- Language Tips
Feng Xiaogang's movie Back to 1942.
As an author whose works are frequently adapted into films, Liu Zhenyun says movies are like conversation in a crowded hotel lobby, while literature is like a private chat in a little room.
Liu has written a screenplay based on his own novella Back to 1942 for Feng Xiaogang's namesake movie, a tragic story about the famine in Henan province.
The author has sometimes acted in supporting roles in his film projects.
Liu says films are all about presenting a table of dishes full of aroma, color and taste, while literature shows all the workings of the kitchen, with sweat and heat, whether graceful or not.
"But one should be fully aware that literature comes before the films, and the latter is influenced by the former," he says, when asked how much of his writing is affected by cinematic language.
"It's hard to show mental processes in films. The actors depend on their facial expressions to show inner thought," he says. "But with writing, we have multiple means to present anything."
Liu Zhenyun takes a gamble with the story of a woman who fakes her divorce and rattles a political system with the repercussions. More...
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