On January 10, according to the obituary issued by the China Film Directors Association, "The famous director Mr. He Ping suffered from cancer and suffered a sudden myocardial infarction. He died in Beijing early this morning. The executive committee of the Association will cooperate with Director He Ping's family to see him off. An announcement will be made in due course.”
On the evening of January 10, the China Film Directors Association issued an obituary. He Ping, a famous film director, producer, and former secretary-general of the China Film Directors Association, died of illness at the age of 65.
For a while, there was an uproar in the circle.
He Ping's Weibo, the last update was on last summer's applause and grievances for "Into the Dust and Smoke". Netizens in the message area remembered and paid tribute to "Master He has gone well all the way".
Everyone has called He Ping "He Ye" for many years, not only because of his tough and heroic temperament in making movies, and his outspoken personality in life, but also because of his deep participation in promoting the development of Chinese movies all the way.
In the film industry, He Ping is a real "swordsman", leaving his shadow of swordsman in the arena of the film - in terms of creation, he is regarded as the "Godfather of Western Films" in China, "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" created a domestic martial arts The film has a school of aesthetics; in terms of industry contribution, he is the driving force behind the promotion of the industrialization of Chinese films and the expansion of the overseas market of Chinese films; in the field of public opinion, he is one of the most "outspoken" filmmakers, and has been active in recent years. Various inappropriate phenomena were bombarded on Weibo.
He Ping has been filming for more than 30 years, and the number of films he has shot is not many, but no one will doubt that this director deserves to be recorded in the history of Chinese film. His works not only have a good literary and artistic atmosphere, but also have outstanding commercial quality and long-term influence. "I always say that I am a professional filmmaker, and I have never left the film industry." Even if he has not made a film for a long time, He Ping has always been with the film.
He Ping. Visual China Map
From "Academic Legacy" to "Godfather of Western Films"
He Ping was born in 1957 in a literary and artistic family in Shanxi. His father, He Wenjin, was the founder of the Shanxi drama movement in the 1920s, and his mother, Yuan Yuehua, was the heroine of the first feature film "The Bridge" in New China, and directed "The Waves of Life", "The Man from the Mountain", "Spring and Autumn on the Water", "Red Films such as "Rain", "Red Flag Fluttering", "Su Xiaosan", "Little Soldier in School Uniform". Influenced by his family, making movies is nothing new for He Ping. Even later in the interview of "A Date with Luyu", He Ping talked about his original intention of becoming a film director, which turned out to be "I don't want to go to work".
After the "Cultural Revolution" ended, He Ping applied for the Beijing Film Academy and almost became a member of the famous "Class of 78". At that time, he had already received the admission letter, but was told later, "It was sent by mistake." The young and vigorous He Ping didn't go into it, but thought that he would come back next year, but who knew that the next admission would be four years later.
He Ping regretted not being able to become classmates with Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang and others. At the same time, he also admitted that at the beginning of entering the film industry, the fact that he did not have a degree deeply troubled him, and made him feel inferior and depressed.
After entering the Beijing Science Education Studio, He Ping went from being an intern to an on-set director. Because of his good cultural foundation, he was quickly promoted to assistant director. He participated in the shooting of films such as "Weather Sentinel", "The Wind in Early Summer" and "European Girl". Later, he recalled that he "photographed abalone farming in the factory. I didn't know that it was so expensive, and I often cooked it to eat."
Many people classify He Ping as the "fifth generation", probably because he and the directors of the fifth generation met the same "bole" - Wu Tianming. After being transferred by Wu Tianming to Xi'an Film Studio, He Ping began to make his mark in the creation of feature films, and at the same time started his "Western Narrative".
Screenshot of "We Are the World"
He Ping once joked, "I don't like living in the city, and I'm still very afraid of going into the city. So my early films were all in the wilderness." Since his directorial debut, almost all of He Ping's films have been rooted in western China . In 1987, He Ping directed the feature film "We Are the World", which tells stories about the religious beliefs of the Northwest ethnic groups.
In 1991, a martial arts film called "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" was released. In the era when audiences were used to watching martial arts films produced in Hong Kong, the significance of the mainland's independent production of western martial arts films was groundbreaking. For the first time, the film tried the unique mode of western film + martial arts film, which was earlier than Hong Kong's "New Dragon Inn" and "Evil and West Poison".
"Swordsman in Double Flag Town" poster
"Swordsman in Shuangqi Town" tells the story of a boy "Haige" who went to Shuangqi Town according to his father's will to marry a "good girl" with whom he had a baby marriage. He encountered bandits and finally killed the bandits to save the people. The bold character creation method and novel film language in the film have made a bold attempt for the genre innovation of martial arts films. The film won the Best Art Award at the 11th China Film Golden Rooster Awards, the Best Film Award at the 3rd Yubari International Thrilling and Science Fiction Film Festival, the International Film Critics Award at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival, and was also selected for the 11th Hong Kong Film Awards Director He Ping has become famous both at home and abroad since becoming one of the top ten Chinese films at the Academy Awards.
Screenshot of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town"
As the pinnacle of mainland martial arts films, the status of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" has not been shaken by any film so far.
He Ping organically blends oriental martial arts with Hollywood western genres. The simple story under the concise and sharp lens, not only does not cause narrative shortcomings, but expands the huge space for suspense and imagination.
In "Swordsman in Double Flag Town", He Ping's shots are always surprisingly restrained, and the "still braking" action method is full of ritual and imagination. In the elaboration on the creation of the film, He Ping mentioned that in order to make the action scenes of the swordsman look good, he and the photographer Madelin racked their brains, and finally adopted the "reversed shooting" method, and in the post-editing, "as long as Momentum, don't move", thus creating a sense of "mystery" for the swordsman's magical knife skills.
"Its loneliness is due to the vastness and desolation of the region, and it seems to have its own way of living and order." He Ping wrote in the director's explanation of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town", "shooting a film with the northwest as the background is very important to For me, it has been a dream for many years... The Northwest has given me many unforgettable feelings and thoughts, which also determines my preference when selecting materials. Therefore, the emergence of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" is first of all because of that piece of land. , and then love and thinking about that land.”
Screenshot of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town"
Although a large number of comments have exaggerated the attempt of "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" in the genre of western films, He Ping still believes that "any kind of imitation is actually a copy of experience and cannot reflect the true spirit of art." ——Creation. We calmly leave the appearance of the two references of "western film" and "savagery", go deep into the back of the story, think about history, culture, and human geography, and bring the civilization of the east to the west , to conquer the wildness in the desert; on the contrary, what we think about is that after thousands of years of prosperity and the baptism of civilization, this land has become barren in barrenness."
An interesting behind-the-scenes anecdote is that the film was actually shot on a portion of expired film with minimal investment. The total investment was 1.2 million yuan, and the construction of Shuangqi Town alone cost 200,000 yuan, which was seriously exceeded in terms of funds, film and cycle. For this reason, relevant personnel were also criticized in a circular, and He Ping was fined three years' salary, and he had to pay for himself to participate in the film festival afterwards. It is precisely the various restrictive conditions that allow He Ping to release a huge tension in his creation.
Later, when He Ping talked about "Swordsman in Shuangqi Town", he said, "I don't think it is a big thing. From my current point of view, it is just a sketch. Its advantage is complete. This may be "Shuangqi Town" The reason why "Swordsman" has more vitality."
Interestingly, the story of the boy in "Swordsman in Double Flag Town" is a "branch line" in another big production "Heaven and Earth Heroes" by He Ping. "Heaven and Earth Heroes" did not come out until after the 21st century. In fact, He Ping began to conceive this movie as early as 1985, and he even took this movie to Xiying.
But for a work like "Heaven and Earth Heroes", the shooting of the big horse battle alone will cost a huge amount of money. In the late 1980s, He Ping was still just a little-known figure, and no one wanted this newcomer director to take a large sum of money to take risks.
After 2000, the success of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sparked an upsurge of oriental martial arts around the world, and the Sino-US co-production "Heaven and Earth Heroes" was born in the context of China's film industrialization exploration, and He Ping finally got his long-cherished wish. "Heaven and Earth Heroes" won a box office of nearly 50 million yuan in 2003, and became the box office runner-up of that year.
"Heaven and Earth Heroes" stills
The movie continues the visual spectacle of the isolated city in the desert and the yellow sand at sunset, and the spirit of chivalry and humanity is also consistent. Civilian heroes from all walks of life resisted the Turkic looting of relics and paid a heavy price. He Ping said, "All the characters seen in the story do not have great personalities, but they have experienced major events unfortunately. Forced by fate, they must go to the dead end of becoming a hero. If there are no sudden accidents that make them end themselves with a tragic death, they would rather be mediocre all their lives. This is the great milestone created by the little people in adversity that I want to talk about .”
"The achievements of Chinese films are all related to me"
After "Swordsman in Double Flag Town", He Ping handed over "Cannonball Double Lantern" in 1994 and won the Golden Rooster Award for Best Director. According to the growth trajectory of a film director, He Ping should be considered to have entered the "golden period" of creation, but he has retired and remained silent for seven years.
Screenshot of "Cannonball Double Lamp"
That was the period when Chinese films "sinked into the bottom". Under the double impact of the popularity of television and Hollywood, Chinese films fell into an unprecedented silence. When "Chinese films were on the verge of bankruptcy", he participated in the "rescue market" plan organized by Han Sanping. "Gun" and a series of well-received and well-received films, and once served as Columbia's "Asian Production China Consultant", which promoted the development of commercial films and co-productions.
He Ping guest starred in Feng Xiaogang's movie "Big Wrist"
When talking about that period of experience and the choices he made at that time, He Ping said, "Columbia is like a supermarket with many shelves. Any Chinese-language movies it produces and any local-source movies can be put in the supermarket. This is a very good idea. It is meaningful to promote Chinese films."
China's first movie official website, the first use of characters as posters, and the first trailer, these are now commonplace movie promotion methods that were not available in China before. He Ping felt, “The necessary things in the film industry system were all brought in by us in the past seven years, and brought into the Chinese film industry. Although this office was closed later, this Sony Columbia (film) company) also withdrew from Asia, but the experience stayed in China.”
"If you go back in time, would you still make the same choice?" The host Chen Luyu once asked He Ping such a question. He Ping replied, "I don't regret it. The achievements of Chinese films in those six or seven years are all related to me. I am very satisfied."
Afterwards, He Ping became what everyone called "He Ye". The Directors Association wrote an article on the occasion of He Ping's birthday last year, saying that "as a producer, he used his own experience and long-term accumulated resources to do his best to promote the development of Chinese films. The contribution of cinema is indelible."
"I never thought that I would be a producer, but I have my own financing channels and can help other directors. When I have no desire to film, and I can't leave this industry, I help others. I always say that I am a professional filmmaker. I have never left the film industry. I know what the director is thinking, and I know what the investors are thinking, and they tell me the demands of both parties, and I will try my best to meet the needs of both parties." He Ping said.
The "angry youth" big V cheered for the industry
In recent years, although the audience has not seen He Ping's movies on the big screen, he has never really faded out of the public eye.
He has 2.1 million followers on Weibo. Sina Weibo gave him the label: "Famous film director, producer, former secretary-general of the China Film Directors Association". + People who eat box lunches = working people".
He Ping is keen to speak out for the industry. Sometimes it is on various forums and film festival review activities, and more often it is on his Weibo. His words are sharp and straightforward, and he is often "bombarded" and "supported" in the media.
In 2015, several excellent films in the nomination list of the China Film Directors Association's annual commendation were not selected. He, who has already resigned, bluntly said on Weibo that "this is the most shameful year", which caused quite a shock. "Pearl" added a special prize.
In the face of movies he doesn't like, he will bluntly say that the director "kneel down to capital" and "doesn't understand the language of movies at all".
In those years when the film industry was booming, He Ping was worried that “the good photographers in China don’t go to shoot the camera anymore, they go to be directors; Of course, this is the freedom of career choice, but it has caused the brain drain of the entire industry, and the best people have left the profession they are best at.”
"The Later Us" caused a "refund storm". He expressed his heartache on Weibo, "The film environment is the home of filmmakers. In this home, there are creation, production, publicity, marketing, theaters, film reviews, teaching, theoretical research... ...needs the self-discipline of those who live in it, and requires basic morality as a premise.”
He Ping appealed on Weibo to enter the market for headline videos
After the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, movie theaters were hit hard. He Ping called on Weibo to enter the market and take the responsibility of "recovering blood" for the industry. What will the theater show in the next year? The Hong Kong counterparts are working hard to raise funds to start productions. This is really saving lives and businesses. We only have meetings here, and there are no less than dozens of meetings. Meetings are not good, and documents and slogans are not good Therefore, it is the right way to use real money to save production and content production... I wish Chinese films an early recovery in the post-epidemic era, with a healthy and diverse attitude."
He Ping cheers for "Hidden Into the Dust"
When "Into the Dust" was first released last year, He Ping defended the movie: "Everyone says it's a good movie, but if you don't get a good schedule and a good return, there will be fewer and fewer good movies. The so-called head Most of the movies are used to destroy good movies. On the surface, they provide good data of the industry, but in essence, they cultivate the audience into a group of people with lower aesthetic taste. Over time, the decline of movies is not far away.”
After the news of He Ping's death came out, many filmmakers expressed their deep condolences on Weibo.
Director Gao Qunshu said sadly: "Brother He Ping, heaven is comfortable. I can't forget the happy days when Fucheng Garden served wine and Dali filmed "National Action". "National Action" was not broadcast, but you have passed away. Great regret."
Tranquility thanked director He Ping for his kindness to him when he was filming "Cannonball Double Lantern", and lamented that he was "fortunate to cooperate with him".
Director Zhang Yimou was shocked to hear the sad news of Director He Ping's death. He recalled the Xiying Guest House and Beiying Guest House in the 1980s. He Ping, among a group of young people, "talked all night long, inspiring his youth, as if he could vividly remember it. Brother He Ping is going well all the way, and there is still a movie dream in heaven."
Zhang Yimou mourns He Ping on Weibo