Films tap into virtual market with online releases
Hong Kong filmmaker Daniel Lee's martial arts epic "Song of the Assassins" is being screened on the streaming platform iQiyi's Cloud Cinema, with a few other releases drawing a substantial online crowd.
Starring Feng Shaofeng and Hu Jun, the film is adapted from Yuan Taiji's online novel of the same name. The novel provides an insight into the lives and emotions of ancient Chinese assassins, as well as their creed, stunts and strategy for different missions.
The film follows the adventures and growth of young assassin Qi Junyuan. After being trained by professionals, he is assigned a task but fails to complete it. Soon, he finds himself trapped in a conspiracy that was hatched many years ago.
Director Lee, who has mastered the martial arts film craft, skillfully highlights the ancient martial arts movements, mysterious hidden weapons and cunning devices in the movie.
An increasing number of new film productions are being released on Cloud Cinema these days, which is an online alternative for movie buffs.
On May 11, John Madden's war film "Operation Mincemeat" was also released on the Cloud Cinema channel.
The film, which stars Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, is based on a true event from World War II. It follows two intelligence officers, who use a corpse and false papers to mislead and outwit the German troops. Their efforts helped the Allies clinch victory on the European battlefield.
Earlier this month, Huo Suiqiang's kung fu film "Blind War" received wholesome praise on the channel. It deals with a blind cop's efforts to save his daughter.
The horror movie "Malignant" by James Wan and the comedy "Northeastern Bro" were also well-received when they came out on the platform.
Online viewing prices are around 12 yuan (US$1.79; 6 yuan for iQiyi's members) on the Cloud Cinema. Officials from iQiyi said the online releases supplement cinematic screenings, and they would keep offering high-quality content for film enthusiasts.
They believe, over time, streaming platforms will reap considerable online box office revenues, forcing the development and diversification of Chinese cinema.