Scrutinizing Sixth Generation Directors

2012-03-23 15:28:34        Chinese Films

Three movies made by the sixth generation directors will be released from late April.[Photo: mtime.com]

This year's springtime will see the works of sixth generation Chinese film directors come to life on the nation's cinema screens. From late April to May, "Design of Death" "Guns N 'Roses", "Full Circle" and "An Inaccurate Memoir", all directed by sixth or seventh generation directors, are to be released in cinemas and examined by audiences and critics alike, chinesefilms.cn reports.

Up until the end of 2011, only one director born in the 1970s and two born in the 1980s belonged to the group of top 50 grossing directors.

Young, promising directors have been alerted to this alarming statistic and many have asked when and how these directors will become a force within the film industry?

Fresh blood

In the opinion of scholar Ge Ying, there is one feature that sixth generation film directors have in common: their preference to ignore. They are more likely to ignore what the audience likes and instead become drawn into their own thoughts, pursuing "self-expression" over box office results. Their works are always labeled as literary films, which suggests that they have very little draw at the box office. But the situation is slowly changing.

A new box office record was set last year on the mainland, but the number of profitable films decreased in contrast to the year of 2010. A number of big-budget and star-studded blockbusters did not pull in box office numbers as high as they had expected. Directors such as Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige still dominate the Chinese movie industry; however, the market is in need of some fresh blood in order to cater to the ever-changing tastes of the audience, especially the younger generations.

In March, "The Second Woman", "Nightfall" and "Love in the Buff", three medium or low budget films directed by young directors, alongside art film "A Simple Life" have been applauded by young audiences, who coincidentally represent the target market of the film industry.

Lack of publicity

To date, there have been no preview conferences to promote "Design of Death", "Guns N' Roses", "Full Circle" or "An Inaccurate Memoir". Some industry figures say the prospects of these films are still in doubt.

One insider confessed that he was only confident about "Guns N' Roses", the action comedy directed by Ning Hao, because the director has already proved himself with "Crazy Stone" and "Silver Medalist".

"Though times are changing, most people are still fond of big-budget films which they think are worth paying to watch. The sixth or seventh generation directors prefer to make artistic or non-mainstream films which are less competitive in the film market," he added.

The words of director Wang Xiaoshuai are often regarded as a signature of sixth generation directors: "Film-making serves as a way of expressing my own thoughts and the process is more meaningful than box office receipts."

The upcoming films created by sixth generation film directors include:

Guns N' Roses

Director: Ning Hao

Release date: April.24

Death of Design

Director: Guan Hu

Release date: April.28

Full Circle

Director: Zhang Yang

Interim release date : May.8

An Inaccurate Memoir

Director: Yang Shupeng

Release date: April.24

By Ma Sicong

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