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China’s Film Industry Finally Joins the Space Race

中国电影业终于加入了太空竞赛



· BEIJING — China was a latecomer tospace exploration, and in the movies, it has been a latecomer to sciencefiction, too. That is about to change.

发自北京——中国是太空探索的后来者,而在电影业尤其是科幻片,也是一个后来者

The country’s first blockbuster set in space, “The Wandering Earth,” opensTuesday amid grandiose expectations that it will represent the dawning of a newera in Chinese filmmaking.

中国的第一部太空大片《流浪地球》在期待中国电影新时代来临的翘首以盼中于周二开画。

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A preview of the film.CreditCreditVideo by Gavin Feng

The special effects — like the apocalyptic climatic changes that wouldoccur if Earth suddenly moved out of its cozy orbit — are certain to bemeasured against Hollywood’s, as ever here. And the preliminary reviews havebeen positive.

特效方面,比如假设地球突然离开其惬意的轨道而发生的灾难性气候变化,毫无疑问会拿来同好莱坞同行做比较。而提前点映的评价是正面的。

“It’s like the coming-of-age of the industry,” Zhou said.

周的评价是“电影工业的瓜熟蒂落”

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That has made the film, produced by Beijing Jingxi Culture & TourismCompany and the state-owned China Film Group Corp., a test for the industry.

上述挑战使得这部由北京文化和国企中国影业出品的电影,成为了中国电影产业的吃螃蟹人。

Guo, who uses the name Frant Gwo in English, noted that Chinese audienceshave responded coolly to many of Hollywood’s previous sci-fi blockbusters.Studios, therefore, have been wary of investing the resources required to makeconvincing sci-fi.

英文名为Frant Gwo的郭导,特意指出中国观众对好莱坞之前发行的不少科幻大片反响冷淡,所以各出品方对制作一部有诚意的科幻片所需资源的投入慎之又慎。

The film’s budget reportedly reached nearly $50 million, modest byHollywood standards but still significant here in China. More than 7,000 peoplewere involved in the production. Much of it was filmed in the new OrientalMovie Metropolis, an $8 billion studio in the coast city of Qingdao, built bythe real estate and entertainment giant Dalian Wanda.

本片预算据报道接近5000万美元,以好莱坞标准属于中等投入,但在中国则是大投入。有超过7000人参与到影片的制作,大多数场景在位于青岛的由地产营业巨头大连万达投资80亿美元的青岛东方影视城拍摄

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He cited the most popular film in China last year: “Operation Red Sea,”an action drama loosely based on the Chinese rescue of several hundredcivilians from Yemen when war erupted there in 2015.

他以去年中国最火的电影《红海行动》举例,这是一部动作剧情片,大致基于2015年也门内战爆发时,中国救援数百位中国平民的事实改编。

“When we have the ability to go to war, we can make movies like ‘OperationRed Sea,’” he said, alluding to China’s military modernization in recentyears. “Only when China can enter the space era can we make works like ‘TheWandering Earth.’”

“当我们有能力参展,我们才能制作《红海行动》这样的电影,”他暗指近年来中国军事现代化,“只有当中国进入太空时代,我们才能出现《流浪地球》这样的作品。”

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A film project based on Liu’s best-known work, the trilogy that began with“The Three-Body Problem,” was optioned and even filmed in 2015 but has sincelanguished in postproduction, reportedlybecause of technical challenges and costs.

基于刘慈欣最著名作品三体三部曲的电影项目在2015年立项并开拍,但自此之后便沉沦于后期制作阶段,据报道还是由于技术挑战和成本问题所致。

The conditions now seem ripe. Seeing the “The Wandering Earth” on thescreen, Liu said, was “soul shaking.”

现下的条件似乎已成熟。刘慈欣看过银幕上的《流浪地球》后表示,“震撼心灵”。