"Above the Cliff" Airborne 430, Zhang Yimou’s first spy film, where is it special?


Zhang Yimou, "Above the Cliff", the May 1st file, these words make the industry boiling inside and outside-Lao Mouzi’s first spy film official announced the file on April 30, stationed in May 1st, and assembled a well-known strength lineup like Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Amanda, Zhu Yawen, Dahong Ni, Lei Jiayin and Sha Yi, and it is really difficult not to bomb.



Simply look at a set of data. One hour after the news of film file booking was released, the related topic # Zhang Yimou Cliff File Booking # was listed on the hot search list in Weibo and the hot search list in Tik Tok. With the news fermenting, the topic # May 1st Movie Lineup # even rushed to the top of the hot search list in Weibo. Sure enough, Buddhist is still a Buddhist.


This time, the finalization of "Above the Cliff" has undoubtedly changed the situation of the May 1 ST file predicted by the industry. At present, the appearance of such a commercial blockbuster with a unique theme has not only quickly become the most anticipated film, but also locked most of the attention in advance. The changes in the May 1 ST file driven by it are even more curious, and the call for "Above the Cliff" to become the champion of the schedule has also followed the trend.


Why is Above the Cliff so critical? What is the significance of the release of this film for the May 1st file and the whole film market? Compared with previous Chinese spy films, what are the differences between Above the Cliff? Through this article, we first uncover the first veil of this film.


Zhang Yimou’s first spy war commercial blockbuster.


Above the Cliff is not only a key step in the development of commercial films in Zhang Yimou, but also reflects Zhang Yimou’s diversified development in film creation-it is a commercial blockbuster with a spy war theme and its uniqueness is outstanding, and it is also the first spy war film shot by Zhang Yimou.


Previously, Zhang Yimou said, "There are not many spy war movies in China. This time, I met a script that moved me, hoping to make a special feeling." It can be speculated that through On the Cliff, Zhang Yimou is making a new breakthrough in the Chinese spy war commercial blockbuster.


There is no doubt that Zhang Yimou plays an important role in the film market in China. He is not only the most active and energetic of the "fifth generation directors", but also insists on constantly trying and challenging the types and themes of creation, such as the literary film One Second and the martial arts costume film Shadow, which have been released in the past two years. At present, Zhang Yimou still holds three commercial blockbusters, Above the Cliff, Rock-solid and Sniper, which have different types and themes. Above the Cliff is the first one released in Zhang Yimou’s next commercial blockbusters.


Speaking of commercial films, Zhang Yimou is an old hand. After all, it was Zhang Yimou’s Hero in 2002 that brought the China film market into the era of commercial blockbusters. That year, "Hero" swept the film market and took 250 million box office. At that time, the annual box office of the film market was only 950 million, and a "Hero" accounted for a quarter of the total box office in the country. Its influence is self-evident.

After the success of Hero, Zhang Yimou also successively released commercial films such as House of Flying Daggers and Golden Flower in the City. Looking back now, these films have become milestone works in the evolutionary history of commercial films in China. Therefore, the development of commercial films in China film market must be promoted by Zhang Yimou and his works.


The film market has entered the era of commercial blockbusters for nearly twenty years. In the period of steady development, pioneering works are needed to stimulate and drive the continuous rise and development of the whole commercial film system, in which the direction of film content is particularly important. Take "Above the Cliff" as an example, it is indeed a film type that is scarce and desired in the film market at present.

There are not many outstanding representatives in Chinese spy films, and now there are only a few such as Wind and Listener. However, no matter from the perspective of content materials or audience demand, in fact, the spy war film market is still a blue ocean. For example, the drama market next door has long been like a large number of classic works such as Latent, Cliff, Before Dawn, Pretender and In Silence, so the spy war theme works are promising.


Probably because of this, Zhang Yimou’s appearance with "Above the Cliff" will bring such applause off the stage, because we have been waiting for such a spy war commercial blockbuster for a long time.


Fresh spy war legend from the perspective of group image


Combined with the content introduction and related materials released at present, it can be seen that Above the Cliff is obviously different from the previous spy war films.


The first lies in the group image perspective adopted by the film. Compared with previous spy films, Above the Cliff does not feature a single hero, but portrays blood shed, the legendary spy war, through the group image of the whole "outrat Team", thus paying tribute to the heroes who made contributions to the revolutionary cause in that era. The enemy is even more cunning and cruel, and also pursues them with difficult characters.


In the finalized poster released yesterday, a snowy cliff separated the two teams. Under the cliff, Zhang Yi led the outrat team composed of Amanda, Zhu Yawen and Liu Haocun. Above the cliff are Dahong Ni, Li Naiwen, Yu Ailei and Feifan led by Yu Hewei.


In the same scene, nine people look different and have their own thoughts. For example, Zhang Yi in outrat’s squad looks solemn and walks against the snow, Amanda stands on high alert with a gun, Zhu Yawen is injured and follows, and Liu Haocun on one side also looks anxious. The five people above the cliff looked in different directions, but it seemed that they were always watching the movements of outrat’s squad. In the dangerous confrontation, every role was indispensable. In the freeze-frame of this picture, it also initially reflects the group image characteristics of the film and the strong gas field of the whole acting school.


The group scene in the film is also the most attractive place for Zhang Yimou. He once said: "It is very difficult to shape each role in the group image, which is a test of the director’s skill. It is necessary to cover all aspects and make the finishing point."


To create a wonderful group drama, it also needs a high degree of matching of actors. Above the Cliff has a "drama-level lineup", such as leading stars Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Amanda, Zhu Yawen, Liu Haocun, Dahong Ni and Li Naiwen, starring Yu Ailei and Fei Fan, and specially invited stars Lei Jiayin and Sha Yi. All these actors are highly praised.

If some netizens said to such a lineup that "a movie has all the acting textbooks", some people said that "a group of powerful people can be called’ fairy fights’", which shows that the audience has high expectations for all the actors in the film. It is worth mentioning that the strength of the film is not only reflected in the director and the cast. The co-screenwriter YongXian Quan of the film is also the screenwriter of the high-scoring spy war drama Cliff, which won the Magnolia Gold Award and the Golden Eagle Award. This time, Above the Cliff is also based on the original story of YongXian Quan, which also makes people’s confidence and expectation for the film content increase again.


Therefore, it is also reasonable to expect that in the spy war legend told in Above the Cliff, in this snowy ice city, every character will show different colors, and all the people on the same stage will not only be a passionate collision of content creation, but also lead the audience into that scary special era, personally visit the spy war, and gain a different profound viewing experience.


Facing the cruel history is expected to create a new height of spy films.


Because of the particularity of the story content and the background of the times, spy films often have their own mystery. Whether it is the suspense and thrilling nature of tasks and cases, or a large number of rich spy elements in the film process, spy films are more unique.


Zhang Yimou’s spy film will naturally be a very stylized work. Combined with the trailer, it can be seen that the setting of "snow keeps falling" in the film is cool. The heavy snow not only becomes the unique background color of the film story, but also closely corresponds to the plot of investigation, interrogation, gun battle and confrontation, creating a rich sense of darkness and cruelty.



In order to present the real snow scene, the crew shot the whole scene in the northeast, and most of the scenes were completed in the extremely cold environment of MINUS tens of degrees. And the story of "Above the Cliff" took place in Harbin, the former "Far East international spy capital". The spy organization named Harbin Secret Service has been entrenched in this place for 26 years, with as many as 3,000 intelligence personnel. In the period of white terror, everyone in the city can feel insecure.

From the trailer footage, we can also see Harbin’s unique architectural style of blending East and West, the snowy pine forests in the suburbs outside the city, and the ubiquitous stab in the back in the back in the streets and lanes. The picture slowly unfolds and the sense of gloom and horror gradually strikes. As Zhang Yimou said, "I hope this film will give the audience a cold, cold and cold feeling of watching movies. It will be different from all the domestic spy war movies we have seen." At the same time, through the trailer, we can also see many novel elements and plots of spy war, such as electrocution, playing psychedelic drugs, playing with fire with your bare hands, passing secret signals under the eyes of the enemy, etc., which makes people feel the unique side of Zhang Yimou’s spy war films.

For spy films, cruelty and curiosity are also important aspects of content composition. Take the episode in which Zhang Yi was electrocuted as an example. Electrocution is an international interrogation method. During the Japanese puppet regime, there were many kinds of cruel torture, not only for revolutionary workers, but also for ordinary people. There are also many kinds of torture tools on display in the torture room left by the Japanese invaders in Northeast China. According to statistics, there were as many as 34 kinds and more than 500 kinds of torture at that time. This period of history is hard to look back, but it is indeed a real past. I think "Above the Cliff" also hopes that through the objective display of real history, future generations will not forget the pioneering spirit and keep in mind the mission of the times.


Above the Cliff reveals the unknown cruelty of that bloody age, and behind the desperate struggle and torture test, it also embodies the greatness of this group of revolutionary heroes who are engaged in espionage. In the face of the enemy’s torture and test, this group of heroes adhered to their beliefs and remained faithful, and finally achieved the revolutionary victory. I think this part of the content will be the focus of the film, and it will also become the climax of the whole film.


And most importantly, whether it is the extreme creation of "snow" in the big background or the creation of horrible environment and depressing atmosphere, it focuses on people’s generate and choices in extreme desperation, which is probably the biggest core and theme of "Zhang Yimou’s spy film".


In the previous Chinese film market, there were classic spy films like The Wind and The Listener, but Above the Cliff is obviously different from the previous spy films in terms of the attention and shaping of heroes, the blessing of all the people behind the scenes, the unique expression of visual wonders and the panoramic display of real history, which also makes Zhang Yimou’s above the Cliff have the potential to create a new height of Chinese spy films.


The number one seed to hit the May 1st champion.


The Spring Festival is far away, and the market is cold in March and April. The next heavy schedule is May Day, and the audience’s enthusiasm for watching movies is expected to rekindle in May Day. And this year’s May Day holiday is as long as five days, which is also more conducive to the release of schedule potential energy. In terms of the schedule specifications of the May 1 ST file, there should naturally be heavyweight commercial blockbusters stationed, so the arrival of "Above the Cliff" is undoubtedly necessary for the schedule, and it also brings strong help to the whole schedule.


Whether it is the uniqueness of the theme, the differentiation of types or the high reputation of the main creative team, it reflects the advantages of Above the Cliff from different dimensions. Moreover, it must be admitted that "Above the Cliff" announced that it would enter the May 1st file at 4.30, which also became an important driving force for the pattern change of May 1st file this year. At present, the space in the schedule is not rich, and the film strength is the core competitiveness in the fierce competition. For the strength of the film, sir, like many people, has strong confidence and high expectations for Above the Cliff.


At the same time, when "Above the Cliff" was announced, it also released the message that it would start screening, and the film will be screened three times in advance on April 18, 24 and 29. As we all know, point screening is a double-edged sword. Nowadays, with the rapid spread of word of mouth, daring to open point screening is actually an act of film confidence and self-certification. So, if "Above the Cliff" dares to open point screening so early, the quality of the film should be correct.


With the help of successful screening, "Above the Cliff" is also expected to further lock in the first choice of May 1 movie viewing, and can usher in an outbreak within the schedule, becoming the core force of the schedule market and the most powerful player to impact the schedule champion.


In view of the hot trend of setting a new record for the Spring Festival file, the industry has also predicted the May 1st file this year, which is expected to reach a new high. The achievement of the Spring Festival file also shows that there is no upper limit for the development of high-quality films in the big file period, so for the core films of the May 1 ST file, if they get high reputation, they will certainly be able to walk out of a beautiful box office long line.


No matter in the short or long term, what the market needs most is high-quality domestic blockbusters, which is the core kinetic energy of the whole market development. Therefore, I also hope that "Under the Cliff" will not only bring help to the May 1st gear, but also bring more positive significance to the progress of the whole market.