In addition to high box office, these domestic films are also rectifying the industry
■Reporter Shao Ling
The 51st file without the blessing of "blockbuster" broke the three highest film history records in terms of box office, attendance, and performance.
And this is not an accident.
From "Send You a Little Red Flower" in the Lunar New Year file last year, to "Hello, Li Huanying" in the Spring Festival file this year, and "My Sister" in the Ching Ming file, in the past six months, domestic production has not taken the route of technology and visual effects blockbusters. Movies have repeatedly set box office records.
On the one hand, this has revived people's confidence in the Chinese film market, and on the other hand, it has also triggered a heated discussion among the industry academia on "what kind of film can bring today's audiences into the cinema".
The background of this thinking is that when movie theaters across the country were closed for more than half a year due to the epidemic last year, and audiences gradually became accustomed to watching movies on video websites, filmmakers had a relatively unanimous consensus: to make more cinematic and cinematic. , It is more suitable for movies to be watched on the big screen of the cinema to draw the audience back to the cinema.
However, judging from the movies that have achieved good box office results in the past six months, the audience does not seem to care about the so-called "big screen attributes" of the movies.
Does this mean that technology and visual effects are no longer important for movies?
Does it mean that filmmakers no longer need to consider the media characteristics of the big screen in the future?
The answer does not seem to be a simple "yes" or "no".
It is precisely because of this that this topic has even more value for discussion.
Re-understanding of cinema: the real core of cinema is intensity, not simply equivalent to technology and visual effects
Technology and visual effects have always been regarded as representative elements of the big screen attributes of movies. Those films that won the best technology or visual effects awards in the awards are often included in the "most suitable for big screen viewing" film list. This is the so-called "blockbuster"; "blockbuster rescue" has always been taken for granted by insiders.
◆Next to the fifth edition (continued from the first edition). Because of this, one after another, the box office is dark horses, especially the super high box office of "Hello, Li Huanying" makes many practitioners confused: Does the Chinese film market no longer need blockbuster movies?
According to Yin Hong, a professor at Tsinghua University and vice chairman of the Chinese Film Association, the recent box office performance of domestic films has a certain degree of corrective significance: "It is not that the film market does not need blockbusters, but it is one-sided to equate cinematic properties with special effects. The real core of cinema is intensity, and the commercial appeal that comes from it. This intensity is actually composed of stories, characters, rhythm, emotions, and vision."
Observing from this perspective, Yin Hong believes that the reason why several recent domestic films cut from the perspective of family affection can become a dark horse at the box office is not only because the human affection they focus on has always been an important theme of the film, but also because the creators have learned. How to give such a theme the intensity of the screen presentation, whether it is the choice of actors or the rhythm of the narrative, fully takes into account the commercial nature of the film, so as to more effectively stimulate the emotional investment of the audience.
This makes several films not only obviously different from the common art styles of similar themes before, but also makes up for the shortcomings of many visual effects blockbusters in telling stories, shaping characters and inducing empathy, and they have been recognized by the audience on a larger scale. .
Gui Lin, an associate professor at the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has also captured a very clear business genre thinking in several high-grossing films, that is, summoning the audience's emotional investment in the film.
Re-understanding of cinemas: emotional effects rather than audiovisual effects have become the decisive factor in the box office of today’s cinema
The redefinition of "theatreality" is necessary because today's cinemas have changed.
According to Zhao Yi, associate professor of Shanghai Normal University, we are facing an era of new cinema.
Although this "new cinema" has inherited the structure of digital multi-hall theaters since the new century in terms of technology and space, it is closely linked with new media such as streaming media and social media in terms of cultural functions and consumption methods.
This linkage is manifested in the flow of movie content on various media platforms including cinemas, and on the other hand, the marketing and dissemination of movies is also closely linked to the mobile Internet and social media, and its social attributes are becoming increasingly prominent. .
Based on such changes, we cannot simply think that the irreplaceability of cinema is still manifested as an audiovisual advantage built on the digital cinema system, and we cannot simply equate the cinematic nature of movies with special effects.
Of course, it should be emphasized that it is not to say that technology and audio-visual effects are no longer important. Many well-known directors at home and abroad still have to rely on the big screen and corresponding technical specifications to get the most accurate presentation of their creative intentions.
But at the same time, the industry must realize that when discussing issues such as "how to make movies that audiences are willing to watch in the cinema" today, it must have an understanding beyond digital multi-hall theaters, and overcome such understandings as "suitable for big screens". The creative, production and dissemination thinking of "the movie"
As Zhao Yi said: "Only with a new understanding of theaters can we explain the recent box office appeal of this batch of domestic films, and we can also understand why emotional effects rather than audiovisual effects have become the decisive factor in today's theater box office. "
In the opinion of Liu Qi, a postdoctoral fellow in communication and a young scholar at the Film Art Center of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, "the survival of the cinema" itself is not a problem for some time to come, but "what kind of movies the audience is willing to enter the cinema to watch" is indeed worth discussing.
This year's May 1st file allows people to see that when the video platform can largely meet the various viewing needs of young people, the greatest attraction of commercial films is to bring the strongest emotional stimulation to the audience in a certain period of time.
From this perspective, suspense, spy warfare, crime, comedy and melodrama will become the most competitive movie types in the future.
Cheng Bo, a professor at the Shanghai Film Academy of Shanghai University, commented on "Above the Cliff": Zhang Yimou made "brain burning" give way to "empathy" and "heart-moving". In the end, the wisdom, will and emotion of the characters moved the audience.
Art originates from emotion, and it will also act on emotion.
When it comes to movies, the purpose of technology is not simply to create a set of visual spectacles, but to highlight the emotional power that movies possess as art.
Perhaps this is the biggest inspiration we can get from the Chinese film market in the past six months.