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It’s worth it, every ordinary person is the protagonist of life

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It’s worth it, every ordinary person is the protagonist of life

“Story is a metaphor for life” – this is a saying that Liu Jiayin, the director of the movie “Worthless Trip”, likes very much. In this story, Cao Baoping as the producer, Hu Ge and Wu Lei reunited again, together with Qi Xi and Bai Ke to interpret this story about the life of ordinary people, to interpret the “listening” in the life of ordinary people. Wanting to live as a human being, wanting to die as a human being, is just like what this movie expresses: every ordinary person should be respected, and every ordinary person is the protagonist in his own life.

When she saw Hu Ge’s face, Liu Jiayin felt that she had finally met Wen Shan.

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Wen Shan is a thirty-five-year-old single man living in Beijing. He used to be a failed screenwriter, and later made a living writing eulogy for the dead. He is also the male protagonist of the movie “A Worthless Trip” directed by Liu Jiayin. This character had existed in Liu Jiayin’s mind for many years, but she could only see his back, outline and some gestures, but could not see his face-until the day the filming started.

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Getting there was a long process, starting in 1995. That year was the 100th birthday of world cinema, and CCTV made a set of feature films. It was still the era of keying, and the background was the movie screen. Mr. Sun Daolin stood in the foreground, chronologically, from birth, to various genres, masterpieces, The famous director… told a brief history of world cinema. That year, Liu Jiayin was still in junior high school, and when he came home every day during his lunch break, he watched this feature film. For the first time, she saw the new realism, the new wave, and saw something that was not known before.

Because my parents like to watch movies, Liu Jiayin also liked it since childhood. “Rock and Roll”, “Stubborn”, “First Blood”… These good movies in the 1980s and 1990s were all taken by her parents to the cinema. Movies are part of life for her. But when watching feature films, she was strongly drawn to the clips that popped up and the things that were explored.

It was the mid-90s, the era of videotapes. Those films that appear in feature films are impossible to reach. Parents discovered Liu Jiayin’s interest and bought her some books on film history and film theory. In this way, from words rather than images, she began to approach film.

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Liu Jiayin still remembers the set of “World Film Appreciation Dictionary” she read at that time. A set of three books, with hard red leather and a protective cover, edited by Zheng Xuelai, and the level of writers is very high. It was one of Liu Jiayin’s enlightenment readings. Later, she put it in “A Worthless Trip”, and Wen Shan also read it.

From middle school to high school, movies resisted the fickleness of adolescence and gradually became a serious business. At that time, in the eyes of outsiders, the film industry was very mysterious, the practitioners were very mysterious, and the film school was also very mysterious. Because of the mystery, it was difficult to take the test. But if you want to study film, there is only one university you can take the exam. Liu Jiayin’s studies are very good and she is introverted. Originally, her teacher suggested that she study history, but her parents still supported her to take the Nortel exam. So take the test. At that time, the Department of Literature and the Department of Directing of the Film Academy were recruiting students every other year. In 1999, it was the turn of the Department of Literature. Liu Jiayin was admitted to the Department of Literature that year, majoring in film and drama, and learned to write scripts. The head teacher was Cao Baoping.

Liu Jiayin is an out-and-out Beijinger, born and raised in Beijing. However, she does not have a clear sense of direction like most Beijingers. Before going to college, Beijing was a gray area for her, and she was a smaller, dark gray dot, moving only in a very small area around her home. When she was admitted to the film school, her father said to her: “The film school is on the north side of Jimen Bridge.” – Going to university and leaving home, for her, was to leave the area where she lived since she was a child and ran to the north of Jimen Bridge. It was a very, very unfamiliar second to leave. After this second, she instantly gained a sense of direction, and from now on, she could distinguish east, west, north and west anywhere.

At the Film Academy, Liu Jiayin stayed for more than ten years. After graduating from a bachelor’s degree, read a master’s degree, and then stay at the school to teach. In 2005, she wrote, directed and starred in her first feature film “Cowhide”. There were only three characters in the film, parents and their daughters. In fact, it is Liu Jiayin’s family life with her parents. It was a very extreme film, figurative and abstract, depressing and anxious. “I’m not interested in perfection,” she said. “We’re just acting out our lives.” A few years later, she made “Cowskin 2,” and after that, there was a long silence.

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Liu Jiayin moved to the suburbs of Beijing a few years ago. Everything here is new, very wide roads, brand-new communities, good greening, infrastructure has not kept up, there are large open spaces, no people, very quiet, not like Beijing at all. She likes that it’s not like Beijing. She is a person with a good memory. She remembers everything from childhood to adulthood, with details and temperature. But for Beijing, she has no sense of belonging. She felt like she was just an adult, choosing to stay and live in this city. Occasionally, there are some fleeting moments, such as riding a bicycle home from school, more than 30 kilometers from the north to the south, to a certain section of Chang’an Avenue, there are five minutes, no need to look at the navigation, the road is on the road Unfolding on her own brings so much security that she will briefly feel like a Beijinger. “In those few minutes, I felt very comfortable and felt a very close relationship between me and this city.” But, it was only those short five minutes.

She is like a suspended person in the city. Wen Shan is also. He just went to school here and stayed here to live, and he lives here, like many people in this story.

Wen Shan’s story emerged around 2015. At that time, not only Wen Shan, but also other people living and working in the city, but it was not finalized. At that time, Liu Jiayin had a long commute to and from get off work. She was on the subway, underground in Beijing, traveling from the north to the south of the city. She held the computer to read the students’ homework, wrote the script, and thought about the story. After that, Wen Shan appeared, and the story focused on him alone, which gradually became clear. At the end of 2019, Liu Jiayin really started writing and began to make outlines and sub-fields. Later, when the epidemic broke out, she stayed at home for more than half a year, got up early every day, drank coffee, wrote scripts, then went out for a walk, ran, went home to take a bath, continued to drink coffee, smoked, and wrote scripts… School started, it was also an online class, and the schedule was similar. .

That year Liu Jiayin was 40 years old. After the completion of “Cowhide 2”, for many years, like a cloud or a nightmare, some kind of inexplicable but strong intuition was pressing on her head, sometimes coming, sometimes walking, sometimes coming in a large area, Then it got bigger and bigger, and it became clear to her that there wasn’t much time left, “I have to do what I’m supposed to do.”

Cao Baoping said that Liu Jiayin is a director completely different from him. In this shooting scene, “she seems to be doing a secret filming, sneaking, although we are justifiably a good deed”. The entire crew seems to be gradually “smell good”.

Cao Baoping himself is a very controlling director. “As long as I say go to the river, there will be no one on the shore.” He is older than Liu Jiayin, but has similar experience. He also stayed at the Film Academy to teach and started directing from screenwriting. He said: “I don’t think there is right or wrong. Every method is the right method, as long as the method is carried out, it will be. Since she can carry it out, she will let her go in this way.”

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When teaching Liu Jiayin, Cao Baoping felt that she was a very hardworking, very serious and competitive student. “I think the strongest feeling and characteristic is that she has something that she wants to express and insist on aesthetically.”

After the filming of “Cowhide”, Liu Jiayin did not make a film for about ten years. During this period, Cao Baoping told her many times that he felt that her style was too unique and should continue. “So far, I don’t know the specific reason why she stopped.” Cao Baoping said, “Of course it is because she may put more energy into teaching. But I feel it is a pity, and I have been encouraging her to continue to shoot. This sentence I’ve been talking for years.”

Liu Jiayin regarded Cao Baoping as both a teacher and an elder. “Including my parents, they see some things about me more clearly than I do myself. All of this, based on understanding and supporting me, can be considered a kind of pressure… He did not directly express his disappointment. I feel It’s more likely that I’m disappointed in myself.”

Liu Jiayin felt that she might be a person who was not growing up in harmony.

For four years as an undergraduate, Liu Jiayin was under a lot of pressure, nervous and anxious. At that time, the family conditions were not good, and the love for movies brought too much sense of mission, which made the study heavy. She took the class very seriously, did her homework very seriously, and spent as much time as possible on her studies – she was later appointed as the monitor by Cao Baoping. But apart from studying, she felt like she didn’t do anything, and she didn’t want to communicate with others, and she really didn’t need to communicate. “Because I know very well that I have something to accomplish, and there is no way out.” In her sophomore year, she started writing TV dramas to make money, and she had very little time to sleep. Until now, Liu Jiayin still has such a physique that she can only sleep for a few hours a day and still be full of energy.

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SARS in 2003, Liu Jiayin has been at home. The inner voice rang: You hurry up. After that, there was “Cow”.

After that, it is to take postgraduate entrance examinations, study for postgraduate studies, and then stay in school as a teacher. In the postgraduate stage, the part that had lagged in growth began to slowly recover, and she only had the feeling of living with her classmates. Staying in school to teach is her most satisfying choice. “I like to be a teacher. I think that among several identities, the teacher may be the one that I am most satisfied with. I think this part has brought me a lot of good things, fun, difficulty, and many things are unintentional. What I understood in the long teaching time, I don’t know how it happened, is the relationship between people, including empathy.” But the long and dedicated teaching work brought contradictions to the creation. The voice was still there, but in her head, something was fighting all the time.

In 2021, the script will be finalized. Liu Jiayin ran away with the script, and finally found Cao Baoping. After Cao Baoping watched it, the first impression was that it was long. “It’s too long. Because my script is long enough, but this has trampled my script under it, and it is twice as long as mine.” Cao Baoping said that it took 5 hours to shoot, which is definitely not objective. , “because I had a very strong experience, one could even say a lesson”. But he thought the script had its viability and room, so he started to push it. It took half a year from when Cao Baoping first saw the script to the start of the film. Cao Baoping is the producer of the film.

When filming started, almost one third of the script was deleted, but Cao Baoping felt that it was still very long. “But considering that she hasn’t filmed for so many years, I gave her a margin of error of 30% or more this time.”

When I first saw the script, what moved Cao Baoping was the story itself. “Everything always has a little bit of light on your eyes. She wrote about Wen Shan’s relationship with each family, as well as the sophistication of Chinese people in each family. Wen Shan’s choice, the profession of eulogy writing, and Their angles all have a relatively unique aspect of Liu Jiayin. This is the most shining original starting point for this film in my opinion.”

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Like the quasi-realist films that have appeared in recent years, “A Worthless Trip” still discusses real issues-how do ordinary people “find themselves”? . Because of Liu Jiayin’s own characteristics, it is also an allegory and “trial realism”. “Because we can only touch the epidermis. You penetrate the skin, it hurts, it’s enough.” Cao Baoping said, “Realism in the true sense is still relatively difficult. We can see a lot of very good things in the corner. things, but it’s always hidden in dark corners.”

Cao Baoping told Liu Jiayin: “You shoot as much as you can imagine, and don’t care about other things.” 90% or more of the time, he was on the scene, but he would not give Liu Jiayin any specific requirements, only Advice in her chosen direction. “I don’t think my producer is an endorsement. I don’t add my aesthetic will or commercial will to a work. There is a kind of producer that gives a newcomer the greatest space for expression. It doesn’t matter a dime, but my weight can ensure that the newcomer does 100% of what he wants – isn’t this a better producer?”

The filming of “A Worthless Trip” took a month and a half. This month and a half had a lot of tough moments and a lot of pressure, and then, the shooting was done. After the editing, Liu Jiayin worked with her colleagues every day at her home. The colleague used to be her student, and she came back to help her this time.

Liu Jiayin went back to drinking coffee, running, working… an infinite cycle of work and rest. She is not as “sneaky” as Cao Baoping describes her. During the filming, she had a tantrum of six or seven times. However, according to her own description, she has very few emotions, “about five kinds”. The film is nearing completion, and her mood is “calm”. “It calms me and allows me to feel where I am. Not contentment.”

From the beginning of the discussion, to the filming, to the current editing, Liu Jiayin has always called her starring Hu Ge “Wen Shan”. Hu Ge and she both felt it was natural, as it should have been.

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Hu Ge, no, Wen Shan, has discussed with Liu Jiayin many times, does Wen Shan really exist? Liu Jiayin told the truth: “I don’t know such a person in my life, let alone do any interviews. The reason why I write is not because I read some news or something, but he is in his heart… That person is actually me, An idealized self. Although that person is not ideal for most people, it is for me.”

When it was time to shoot, in the stills, Wen Shan and Liu Jiayin showed a strange same frequency, one was tall and the other was thin, but both were slightly hunched, their heads lowered, their faces were ambiguous, a little dull, and a little enlightened. , sometimes grinning, either standing with his hands behind his back or squatting, his expression and posture are surprisingly consistent.

Liu Jiayin said that the best thing about Wen Shan is “inferiority”. “I think low self-esteem is a very good character. It can keep you down to earth, it can make you always be misunderstood without the opportunity to misunderstand others. Wen Shan will not misunderstand others, he will leave room, but he is always rushed , Rough misunderstanding. At the same time, he can accept all the treatment, which makes his life now – when you have a good quality like low self-esteem, you can see and hear clearly, and you will not exalt yourself , you rarely feel that you deserve something.”

Wen Shan in the movie is always looking for himself for others and the deceased. In such creations, he established a short but profound relationship to place his long-lasting emotions, and he found his own position. Therefore, he is Liu Jiayin’s more ideal self. Liu Jiayin said that Wen Shan is very gentle. “He is gentler than me. After his work is completed, his emotional involvement may not stop abruptly, but when the work is over, it is over, and he no longer has a place to continue to maintain contact with others. So for Wen Shanlai Said that he needs to keep learning. He should not learn too well, but he still has time.”

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The allegorical nature of “A Worthless Trip” is here, the short-term fragility of relationships and the long-lasting emotion, in such an extreme story, the ancient loneliness of human beings can be discussed. “Story is a metaphor for life” – this is a saying that Liu Jiayin likes very much. “Everyone is actually talking and expressing…but very few people are willing to listen.”

Liu Jiayin said she had no desire to express herself. “I don’t have the desire to talk, and I don’t have the desire to exist. I don’t need these in my life. These also provide more opportunities to misunderstand me.” And making movies is her expression. The form of A Worthless Trip is realism, but what it expresses is idealism. This expression must almost certainly be misunderstood, misinterpreted, or subject to various judgments and even misinterpretations. Liu Jiayin said, it doesn’t matter. “I am such a person, I live and work in this way, and I have to accept being misunderstood. I think a work, even if it is a serious work, it must be misunderstood, it is not that important.”

After the filming, Wen Shan, no, Hu Ge, told Liu Jiayin that he felt that he no longer had to think about the question of “Wen Shan exists or not”. In fact, he said, there is no need to think about whether he really exists. “But do you hope that there is a person like Wen Shan in this world, in this city.”

This is Wen Shan and Liu Jiayin, Liu Jiayin and Hu Ge, up to their own and their own consensus, a very rare tacit understanding and trust. “I think this is the most beautiful thing. It can’t be asked for, but I just ran into it, and he ran into it, so I feel very beautiful and fulfilled. I rarely feel that way.”

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Wen Shan is a more idealized self, Liu Jiayin can’t remember when this idea came into being, she just knows: “The relationship between this person and me, this feeling is not in all previous creations, maybe It may not happen again in the future. There will be many regrets in creation, but it is really not important. I can accept the misunderstanding of me for so many years, and the misunderstanding of the film is a fart. There are more regrets in life, so The regret of the creation is nothing.”

When writing “A Worthless Trip”, some scenes and some dialogues were written automatically. Liu Jiayin didn’t know how she wrote it, including some particularly important parts. There was no thought process. It was more like automatic writing. Like the running she likes, the excitement of running for a certain length is also something she can’t ask for. Liu Jiayin said: “I can only say that I hope to have such creations in the future.”

“I really won’t stop this time. I won’t be long before I start writing the next story-maybe the protagonist is still a Wen Shan for what I will write later.”

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