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来源China's film industry: Kung fu propaganda | The Economist
译者庞冰心

China’s film industry

Kung fu propaganda

中国电影业

功夫宣传

There’s a ton of easy money in praising the party

赞美歌颂党的电影容易轻松赚大钱。

Jul 14th 2011 | HONG KONG | from the print edition

2011年7月14日||选自打印版

THERE are two ways to make a box-office smash. One is to take an exciting script, hire famous actors, shoot a rollercoaster of a film, distribute it widely and market it deftly. This is the Hollywood way, and it worked pretty well for Harry Potter.

创票房记录的大片有两种方式。一种是选一部激动人心的剧本,请大牌明星来演,拍出电影中令人惊心动魄的场面,广而告之,将其巧妙地推销出去。这是好莱坞惯用的方式,对《哈利波特》来说成效颇大。

The Beijing way shares some features with the Hollywood way, such as hiring lots of stars and distributing the film widely. But the magic ingredient behind China’s latest blockbuster was one unavailable to the mightiest Tinseltown mogul. It was the power of the party.

中国制作大片的方式与好莱坞方式有一些共同特征,比如请大批明星并做大肆宣传。中国最新推出了一部皇皇巨著,不过藏在其背后的这一杀手锏却是天下无敌的浮华城巨头(指好莱坞)所不具备的。

“The Beginning of the Great Revival”, a celebration of the founding of the Communist Party, opened at every cineplex in China on June 15th, in time for the party’s 90th birthday. Competing films with a shred of drawing power were blocked, even the awful “Transformers 3”. Many state-owned firms ordered their staff to attend. Schools organised trips so that pupils could watch and learn from the exploits of a youthful Mao Zedong. Government departments deployed waves of bureaucratic bottoms to fill seats. Online reviews alleging that the masterpiece was rather dull were censored. Success was assured.

》作为中国共产党建立90周年献礼片于2011年6月15日正式在中国各大影院公映。与之媲美的一系列吸引眼球的影片包括令人惊叹的《变形金刚3》在内都暂停放映。许多国企要求员工到影院观看。学校组织一些旅行,让学生们观看学习青年毛泽东的丰功伟绩。政府部门安排基层官员大军入席观看。网上有关该杰作相当乏味的评论也被删除。这一切确保了影片的成功。

The film was not, as you might imagine, a piece of government-produced propaganda. It was a piece of for-profit propaganda, produced by the country’s biggest film company, the China Film Group (CFG). Along with a smaller firm in which it holds a 12% stake, CFG controls more than half of all domestic film distribution in China. The two firms also distribute the 20 foreign films that China allows in each year.

该影片并不是大家想象中的一部政府制作的宣传片,而是一部由中国最大的电影公司中影集团制作的营利性宣传片。中影与其拥有12%股份的一小型电影公司控制了中国一半以上的电影制作,两个公司每年还制作20部左右中国允许的外国影片。

CFG spins tales of love, disaster, war and kung fu, of course. But the easy money is in patriotic pap. In recent years, the firm has produced “Nanking! Nanking!” (about heroic Chinese resistance to Japan during the second world war) and “The Founding of a Republic” (about the Communist takeover in 1949).

中影制作的影片故事必然是围绕爱情、灾难、战争以及功夫的,但想轻松赚大钱还得是爱国性作品。近些年来,中影集团制作了《南京!南京!》(关于二战期间中国人抗击日军的英勇事迹),以及《建国大业》(关于1949年中国共产党成立中华人民共和国的事迹)。

Such films are profitable partly because their stars do not expect to be paid much, if anything. About 100 famous actors worked for nothing on “The Founding of a Republic”. An even more impressive 172 stars with Chinese ties signed on for “The Beginning of the Great Revival”, for compensation that, according to the director, amounted to less than the cost of lunch boxes for the crew.

这类影片是部分营利性的,因为明星并不期望多少片酬,假如有片酬的话。《建国大业》中约100位明星友情出演,为拍摄《建党伟业》,有更引人注目的173位明星佩戴中国结签约,据导演称,这是为了弥补机组人员便当费用的不足。

“The Founding of a Republic” cost 30m yuan ($4.6m) to make and brought in a tidy 420m yuan. “The Beginning of the Great Revival” cost 80m yuan, but has been a bit of a disappointment at the box office, having brought in only 340m yuan so far. Still, that is a return that would thrill any investor in Hollywood.

《建国大业》耗资3千万元(约合460万美元),票房收入4亿两千万元。《建党伟业》耗资8千万元,但票房已让人略有些失望,到目前为止仅收入3亿四千万元。不过,这仍是一个足以让任何好莱坞投资者为之一颤的回报。

Cinema in China is booming (see chart). In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan. More than 520 films were made—about as many as in America. Only India produces more. China boasts the world’s largest outdoor film studio, called Hengdian World Studios, which includes a full-scale mock-up of the Forbidden City.

中国电影院正在繁荣发展(如下图)。2010年票房收入增加了64%,高达100亿元以上。在美国就制作了520多部影片或者可以说多达520部。印度影片也很多。中国以拥有世界上最大的户外影棚-横店影视城为豪,其中包括按原尺寸复制的规模宏大的紫禁城。

Tickets to Chinese cinemas are costly—about 80 yuan at weekends. The lack of copyright protection means that almost all revenue must come from the box office rather than from DVDs or television. Audiences are paying for the experience of an afternoon away from their cramped apartments, rather than simply to see the film (illegal versions of which are widely available). Cinemas are clean and airconditioned. Many have state-of-the-art screens and sound systems. The snacks are quite good, too.

中国电影院的票价很贵——周末80元左右。缺乏版权保护意味着几乎所有的影片收入都来自影院票房,而不是来自DVD或电视。观众们付费是为了享受一个午后远离拥挤公寓的体验,而不仅仅是看一场电影(满大街的盗版碟)。干净的空调影院,许多还有高级的画面与音响设备,在影院吃零食也很不错的。

Smash hits such as “Great Revival” may not travel well. Foreign bottoms are less biddable. But as Sam Goldwyn supposedly said: “Don’t pay any attention to the critics; don’t even ignore them.”

诸如《建党伟业》这类成功巨著在外国可能不会特别火,外国人不是那么听话。不过山姆.戈尔德温恐怕会这么说:“不必理会那些批评家;即使不忽视他们。”

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