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Just Let It Fly One Day More (I)


Hi Art, January, February Combined Issue, 2011

You see me, or not, I am there, neither sad or happy; You miss me, or not, love is there, neither come nor go

——The 6th Dalai Lama, Sangs-Ryyas Rgyamtsho

The box office of Chinese film in 2010 is very prosperous; three days before the ending of 2010, many people in the film industry came out to declare that: the box office would definitely surpass ten billions; and with large amount of good film works in 2011, Chinese box office would reach twelve billion then.

In the end of 2010, three New Year’s greeting films, Zhao The Orphan, Let The Bullets Fly and If You Are The One 2,  were almost released at the same time in succession. Civilians weighted down by the inflation lastly found a chance to unbosom themselves, to shuffle off this mortal coil temporily and relax their body and mind. Zhao The Orphan by Chen Kaige’s projection came out the first and within less than two months, its box office surpassed two hundred million. Then in quick succession, Let The Bullets Fly by Jiang Wen, who prepared years in hope of make wonders on box office, was relased and made a gross of more than four hundred milion within 11 days. Several days later, Feng Xiaogang, who is regarded as the best director in shooting New Year’s film and who understands audiences the best, launched his If You Are The One 2,which was created in cooperation with Wang Shuo again. Facing the tremendous pressure of Let The Bullets Fly’s box office succession, Feng Xiaogang, who was then making promotion in Guang Zhou for his If You Are The One 2 onlysimply said that, Bullets has been flying for one week, just let it fly one day more and our If 2 would come. Facing tremendous pressure, it is almost impossible for an  artistic creator to keep a calm state of mind and smile. It would be pretty good if he could refrain from tears.

The differences between film shooting and painting is, the latter one, as a personal activity, could be finished independently by the artist himself from the very beginning to the end. For an painting artist, to finish one picture, then handover to another one, who might be curator, gallery director, or collector, or even people related with auction, then the process of creation is finished after only two or three peoples participation. If dozens of artists really create one picture toghether in half a year eating and living toghether, then nothing couldn’t be worse than this picture. Yet things are different for a film. Even for the simplest film, a dozen of people would be necessariely needed for its Pro-after stages. I never heard of any film was directed, shot, post-produced, dubbed, composed and printed, so film is the products of collective wisdom and physical strength, with the director looks only a little bit more important and great than others. There would be about 70 peoples in a small film crew, while for a blockbuster, one or two hundred peoples are needed only for shooting. In the summer of 2010, I shot a MV for a heavy metal rock band with friends’ recommendation. Wu Jing, the photographer, told me that in a big film crew, especially in a crew of those costume film which cannot be finished within half a year, the shooting schedual would be pasted in the kitchen of the dozens of villigers’ home nearby before the photographer get it. Villigers would start cooking whenever shooting begins, so even if the director is crazy enough to start shooting after midnight, hundreds of peoples of the film crew could enjoy warm dinners.

Comparing with painting, a film needs dozens or even hundreds of people when shooting and thousands of audiences would come to watch it when it is released. The process of creation and marketing of a film is much more objective and transparent. Although piracy, box office stealing and appropriation exist, yet it is still more authentic.

Film is to record things pass by instantly with approaches like sound, light, electricity and machine on the basis of persistence of vision, namely the principle that things pass by instantly would persist on the retina of human for 0.1 to 0.4 seconds, and then project the recorded onto the screen. Just as Wang Jiawei has said, film is to break up the mirror of life and then make it whole again.

Both film and oil painting came to Chine in the recent one hudred years. It is said that in 1896, the 22nd year of Guang Xu Emperor’s reign of Qing Dynasty, film was brought to Shanghai by French people only in the second year of its invention and was shown publicly in Xu Yuan Garden of Shanghai. In 1905, film came into its own in China officially. Then the Feng Tai photo studio of Beijing shot the film Dingjun Mountain and made an official public show of it at the Grand View Pavillion theatre. Yet community leaders of all social circles including that of workers, farmers, soldiers and business man who watched this public show expressed a common idea that it was an evildoer. (to be continued)

Zhu Wei

Thursday, 30 December, 2010