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Chinese Films Ought to Work on Telling Chinese Stories

2013-03-12 10:10:02        Chinese Films

Ten years after China's accession to the WTO, we are pleased to see that the Chinese film industry has not withered away facing with the competitions of Hollywood, but has developed prosperously. Record-highs of box office earnings have been reached at home. Domestic films have great acceptance among movie fans. Moreover, some films have been shown outside of the country and produced some influence in the international arena.

Chinese stories represent the unique feature of Chinese films. A survey carried out by Beijing Normal University titled "Study on the international dissemination of Chinese film culture" shows that 31 percent of the respondents think Chinese film stories are very characteristic and are important symbols of Chinese films. However, up to 51 percent of foreign audiences think the film stories are exactly the factor most in need for improving Chinese films. Besides, close to 50 percent of respondents think Chinese film stories are confusing in logic and hard to understand. It is clear that Chinese film stories are the factor most appealing to foreign audience and most difficult to understand. The reasons partly include cultural barriers and language communication difficulties. Chinese films are in urgent need of scenarios writing improvement in order to expand their international influence. On the one hand, it is not advisable either to work behind closed doors or get into the dead end of nationalism, resulting in difficulties for foreign audience's comprehension. An open-minded attitude is needed to expand the international influence of Chinese films so as to discover and disseminate the essence of Chinese culture through cultural exchanges and collisions.

Kung fu action films have always been the most popular type of Chinese films. However, for a long time, hardly any other types of Chinese films could attract foreign audience. But the situation is beginning to change with the development of comedies in China in recent years. The achievements of Chinese comedies are for all to see. Some low-cost but very distinctive domestic films repeatedly made surprising box office earnings at home. This phenomenon has also been responded abroad. Compared to film types that rely on language and plot, comedies like action films can tell the story through movements and facial expressions, which go beyond the barriers of culture and language and have an advantage in international dissemination. Therefore, the development of comedy type films is an effective way to expand the international influence of Chinese films.

In the past, China's Taiwan represented Chinese culture with its open attitude and rich oriental ingredients, while Hong Kong created internationally famous film stars such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and achieved powerful cultural influence. In recent years, China's economic strength has been constantly growing, its degree of opening is larger, and its culture influence is also more powerful. The survey mentioned before also found that overseas audience accept Chinese-language films as a whole and consider China Mainland films, China's Taiwan films, and Hong Kong films all as Chinese-language films. Moreover, China Mainland's international cultural influence is surpassing that of China's Taiwan and Hong Kong, and becoming the mainstream of Chinese culture.

China has a vast territory and huge regional differences. Cultural unity is an important force maintaining the unity of a multi-ethnic country. It has a symbolic significance that China Mainland culture has become the mainstream of Chinese culture. This not only shows that China Mainland has made great achievements in cultural construction, which is inductive to get Chinese people all around the world to jointly build a beautiful country, but also has a great significance in safeguarding national unity.

Source: People's Daily

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