Network film: hopeful job and challenge

Written by Kang Yuan

2015 is a rapid growth year for network films. After the “micro-film”, “Internet movies”, “new media film” and other business models have failed, the “Network movie” in the video site paid “outlet” under the business was an unprecedented success.

AiQiYi, for example, before 2015, their network of large film library has only a total amount of about 200, to the end of 2015 it growth of 612, several major production companies are still filling their library content with around more than 30 percent a year. For the producer it is positive, because the net profit is very transparency. “Taoist mountain” with their production cost around 28 million, access more than 20 times profit in the end. It changes the awareness of people for the network movie from the ground. The whole network behind the large area seems to be a large precious deposits to be dig. Some young people can directly upload to Youtube and other video sites after the shooting the production of low-cost network movie with their film dreams, they also want to use this as their habit, this job is easy to join the career, everyone can do it, but it is also difficult, it’s hard to do it well.

Music Video analysis: Last Dance

Written by Kang Yuan

Last Dance is Bigbang’s song, Bigbang is the highest level Tony & Smash, they publish this song before T.O.P join the army, T.O.P is the oldest one of them, other members are G-DRAGON、TAEYANG、DAESUNG、SEUNGRI, join the army is a very serious event in Korea. In my opinion, this is a sad song and what they want to tell is they don’t willing their old brother and fans.

Not a VIP but damn the MV got me so emotional. They’re some of the strongest going group from the 2nd gen that still has high public support, and god if words can even explain how as a Cassiopeia, my envy for them keeping their lineup.( EunHae_AKTF)

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I am afraid that time will let us go drifting away, one day you will no longer be with me.

The sky is full of fireflies. You are incarnated as one of the stars shining on me.

This two sentences are the lyric, which means their fans, they are saying: “Please wait for me, I’ll sing this song and walk to you when I come back.”

References:

EunHae_AKTF, 2016, Big Bang last dance MV analysis

https://www.asianfanfics.com/blog/view/1178992

Narua, 2016, BIGBANG ‘LAST DANCE’ MV REVIEW

http://aminoapps.com/page/k-pop/1557720/bigbang-last-dance-mv-review

“Dan Mu” in Bilibili: Understanding of a Model of Movie-Watching in the Context of Assemblage

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Dan mu can also be called as “bullet screen” which is a model of movie-watching that has been widely used by website and has been introduced in certain cinemas in China since 2014. It is the function that allows audiences to text message during they watch a video and their message will be projected onto the screen which means it offers a access for audience to exchange their opinions and ideas about this video in a virtual “public space”. Casstti argues that assemblage is “what transforms a collection [of components] into a whole” (80) , and it is a kind of unpredictable process which keeps developing and combines disparate elements into a dynamic circle.

In the case of “Dan Mu”,  audience’s discourse are added in this process which plays a role of re-decoding text.What needs to be paid attention to is that this kind of re-decoding are shared to other audiences directly, and even, this kind of sharing is not limited in time and space cause once audiences choose to turn on “Dan Mu”, the messages from people watched this before or are watching this can all be shown. So watching a video or film on Bilibili is not only a process that audiences connect with the content of video or the environment of watching it anymore, it is more like a process of discussing a certain topic or issues with other people. If cinema is like a ecosystem, I think the meaning of Dan Mu in those websites plays a role of what the first cognitive revolution plays in the history of humankind which means a kind of new mode to think and to communicate. It is the first cognitive revolution enables human approaches the top of food cycle in nature, and Dan mu may changes the way people identify cinema in there future.

Reference

Carol Vernallis (2013), “YouTube Aesthetics”, in: Unruly Media, New York: Oxford University Press

By Yi Zhang

Music Video of Ride (2012) : Can music video be a new mode of cinema?

The characteristics of Music Video in contemporary period seems to be repetitive scenes follow the  rhythm or lyrics, non-narrative visual effects,  the reflectivity of music video makes it become a almost synonymous of postmodernism. It is like a kind of thing that stems from cinema but at the same time destroying cinema. Vernellis points out a kind of aesthetics of music video after 19080s which is called as ‘mixing board aesthetic’, it it characterized by new digital technologies, new kinds of cross media authorship and new trans media potentials for expression (2013,P5-6). Those elements in the tendency of music video’s development make it even goes far away from the conventional identification of cinema. However, Music video shows its potential to be closer to the concept of cinema in recent decade.

Ride is a sony by Lana Del Rey which released in 2012, what makes me interested in that is the music video of this song. The duration of this song is about 4 minutes, but the music video of that remains 10 minutes long. The basic editing method of this video is montage but this video shows a clear sense of traditional narrative model of cinema because of the long monologue of singer before the music. It even makes it become that music itself is subordinated to the story in the video that the director tries to show, but at the same time, this kind of mode does appeals strong empathy of audiences both about the scenes and the music, therefore, the story in the video and the music of this video together creates a new way to connect with audiences which is different from mere cinema or MTV. If, in a fundamental way, music and cinema actually are all about expression, maybe Music Video provides a new direction of people to express in a more coherent way.

Reference

Carol Vernallis (2013), “Music Video’s Second Aesthetic” in: Unruly Media, New York: Oxford University Press

By Yi Zhang

Digital Post-Cinema: Perfect CG game film

Written by Kang Yuan

Talk about CG film, we cannot ignore Japan, but because the cost of CG film is too high, that cause the CG film product is very less. Today I’m talking about the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005), this opus has lots of highlight points, such as its fidelity, role’s every details. Some fans even thought that’s not CG film but real people are acting.

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I think the most important thing of CG film technology is to strive for a sense of reality. If a CG film want to be good or in order to become a classic one, its reality cannot just the character’s appearance, but also need to character role’s facial expressions to express the inner feelings of the characters.

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The final battle scenes played very dazzling, very shocked, role’s movement is also very smooth and fast, especially valuable in the fast-paced fight, the unbelievable point is it can be a good performance of the hair and clothes fabric physical flutter in the fast-paced fight. It’s hard to imagine how much time this fight has been played. This is the most exciting CG film I have ever seen as so far, its fighting scenes can get the best marks in all CG films.

Reference:

Xiaokeai1042925, 2008, The best CG film, the highest level in tech

http://movie.mtime.com/15713/reviews/1269833.html

Which one is better?

https://www.zhihu.com/question/51267846

Will Smith, 2006, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

https://www.gamefaqs.com/PSP/920785-final-fantasy-vii-advent-children/reviews/98211

Textual and contextual factors of moving images

By YU TIAN

There is an interrelationship between textual and contextual or structural factors that is made up of moving image aesthetic reception, media, and experience. Therefore, films such as Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Inception, and Avatar are all examples of how digital visual influences have changed filmmaking in Hollywood. As such, it can be argued that such digital transformation in the textual and contextual or structural factors marks a radical break with the cinematic tradition, indicating the loss of serious, realistic movies for real spectacles that are computer-generated (Prince, 2011).

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Figure shows an advanced video imaging technology, portraying a global front position of innovative concepts of design that has brought together many senior professional technicians.

In regards to the moving image practices, the digital revolution in the recent years has strengthened the major transformations of the moving images practices. This is achieved whereby the computer has been privileged as not just the facilitator of processes engaged in establishing the works of the moving pictures, but producing the moving images as well (Wells and Hardstaff, 2008).

The moving image extends the existing body of work by presenting a resource that is made up of theory, visual styles, color technology, and the practices of particular filmmakers. There is also the added element of color film restoration to bring up the variety of new perspectives. Aesthetic is also the other image that is connected to design and color form in the moving picture (Brown, Street, and Watkins, 2013).

Prince, S., (2011). Digital visual effects in cinema: The seduction of reality. Rutgers University Press.

Wells, P. and Hardstaff, J., (2008). Re-imagining animation: The changing face of the moving image. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Brown, S., Street, S. and Watkins, L. eds., (2013). Color and the moving image: history, theory, aesthetics, archive. Routledge.

Confessions as Impure Cinema

Bazin wrote that impure cinema situates at the intersection of multiple media from literature, theatre and painting, to photography, video and synthetic imagery. Apart from David Lych, there are many other filmmakers producing ‘impure cinema’, such as Tetsuya Nakashima from Japan. Interestingly, the first time I heard about him was a critisize from my friend complaining Confessions (2010) like a commercial rather than a film.

Well, it is true that Tetsuya Nakashima filmed commercials before he started filming. However I will see him more as a visual artist since all his works are very distinct. Here is some commercial directed by him.

 Therefore there is no surprise that Confessions (2010) is like this.

Based upon a novel and dealing with themes of bullying, revenge and savage murder, the film is an exceptionally cruel affair, all the more so thanks to Nakashima’s typically idiosyncratic approach and gorgeous visuals.The film is packed with gorgeously overblown imagery that with a use of dark and light, and more importantly of dull grey that immaculately fits its themes- revenge. (Mudge, 2010)

Confessions (2010) can be seen as not we learn in class as ‘pure’ cinema but a film including the expression of contemporary media technology as well as experimental musical scale, involving Radiohead and Japanese experimental rock band Boris, and The XX, which at times does take it into music video territory. Though the overall effect is a multi layered assault on the senses, at times Nakashima may well go too far for some viewers like my friend. 

As we are now in the era of post-cinema, ‘impure’ films are expected to immerse us into innovative landscapes of film.

References

Mudge, J. (2010). Confessions (2010) Movie Review | BeyondHollywood.com. [online] Beyondhollywood.com. Available at: http://www.beyondhollywood.com/confessions-2010-movie-review/ [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].

Post-cinema as game: Edge of Tomorrow

“In today’s cinema of interactions the photographic ontology of classical cinema gives way to a digital ontology where the future, not the past, is the object of mediation—where the photographic basis of film and its remediation of the past gives way to the premediation of the future more characteristic of video games and other digital mediation and networking” (Shane Denson, Julia Leyda, 2016, P70).

In the global, ACG cultural integration trend intensified, animation, games and movies often adapted to each other, the distance between games and movies have been closer. In post-cinema era, though development of digital technologies, some films feel like game. When audiences finish a film, it likes completing a game.EDGE OF TOMORROW

Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction film. In the film, Tom Cruise as the main character Cage-a military speaker who has no real experience. Cage likes the most of rookie hero RPG players played in a strange world to explore and fight. In the road leading to the final BOSS, he was knocked down and killed again and again. And, in the film, Cage can archive his process. When he died, he can read his previous archive and keep going. It’s much like playing games. In this infinite reincarnation,he accumulated experience, improved the level and increased the proficiency to defeat the BOSS and successfully saved the heroine.

As a science fiction business blockbusters, the film is full of a large number of real-world effects and the grand war scenes which can pleasant audience’ eyes. In the beach landing war, the plot of Cage and alien thrilling gun battle can be found the similar  plot in numerous shooting games. The audience will be immersive.

written by Muchen Ren

References:

Shane Denson, Julia Leyda (2016). POST-CINEMA: Theorizing 21st-century film. United Kingdom: REFRAME Books.

Where does continuity stand?

Ever since American film theorist David Bordwell stated the idea of “Intensified Continuity“, filmmakers have followed the rule of intensified continuity editting for nearly one hundred years. Things have changed when Denson and Leyda(2016) defined post-continuity as “how … 21st-century media help to shape and reflect new forms of sensibility”.

Steven Shaviro’s lecture video gives the differences between ‘continuity’ and ‘post-continuity’ in respect of narrative, structure, spacetime, causality as well as perception. This reminds me of a video called Shanghai Forever which I think resembles the idea of post-continuity in some degree.

The director JT Singh, according to the video, is an urbanist and media artist. In stead of shooting landmarks or tourist area, Shanghai Forever emphasizes people and things about life, which generates a whole new city symphony.

Alongside the unique representation, this short video was filmed in a dispersed way. There’s only a glimpse of shots; viewers won’t feel Euclidean spacetime like that was applied in most classical Hollywood films; the continuity is incidential, connected by scattered images from the same city. Audience’s sensation towards this film is just like they state themselves, “with JT’s riveting visual storytelling, viewers experience a series of impressions around historic shikkumen neighbourhoods, which foster a network of real-life experiences, memories, and encounters with locals, which are the tender heart keeping the city alive and charming to live in. “(JT, 2016)
So where does continuity stands? If I take this video as an example of post-continuity, the continuity stands as we understand what this video is about. I’ll finish with a quote from The Lumiere Galaxy.

We recognize identity based on difference. In this way, we allow cinema to continue to live. It is cinema precisely because it asks us to recognize it on the basis of how it diverges from what went before.(Casetti, 2015)

References:

Denson, S. and Leyda, J. (2016). Post-cinema. 1st ed.

CML – 19 – Steven Shaviro: Post-Continuity and Post-Irony: The New Audiovisual Regime. (2014). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7knRMF2NI [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Casetti, F. (2015). The Lumiere Galaxy: 7 Key Words for the Cinema to Come. pp.211

Written by Huiyuan Zhou

“I’m still here”: travel in a (fake) documentary

The documentary cinema is by definition the most faithful portrait of reality. However, the fiction is inherent to the filmic image and cannot exist without her. So, what is the line between true and false?

We can say that is a very thin line, where there is also the genre of the mockumentaries. But what is the mockumentary? The fake documentary or mockumentary (salad word formed by the words “to make” and documentary), is a film and television genre in which fictitious and fantasy events are presented as real through the artifice of the documentary language. The purpose of the use of the mockumentary may be to add dramatic intensity and facilitate the involvement of the viewer. Alternatively, it can be to make people think on the relationship between truth and fiction in contemporary communication. In some cases it may be just purely humorous.

I’m Still here “shows” a year and a half of Joaquin Phoenix’s life, in the beginning of which the shady Hollywood star announced that he was retiring from the world of film to start a new career as a hip-hop singer. What follows was already (American) history before the movie came out: Phoenix disappears from the big and small screen only to reappear from time to time on a stage as a rapper. When it comes time to devote to the promotion of the melodrama Two lovers, shot before the “retreat”, he went to the David Letterman Show with sunglasses, unshaven and his cigarette in his mouth, answering questions with a faint voice and a blatant indifference.

At that time, no one knows for sure if it was all a joke of questionable taste or if he did seriously. But his breakthrough did not go unnoticed, so much so that during the night of the Oscars 2009 Ben Stiller came up with a long beard, cigarette and sunglasses, and he made it a brilliant parody. Newspapers and TV gave updates on Phoenix’s psychophysical state for a long period.

Now, that it was all fake was not difficult to understand. But in this case the nature of the facts does not change the substance. Phoenix has really compromised his public image for over twelve months and for the same period has really given up on making films, letting himself go physically and taking an unfriendly attitude. When towards the end of the film he vomits, he vomits for real. When he is snorting cocaine, he is sniffing for real. When he goes on television and looks like a human wreck in front of ten million people, the face and name are the one of him. And all this has lasted at least 15 months, not an evening or just a week.

All of this is a demonstration of how in mockumentary the difference between reality and fiction is really thin. We could say that art imitates reality. Or that reality imitates art.

 

Written by Nardos Maffia