“1921” has taken a big step forward in the characterization of characters. Although there are many clues and complicated background, the events are clear and the characters are clear. As the undertaker of specific conference affairs in preparation for the founding of the party, Li Da became a “central” figure to liaise with representatives from all over the world. How he sent notices to the communist groups in various places, and how the Li Das and his wife contacted the meeting addresses were all shown in detail.
1921, a number. A year. This year, something happened. 13 people gathered in Shanghai for a meeting and formed a political party. In fact, there were many Chinese parties at that time, and what happened at 106 Wangzhi Road did not attract much attention from the society. However, with the progress of history, many academic societies, societies, or political parties have died out of their own accord, and even disappeared in the blink of an eye when the day of their establishment was the day they died. The Communist Party of China, which was announced by 13 representatives, continued to grow and develop, which profoundly changed the destiny of China and became a world-breaking event.
why is that? What kind of political party is this? How is it established? The movie “1921” takes us back to the starting point and reproduces the original intention of starting.
The film is different from previous movies of similar themes. It is written directly from the historical cross-section of 1921, and it revolves around the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party and narrates the establishment process of this organization in detail. Strictly speaking, this is not the most favorable angle, because the development of things has antecedents and consequences, and history is very important, and it is only natural when it comes to it. Therefore, “Opening the World” and “The Founding of the Party”, or from the May Fourth Movement or the Revolution of 1911 Starting from writing, there is a long history of gestation, and only then can the historical and ideological inevitability be more fully expressed. Moreover, the Revolution of 1911 and the May Fourth Movement were vigorous events with numerous characters and magnificent scenes, which were conducive to the expression of films. Therefore, directly focusing on the time section of 1921 is a challenge for artistic creation, “the time is short and the task is heavy”.
Although there is no narrative time span advantage, “1921” effectively developed the spatial span and expanded the spatial horizon, thus putting the founding of the Communist Party of China in an international perspective. This is mainly manifested in two plot clues: one is how the Dutchman Marin was recommended by Lenin to participate in revolutionary activities in China as a representative of the Communist International, and how he came to China from Austria, and was monitored and hunted by the police after he came to China. , Full of mystery and legend; another clue is that the film crew found a record of the year in the Japanese Metropolitan Police Department, recording the Japanese Communist Party sent people to Shanghai to contact Marin, based on this fictional Japanese spies in Shanghai traces the whereabouts of a Japanese communist. These clues do not seem to be directly related to the convening of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, but they provide an objective background and international perspective. That is, the establishment of the Communist Party of China not only has the inevitability of the development of Chinese social contradictions, but also has the linkage of the international communist movement. In other words, the spread of Marxism in the world, the proletarian revolution in various countries, and the establishment of the Communist Party were a global trend after the First World War, and it was an exploration of mankind to find a new way out. The establishment of the Communist Party of China is an important step for the Chinese to explore a way out for China. In fact, it is also in the same line as the whole mankind’s search for a new way out, and it is synchronized with the trend of world thought.
Therefore, the establishment of the Communist Party of China in 1921 was not only a matter of China, but also an international event. In this sense, the opening of the international vision and the presentation of these details give the film a broader historical objectivity and artistic authenticity.
The formation of an event, especially an event with far-reaching influence later, must have been converged by various motivations and opportunities. In fact, the characteristic of “1921” is to dig out the motivations and opportunities behind the event in the process of focusing on a meeting, and the various motivations that contributed to the event may constitute narrative clues. In addition to the international clues mentioned above, we have seen that the establishment of communist groups in various parts of the country and the communist groups composed of work-study youths in France are all motivating forces for the establishment of a national Communist Party organization.
However, as a movie, kinetic energy is not enough.
A hundred years ago, 13 people, carrying the same ideal, came together. For artistic creation based on this theme, the focus range, narrative tone, and artistic language may be different, but it is easy to use events as the structure, whether it is a historical narrative with a long time span or a space in a time section. Narratives are all narratives for the completion of events-that is, events dominate characters and structure plots. Of course, such a structure enables the event to be fully expressed, but it is inevitable that many group figures will become parts of the event, and it is difficult to create the image of the protagonist that should be a work of art. In this regard, “1921” has taken a big step forward in the creation of characters. Although there are many clues and complex backgrounds, the events are clear and the characters are clear.
At that time, Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, the leaders of the ideological circle, echoed the north and south, and met to establish the party. The specific tasks of preparing for the establishment of the party were undertaken by Li Da, a member of the Shanghai Communist Group. Li Da became a “central” figure to liaise with representatives from all over the world. How did he give notice to the communist groups in various places, how did Li Da and his wife contact the meeting address, what mood did the 13 representatives attend the meeting, the process of the meeting, how to transfer to the red boat in Nanhu Lake, Jiaxing, and how the meeting dealt with communism International relations, etc., are all shown in detail. In particular, Li Da himself obtained more pen and ink and shots to express the mood of the characters at the time by showing his work and life scenes. A little girl often appeared in his sight on the opposite window of his room. They greeted each other, and the voice-over they conveyed was: how innocent the little girl is, she should have a good life and live in a better society In the system, and everything we do today is for China‘s tomorrow. The implication of this group of pictures is to convey the character’s inner heart and original intention through the details of life, which is natural and appropriate, and has a finishing effect.
It can be said that this is a kind of life-oriented narrative that strives to restore the real situation, reflecting the character’s mood from the life-oriented details. An example of this is the French National Day held in the French Concession in Shanghai. Mao Zedong and the French sang “Marseillaise” together but was expelled. Is this land Chinese or foreign? These shots clearly express China‘s semi-colonial situation at that time and Mao Zedong’s anger. Although Shanghai is prosperous, the owner is not a Chinese. This reality precisely reflected that China at that time needed a political party that can truly shoulder the mission of great national rejuvenation, and these advanced young people gathered from all corners of the world with this initial aspiration and mission, and set the party as the banner and the party as the oath. , To respond to the call of history. 1921 is a time cross-section, because a political party was established that year, and history changed its course. Therefore, it is a starting point.
Although “1921” reflects the history of a century ago, it gives a strong sense of modernity. The creators used many modern film methods, such as spy warfare, drag racing, fashion and other elements to enhance the picture in the plain narrative. The sense of rhythm and visual tension. As far as artistic expression is concerned, the film has a rich vocabulary, trying to portray the character of the characters through the details of life, and embody the thoughts, such as boycotting Japanese goods in a scene, burning Japanese goods, and using matches made in Japan. Li Da said, China is so big, we He didn’t even have his own kind of fire. The implication is that the establishment of the Communist Party is a kind of fire.
On the whole, “1921” is very different from “The Opening of the World” and “The Great Cause of Party Building”. The dignity of the past gave way to youthful vitality, full of vigor and optimism, and showed the spiritual outlook of a new generation of youth on the political stage. , High spirits, perhaps more in line with the reality at the time. It should be said that this is a new exploration in the creation of the theme of party building, and it is also the new meaning of “1921”.
(The author is the vice chairman of the China Literature and Art Critics Association)
Original title: The movie “1921” puts party building in an international perspective
【Editor in charge: Xu Ziming】