Watch Cui Jian Making a Movie
June Issue of HI Art, 2009
Recently, Cui Jian, my old friend, really began to make a movie named I Love You, Chengdu. The movie has three parts, which are directed by Chen Guo from Hong Kong, Hur Jin Ho from South Korea and Cui Jian respectively. The part directed by Cui features Tan Weiwei, a Super Girl. In order to show my excitement, I flied to Chengdu from Beijing, and then got to Double-King Temple on Dujiang Dam by car at night. I watched a late show there without understanding the plot, and the only thing I remember is that the heroine kept slapping the hero’s face for a dozen of times with all her strength. All people there, including drivers and servers, called Cui Jian “director”, which made me feel strange. It seemed that he had really become a director.
Twenty years ago all of us were very poor. However, we would assemble at Wudaokou as soon as night fell. In our headquarters such as “Scream” and “Happy Isle”, we enjoy rock and roll by little Punks, fruits with sharp tips, cannabis and the extremely free spirit. All in all, here we could find all that we, a group of young men, needed. Cui frequented here, too, and he was the richest among us. People grow up with his songs love his songs, but they may not remember lyrics of them. In one of his songs, there was a line “Rock is like a knife”, while more than one Punks said, “What the guy is singing? It sounds like ‘Rock is like a kilo of steamed stuffed bun’. (In Chinese, these sentences sound similar)”
Recently, the economy falters while movie industry booms. According to Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the global box office in 2008 has reached 28.1 billion dollars, which has increased by 5.1% compared with 2007. According to European Audiovisual Observatory, in 2008, countries in European Union have produced 1145 feature-length films, an increase of 112 films compared with 2007: a new record. In China, the total revenue of movie industry in China is 8.433 billion yuan, an all-time high and a growth of 1.707 billion yuan over the same month of last year (6.726 billion yuan); then China has been included in Top 10 box office earners. The proportion of domestically produced films have exceeded imported ones for 6 years successively, and compared with 2007 when the revenue was 1.801 billion yuan, it has an increase of 762 million yuan in 2008. In 2008, we have produced 406 feature films, 16 animated cartoons, 39 popular science films and 107 digital films, with which China has become the third biggest film producer.
Cui has pursued visual art for a long time. I spent almost a month in 1995 in the rehearsal room of the General Political Department, making a super stage backdrop for his band by his invitation. During that time he visited me frequently, talking and asking about something having nothing to do with music. Then that backdrop had accompanied him in his domestic and international performances for more than 10 years, and later it was displayed in Visual Art Exhibition for the 50th Anniversary of World Rock held in Roman Museum. Before every performance he would invite me to design the stage for his band. Unfortunately, then I was busy with works arranged by the gallery and only attended his solo concerts in Shijiazhuang and on Hunan TV. Later he said to me that he planned to make a musical play “Teach You a Lesson” and soon after that I heard that the play was performed in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Cui Jian always keeps a low profile and stands on solid ground. I believe that his film will succeed sooner or later, because films are also what he is pursuing in artistic world as well as the extension of his music.
Friday, May 15th, 2009