2018 SUSS Cultural China Public Lecture - Chinese Blockbusters: Why Are They So Successful?
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13 Oct 2018

 2018 SUSS Cultural China Public Lecture - Chinese Blockbusters: Why Are They So Successful?

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Why are some movies and television shows so popular and highly acclaimed that they become the talk of the town and even affect the traffic? This is the topic addressed at this year’s SUSS Cultural China Public Lecture (CCPL) held on 13 October 2018 at the SPH News Centre Auditorium. 

At the invitation of co-organisers Centre for Chinese Studies @SUSS (CCS@SUSS) and Lianhe Zaobao, guest speaker Professor Hu Zhifeng, Dean of the College of Arts and Communication at Beijing Normal University, delivered his talk titled “Chinese Blockbusters: Why are they so successful?” 

This year’s public lecture drew an audience of about 300. In his opening speech, Professor Eddie Kuo, Academic Advisor to SUSS, took a trip down memory lane by revisiting every public lecture held over the past seven years. In particular, he recounted how the SUSS Cultural Public Lecture series had evolved, and how each keynote speaker, from celebrated writers, literary critics, to public intellectuals, have discussed topics that are contemporary and important to the Chinese-speaking world. 

The Singapore Chinese Film Festival (SCFF), for example, can trace its roots back to the public lecture titled “Chinese Cinema in the 21st Century” held in 2012. SCFF has since become a highly anticipated annual event for moviegoers. 

Associate Professor Foo Tee Tuan, chairperson of the talk and director of CCS@SUSS, said in his introductory address that it was opportune to zero in on China’s film and television production as 2018 marked the 60th anniversary of Beijing Television’s first broadcast. Beijing Television was renamed China Central Television (CCTV) in 1978. He added that the audience could gain a better understanding of today’s China through the analysis of some wildly successful blockbusters. 

Professor Hu lived up to the expectations as he analysed many facets of five China’s blockbusters: In the Name of the People, A Bite of China, Wolf Warrior 2, China Poetry Congress, and Dying to Survive. According to Professor Hu, the success of these productions can be attributed to the subject matter, production values, cultural elements, viewers’ demands, and perfect release timing. 

Professor Hu also spoke about the influence of these blockbusters had over viewers. For instance, the first season of A Bite of China was so successful that it caused masses of people working in cities to travel back home, a phenomenon usually observed only during the Spring Festival celebrations, to indulge in their hometown delicacies. Likewise, memorising and reciting classical Chinese poems came into vogue after the variety show China Poetry Congress was aired. 

The Q&A session almost stole the show as Associate ProfessoFoo asked Professor Hu about the recent disappearance of China’s top actress Fan Bingbing​, and how this has impacted China’s film and television industry. ProfessoHu gave the audience a clearer picture of the incident by explaining the political and economic factors at play.

The CCPL is in Mandarin with simultaneous interpretation in English to reach out to non-Chinese speaking audiences. 


2018新跃文化中华讲座 -- 中国现象级影视作品观察 

为何一些电影、电视剧或综艺节目能够叫好又叫座,令人们在茶余饭后热烈讨论节目内容,甚至影响到交通状况?

新跃中华学术中心与《联合早报》就于2018年10月13日请到了北京师范大学艺术与传媒学院院长胡智锋教授前来新加坡,探讨中国“现象级”影视作品出现的原由和影响。 

这场在报业中心礼堂举办的讲座共吸引到约300人出席。新跃社科大学学术顾问郭振羽教授在开场致欢迎辞时说,每年十月份举办的新跃文化中华讲座来到第八届,承载了许多人的经验和共同记忆,成为了一项品牌活动,同时也带来了重大影响。  

比方说,2012年的新跃当代中国讲座(新跃文化中华讲座的前身)谈的是21世纪的华语电影,隔年四月,新加坡华语电影节应运而生,如今已发展成为影迷每年都期待且关注的活动。  

担任大会主席的新跃中华文化中心主任符诗专副教授表示,今年的讲座谈中国现象级影视作品,可说是别具意义,因为中国中央电视台的前身北京电视台是在1958年开播,到今年刚好一甲子。而自中国第一部电影《定军山》于1905年出产以来,中国电影已有上百年历史。除了了解中国影视作品现阶段的成就,观众也能通过这场演讲了解今天的中国。  

主讲人胡智锋教授在约一个半小时内分析了五部现象级影视作品叫好叫座的程度、社会反响还有核心话题解读。这五部作品为《人民的名义》、《舌尖上的中国》、《战狼II》、《中国诗词大会》和《我不是药神》。概括而言,这些作品能称得上是“现象级”,原因包括剧集的题材与尺度、制作水准、文化底蕴、满足社会需求和搭上时下热门话题。 

“现象级”也体现在这些作品对人们的影响。比方说,《舌尖上的中国》不仅挑起了人们的食欲,更勾起了人们的乡愁,引发了回乡寻味的热潮。《中国诗词大会》这个文化益智综艺节目,则令人们反思教育,掀起全民读诗背诗的风气。 

来到问答环节,主席符诗专先请胡教授分析范冰冰事件与中国影视生态和政经形势的关系,尔后在场的几名观众也提出了颇具深度的问题,比如摄录技术应否成为学校必修技能、如今的中国古装剧是否不再那么反映现实、影视作品对解决社会问题能带来多大助力。

新跃文化中华讲座提供现场英语同声传译服务。