【Writer and Art View】
Author: Liu Dingxin (special researcher at Capital Normal University Research Base, Beijing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era Research Center)
After the difficulties of the epidemic, the spring of movies came earlier and stronger than the natural spring of Guimao. The films released during the Spring Festival this year are of different types, with clear themes, ups and downs, and excellent productions. They write the value of life, interpret the feelings of family and country, and inherit the spirit of China in the time and space span of looking back on the past, cherishing the present, and looking forward to the future. Shocked and moved. According to statistics from the National Film Administration, the box office of Spring Festival movies was 6.758 billion yuan. Chinese Movie Audience Satisfaction Survey 2023 Spring Festival file survey results show that the audience satisfaction score is 87.1 points, which is the highest score in the same period since the survey began in 2015. Or the passionate feelings overflowed the Spring Festival screen. Even on the working day after the holiday, the Spring Festival stalls are still popular, the social network is active, and various hot searches continue. Many movie fans share the details of their N brushes. This “good start” scene not only creates a festive festive atmosphere and nourishes the hearts of hundreds of millions of movie viewers, but also becomes the driving force behind the development confidence of the film industry, the catalyst for the prosperity and development of the film industry, and the new era that inspires the fighting spirit of filmmakers. Kinetic energy has won a lottery for the development of the film industry this year.
Science fiction as the medium, opening up a new style of main theme expression
In recent years, science fiction themes have become a strong new force in the Chinese film and television market. The 2019 Spring Festival file “The Wandering Earth” kicked off the creation of Chinese hard sci-fi movies. It not only made the audience marvel at the high level of sci-fi production, broke multiple box office records for domestic movies, but also allowed Chinese people to have their own sci-fi romance. The term “the first year of Chinese science fiction” was born. In 2020, the “Ten Articles of Science Fiction” (i.e., “Several Opinions on Promoting the Development of Science Fiction Films”) with top-level planning significance will emerge in due course to promote the industry to make science fiction films an important growth point for the high-quality development of films and start a new journey of Chinese science fiction. . Under the dual guidance of industrial practice and policy planning, many sci-fi films such as “Lonely Walking on the Moon”, “War of Tomorrow”, and “Mozart in Outer Space”, as well as the TV series “Three-Body Problem” and the cartoon version “Three-Body Problem” have been broadcast one after another. Integrating comedy style, action elements, family education, etc. into science fiction narratives enriches the development space of science fiction themes.
In this context, during the Spring Festival this year, many sci-fi films were released together, especially “The Wandering Earth 2”, which has been carefully crafted for four years, is the most amazing. Compared with the previous work, “The Wandering Earth 2” uses the unique typed narrative techniques unique to science fiction movies, with the support of new technologies such as 3D printing and digital lathes, to create magnificent video images such as the “space elevator” that goes straight into the sky. , presenting visual spectacle such as going back in time and allowing actors to interpret their youth, reflecting a new breakthrough in the level of film industrialization. The plot setting advances in three historical crises, which significantly improves the narrative structure of science fiction movies. The emotional shaping of small characters and large group portraits narrows the emotional distance between the film and the audience. This Chinese-style sci-fi film creation idea opens up new space for future creations and will lead Chinese sci-fi films into a new stage of increasing maturity.
During the Spring Festival, the expression of science fiction not only brings more imagination to genre creation, but also collides with animation production to create a different kind of spark. “Bear Infested: Stay with Me “Bear Core”” expresses fairy tales such as the stars, the moon, and amber stones, and dialogues with the artificial intelligence represented by the omnipotent No. 1 robot and the iron-clad monster. “Deep Sea” is supported by China’s unique 3D animation form “Particle Ink Animation” technology, which makes the little girl’s journey of exploring life in the mysterious underwater world show great visual tension. From the wandering earth, to the “bear core” mother, to the deep sea world, it all shows that the Chinese expression style of our sci-fi movies is more obvious, and the space for mixing sci-fi elements is expanding. Based on the cross-section of the Spring Festival, we may predict the trend of Chinese science fiction films in the future: more works will draw innovative inspiration from realistic observations, actively explore and endow “science fiction” with more spiritual connotations with a focus on promoting the main theme, with serialization, Branding and matrix development have become forms, and a road of coordinated development of soft science fiction and hardcore science fiction has been embarked on.
Ancient and modern, inheriting the essence of national culture
The creation of real history as the background has always been the highlight of the film. In recent years, the creators have selected typical historical events or historical figures. The content creation has insisted on deeply digging cultural connotations on the basis of respecting history. Excellent work of reality viewing. “Man Jianghong” and “No Name” released in the Spring Festival file this year can be regarded as masterpieces.
The background of “Manjianghong” is positioned as ancient costumes, and the plot is set as suspenseful. It tells the legendary story of a group of loyal people who sacrificed their lives to eradicate traitors in the Southern Song Dynasty. With the help of exquisite and unique detailed descriptions, compact and concise narrative rhythms, layer-by-layer reversal plot interpretations, and the opera drum soundtrack of “hearing the voice first, seeing the person”, the creators have realized the artistic rendering of the theme of “serving the country with loyalty”. It greatly stimulated the audience’s perception and resonance of history and culture, and provided a useful reference for the future creation of similar films that inherit the essence of history and culture and express national feelings.
“Unknown” is the only spy war film in the Spring Festival file. It tells the touching story of our party’s director He and others who were on the hidden front in Shanghai around 1940, risking their lives to mediate and transmit intelligence among various forces. The film innovates on the basis of inheriting the inherent structure and elements of genre films, and breaks through the flat and relatively narrow expression mode of spy war films. Let the audience deeply feel the historical sense of the age and the cruelty of struggle in the suspenseful atmosphere, and realize the sublimation of the film’s theme in the dramatic tension between individual friendship and national righteousness.
The two films either use suspenseful and humorous comedies to present the righteous feelings of ancient heroes who “serve the country with loyalty and loyalty”, or use personalized narrative styles to show the sacrifice spirit of revolutionary martyrs infused with blood. One” cultural values. The creative technique also leads to the same goal through different routes. Through the dramatic presentation of the storyline and the visual aesthetics full of tension, it has achieved empathy with the audience in the continuation and inheritance of the national cultural spirit. This style that organically combines the expression of national cultural values with narrative techniques and audience aesthetics may open up a broader space for the development of Chinese films.
Movie “Deep Sea” poster
Create a family carnival cultural atmosphere with joy and color
The Spring Festival is a cultural festival for family reunion. In the days of family reunion, it has become a New Year custom for the whole family to go to the theater to watch movies together. This special cultural demand makes the Spring Festival stalls occupy a pivotal position in the annual film market schedule, and this year’s Spring Festival stalls are particularly extraordinary. Compared with the declining trend of box office revenue in previous years, which rose first and then fell, this year’s Spring Festival stalls market showed a downward trend. This is due to the good situation of abundant supply and strong consumption. On the one hand, the Spring Festival is the first important period after the optimization and adjustment of the epidemic prevention and control measures. The audience’s enthusiasm for watching movies accumulated over the past three years has been released to the fullest. 129 million audiences entered the theater, bringing strong movie-watching potential to the national film market . On the other hand, the supply of high-quality and multi-type film sources covering science fiction, suspense, comedy, spy wars, animation, etc., meets the audience’s various viewing needs. In particular, comedies and cartoons and dramas rich in comedy elements are highly compatible with the joyful and exciting social psychology of the Spring Festival, attracting more and more family-based moviegoers into the theater.
“Exchanging Lives” follows the narrative framework of classic comedy, with a humorous language style, fresh and hilarious comedy plots, and expresses the completely different life experiences and behavioral contrasts between the uncle Zhongda and the young Lu Xiaogu after their identities were misplaced due to an accident. It brought laughter to the audience and satisfied people’s simple wish to celebrate the New Year happily. There are also many films that enhance the film’s perception by adding comedy elements, creating a relaxed and festive atmosphere for the festival. Accompanying the audience like a family, the “senior” Lunar New Year film “Bear Infested” series, which has entered the ninth year, has lived up to expectations in the use of comedy techniques to enhance the family carnival atmosphere, allowing the audience to think about the theme of maternal love in an atmosphere full of childlike innocence and fun. . With the help of the wonderful performances of comedians, “Manjianghong” incorporates comedy elements into the film, making the work full of burdens and making the audience laugh.
When the epidemic is over, I am happy to meet friends, and the screen show is even more spring. The 2023 Spring Festival movie has a lofty theme, diverse mainstream narratives, diverse themes, a high degree of professional completion, many high-quality masterpieces, and obvious family carnival features. It set off a strong movie-watching craze among the audience and brought word-of-mouth at the box office The win-win situation with artistic quality has greatly enhanced the confidence in the stable development of the industry. Under the influence of this positive situation, the future of Chinese film development can be expected. Chinese filmmakers should continue to be based on the people-centered creative orientation, follow the laws of film creation and market operation, uphold the consistent advantages of diversified presentation of film types, multi-dimensional direction of creative space, and mainstream expression of positive energy transmission, and focus on greatness. In this era, more excellent works integrating ideology, artistry and appreciation are produced, making movies an indispensable cultural feast during the Chinese New Year, and even an indispensable home-cooked dish in the daily cultural life of Chinese people. Spiritual power to realize people’s “common prosperity in spiritual life”. Sticking to the original aspiration and uniting as one, Chinese films will be able to “go fast and steady and go far” on the new journey from a big film country to a film powerhouse.
“Guangming Daily” (version 15, February 8, 2023)