters getting worse and worse. There is a group of netizens in China who support foreign films, and they have already made the animation "Nezha: The Devil Child Descends" and "Hello Li Huanying" in the box office ranking of Chinese films into the main theme movies.
I think even if the positive expression of China is uplifted, and the official link to the film as the main theme.
This belongs to the main theme at the macro level, disaster films such as "Chinese Captain", "Chinese Doctor" and "Peak Explosion"; sports films such as "The Climber", "Winning the Championship" and "Chinese Table Tennis"; "Fire Heroes", "Ordinary Heroes", "Shocking Rescue" and other fire films.
If the standard is narrowed to involve Chinese officials, it is war action films such as "Ten Thousand Miles Home", "Wolf Warrior" series, "Changjin Lake" series, "Action Series", "Outsmart Tiger Mountain" and so on.
In fact, the traditional main theme films previously officially defined were popular and specialized films such as "Jian "Zi" series of great undertakings", "Me and My Series", "Iron Will" and "Island Guardian", and the production was all film companies in the old system of China Film, Bayi, and Changchun.
So what's the point of mentioning these theme movies?
Because there have been more and more such Chinese commercial blockbusters in recent years, most of them are not good quality, but have little to do with whether they are the "main theme". And there are many reasons for bad shooting, what actors and themes are secondary, fundamentally there are still two points.
First, the aesthetic and film and television industries are not good, either the aesthetics are very poor, or the film and television industry is like the east. Second, the script and expression level are always out of the way, Hong Kong and Taiwan directors do not understand at all, and the fifth and sixth generation of mainland directors are very screwed.
The core and expression level will not be expanded here, but analyzed from the perspective of the film and television industry.
Before the "Wandering Earth" series, Chinese films did not fail to establish an industrial film system, but because the money was spent in the wrong place, always thinking that a group of big stars could support the box office, the money was spent on the stars, and there was money for special effects.
Film production companies have budget constraints, and they want to spend less money and the box office is high, so they can only pay for the other. In recent years, because of "Wolf Warrior" and "The Wandering Earth", they finally found that the bad films made by big stars did not have a box office, so they naturally changed the direction of investment, which is also the choice of the audience.
They shoot what we choose, and that's the market's choice.
However, the previous situation is more suitable for traffic movies like "Small Times" and "Shanghai Fortress". But big Hong Kong directors, Zhang Yimou and other mainland directors have made commercial special effects blockbusters, so why can't they make "The Wandering Earth"?
The same is a special effects blockbuster, we compare Tsui Hark and Guo Fan, and the gap comes out
In the past, mainland commercial blockbusters were not Tsui Hark's problem alone, domestic productions had this situation, the picture was too bright, the picture details were too clear, and the result was that the interpretation of the plot by the picture language not only did not help, but also helped.
First, technical thinking, compared with the industrial thinking of young mainland directors in the new era, the old big directors still do not understand.
First of all, what is the industrialization of film, take one of the links of "The Wandering Earth" is props.
Science fiction props have never been done by a crew in China, from the analysis of styling, rationality, to the role of promotion in the plot, etc., which requires the cooperation of a whole studio, this studio he did not come out of nothing, he needs to recruit talents to cooperate with relevant materials.
That's not enough, these studios need to learn how to make sci-fi props.
Guo Fan mentioned when doing an interview that they wanted to consult foreign science fiction teams, but people didn't teach them, and they didn't teach them when they paid for them. Then we can only explore it ourselves, and after we come out, we can teach other domestic directors who want to do sci-fi films.
This mature film and television industry system, we look at Western science fiction films are either long-term or dark, the focus of the picture is always at the key point, many domestic directors coordinate the filming is no problem, it is a bit difficult for them to express their aesthetic ideas.
For example, Tsui Hark's "Di Renjie: The Four Heavenly Kings" and Stephen Chow's "Journey to the West" are all top commercial special effects blockbusters in Chinese, but the special effects always give people an unreal feeling, making people know at a glance that they are fake.
Chinese film top modeling, hardware, software these things are very backward, resulting in the finished effect makes people feel exaggerated. As long as Chinese is processed from certain details, props are served, and then combined with modeling, etc., there is a future of development from a lower perspective.
If you still want to compare with the texture of Hollywood, there is still a long way to go.
The reason why "The Wandering Earth" opened the door to a new era of China's heavy industry is because it is beginning to solve this problem. In layman's terms, the characters modeled are grounded and can be accepted by the senses, so the film texture is convincing.
Even if everyone knows that the content of the movie is fake, the effect is very appropriate.
The second is the aesthetic level, the young directors in the mainland have the aesthetics of the old big directors in the mainland, and the cultural awareness of the rise of a great power. Hong Kong and Taiwan directors have no bad aesthetics but no consciousness, and mainland directors have strong aesthetics but their consciousness is off.
What does that mean? This director Cao Dun, who made "Chang'an Twelve Hours", made a costume war film called "Heroes of Dunhuang" (not yet released), the film's art, costume Dao, armor, weapons and war scenes, trying to restore the aesthetics of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.
On the contrary, Zhang Yimou's "Manjiang Hong" art costume is a magic reform of the Song Dynasty, and the "Legend of the Demon Cat", which is known to restore the Tang Dynasty, is full of massive peaceful elements.
This is like the film and television industry of a movie, there is something very important, please the foreign team is not unable to help you do, the problem is that people from different cultural backgrounds, his technology presents different aesthetics, unless the main creative team has a deep understanding of film aesthetics, control ability, can present the effect they want.
I have always wondered if it was in my own Hong Kong market in the early days, the pimple market is small, it is more difficult to survive, Tsui Hark and Hong Kong filmmakers are still good at the oriental aesthetic level. But after 2010, mainland capital rose, had money, and just wanted to make money, so they only asked for outsourcing aesthetics.
So the big Hong Kong director has made a bunch of costume magic blockbusters that are not in the middle of the world.
Not just science fiction, not just the Chinese film and television industry? Guo Fan is the "purple MSI" of domestic entertainment in 2023
Guo Fan and his team are building these things little by little, so I think he is not so much opening the door to Chinese science fiction as opening the door to Chinese heavy industry films.
This industrialization is wonderful, in the future, there are other Chinese to do commercial blockbusters in this regard, then you can go to Guo Fan's team to spend money to learn, or give people to learn while working, then Chinese science fiction films will not be lagging behind others for so many years, but will slowly develop.
For example, even Cameron dares to card IMAX abroad (people let Cameron add the corresponding certification mark on the movie poster, and finally it is the result of a compromise between the two sides), China has been engaged in many years ago, from infrastructure to shooting standards to broadcasting equipment package CINITY, may have built more than 200 cinemas, is exporting standards abroad.
The production of "The Wandering Earth 2" is the cinity standard, if foreign countries can really jam the neck of the standard, then the Chinese film industry practitioners, like many physical manufacturing industries, seize the domestic market, and eventually can go out.
The significance of "The Wandering Earth 2" and the Guo Fan team behind it is significant, which is called the real internal entertainment "Skyfall Purple MSI".
Finally, the willingness and ability of this director are a double problem, and I have always felt that the responsibility for the construction of China's film and television industry cannot be pushed onto big directors such as Zhang Yimou, after all, the environment dictates that a generation has a mission for a generation.
Now the domestic film environment is gradually changing, the "traffic economy" is becoming more and more difficult, and the audience's requirements are getting higher and higher, forcing the Chinese cultural community to change. Not only are young mainland directors such as Guo Fan rising, but the industrial level of domestic film and television dramas is getting better and better, the aesthetics are getting higher and higher, and even the subject matter is becoming richer and richer.
I personally hope that the official level will also rise now, manage the film market well without suppressing the enthusiasm of filmmakers, such as appropriately liberalizing the censorship standards, not to mention that it is suddenly released now, at least the standards are not so vague.
Finally, back to the main theme issue mentioned above, the "Wandering Earth" series is not a main theme movie. After all, the core of the film does not mention China, but "all mankind unites against disaster."
If these are the main themes as netizens say, then I hope that the more such Chinese main theme movies, the better.