fbpx
Daily Drip

Chinese Film Authorities Put Sci-Fi at Heart of “Movie Superpower” Plan in New Guidelines

0

In recent years, Chinese science fiction has undergone a renaissance. Actually, more like a reinvention — even though Chinese authors have been writing sci-fi tales since the early twentieth century, various political movements have pushed back on the genre throughout its history.

But nowadays, with mainstream sci-fi smash hits such as The Wandering Earth and The Three-Body Problem, could sci-fi become a mainstay genre in China? Its government certainly seems to think so.

Related:

“The Wandering Earth”: Propaganda, Ratings Wars, and the Future of Chinese Sci-Fi

A document entitled “A Few Opinions on the Promotion and Development of Science Fiction Movies” was published on August 7 outlining plans to create a robust sci-fi film industry and, more importantly, “push our country from a movie power to a movie superpower.”

The statement was released by the China Film Administration, which is housed under China’s Central Publicity Department, and the China Association for Science and Technology, a group of scientists and scientific organizations.

The goals of the movement are to “study and implement Xi Jinping’s ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ establish a humanity-centered creative direction […] highlight Chinese values, pass on Chinese aesthetics, establish the present age of Chinese innovation […] promote a scientific consciousness,” the document adds.

As Rebecca Davis points out in Variety, the recommendations themselves are a combination of concrete steps (using sci-fi movies as part of science education, setting up a national sci-fi screening alliance) and conceptual measures to transform the genre into a vehicle for promoting China’s scientific values on a domestic and global scale.

Chinese science fiction stories have already demonstrated potential on the world stage: Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem novel was famously recommended by President Barack Obama and has inspired countless TV and film adaptations. Yet this new strategy may well experience a few bumps as it attempts to get off the ground.

Frant Gwo’s massively successful The Wandering Earth quickly became the country’s third highest-grossing movie of all time. However, another attempt at a sci-fi blockbuster, Shanghai Fortress starring “little fresh meat” star Luhan, was so badly received that the director apologized for it on social media.

Related:

“Luhan Has Destroyed Chinese Sci-Fi”: What This Epic Flop Says About China’s Changing Moviegoers

Whether or not a simplistic mixture of CGI effects and nationalist messaging will win over domestic, let alone international audiences, therefore seems far from certain.

Allison Jiang
    Allison Jiang is a Baltimore-based writer interested in the intersection of art and culture. She is passionate about big dogs, social justice, and stand-up comedy, among other things.
    china.wav LA

    This is one list you want to be on

    Thousands of earthlings have signed up for our newsletter, and you should do the same

    You have Successfully Subscribed!