《经济学人》:独立电影的复兴
日期:2011-10-03 10:30

(单词翻译:单击)

The revival of independent film
独立电影的复兴

Scripts, not effects
剧本才是王道,资金不是问题

Independent films are at last recovering from the slump
独立电影终于起死回生了

I’m bored with the radio. Let’s go to the cinema
听广播太无聊了,我们去看看电影吧

THE Toronto film festival, which ends this week, marks the start of the serious-film season. Out—at least until

Thanksgiving, in late November—go the superhero spectaculars. In come the foreign films and the dining-room dramas. The autumn crop is far more prone to failure than the summer one. But highbrow films now come with higher hopes.

本周谢幕的多伦多电影节标志着严肃电影的活跃期已到来。看来要到感恩节,也就是11月末这场群雄逐鹿的盛大比拼才会散场。紧接着外国电影和爱情文艺片就要闪亮登场。今年秋季档的影片失败的风险比暑期档的还大,不过这次文艺片获胜的希望还大一些。

For the past few years the independent film business has resembled a low-budget horror movie. Outside financing was brutally killed in 2008, as banks stopped lending. Three of the six major studios axed subsidiaries that had specialised in buying independent films. Consumers struck another blow by switching from buying DVDs to renting them.

过去几年里,独立电影的票房就像低成本的恐怖电影一样惨淡。因为不能再从银行贷款,外界融资渠道也在2008年中断了。六大制片公司中有三个都砍掉了专门收购独立电影的子公司。而观众对影碟从买到租的转变对于独立电影又是一大打击。

Yet sales at film festivals this year have been brisk. New buyers such as CBS Films and Open Road Films have emerged to replace the departed studios. The larger independent outfits have steadied. The Weinstein Company, which almost collapsed two years ago, is basking in the success of “The King’s Speech” (pictured). Lionsgate has shaken off an activist investor, Carl Icahn, who had argued it should get out of film production. Summit Entertainment, maker of the popular “Twilight” films, closed a large financing deal in March.

不过今年独立电影在电影节上的销路还不赖。 像哥伦比亚营业公司和大路电影公司这样的新买家取代了过去的制片公司,那些小有规模的独立影片制作组算是有着落了。两年前几近破产的温斯坦电影公司也跟着电影《国王的演讲》沾了沾光。狮门影业摆脱了他们行事激进的大股东,卡尔伊坎,因为他曾主张狮门放弃生产电影。顶峰娱乐公司是如今风靡全球的电影《暮光之城》的制作商,该公司在今年三月关闭了一大宗资助独立电影的交易。

It helps that films have become cheaper to make. Actors’ salaries remain depressed, and indies have become expert at exploiting competition between states and countries, which lavish subsidies on them. Most important, says Morris Ruskin, the head of Shoreline Entertainment, a glut of films commissioned in the era of loose credit has at last worked its way through the pipeline. “We’ve gone from a market that was saturated with films to a market that is hungry for them,” he says.

制片成本下降是件好事。而且演员的片酬仍然不景气,再加上独立电影十分擅长利用州与州,国与国之间的竞争,这就为他们争取到了充足的资金。在这个贷不到款的时代,海岸线娱乐影业公司手上还有许多电影委托他们制片,该公司就是通过上面的渠道运作下去的。公司老板莫里斯拉基斯说:“我们经历了这样一个转变,原来的市场电影饱和,而现在的市场对电影趋之若鹜”

The post-financial-crisis independent film business is both more independent and more focused on film than before. The three major studios that got out of indie films—Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros—have not returned and are concentrating on a few expensive blockbusters. And the collapse of DVD sales means it is more important to drive people to cinemas. Richard Abramowitz, who is distributing the racing film “Senna” in America, says the spread of Blu-ray cinema projectors has cut costs dramatically.

经历了金融危机后的独立电影业比以前更为独立,也更关注影片本身。不再为独立电影制片的迪士尼,派拉蒙和华纳兄弟三大制片公司并没有回心转意,而是准备签约几部分耗资巨大的大片。DVD市场十分萧条,因此吸引观众到影院观影就变得尤为重要。发行赛车电影的《车神塞纳》的理查德?阿布拉莫威茨说,“蓝光电影映放映机的普及大大地削减了成本”。

The business is more international, too. Roman Polanski’s latest film, “Carnage”, was financed by Europeans, with American distribution added almost as an after-thought. Total sales of cinema tickets fell slightly in America last year. But they were up in Europe, and soared in Russia. Talky dramas are harder to export than cartoons or action flicks, which is partly why the major studios now concentrate on such things. But independent horror films sometimes travel well.

独立电影也越来越国际化。罗曼波兰斯基的最新电影《大屠杀》由欧洲电影公司投资,美国的发行商随后也加入进来,虽然有马后炮的嫌疑。去年美国的总体电影票房有轻微的下跌。但欧洲的却在上升,而俄罗斯的票房简直可以说飙升了。比起卡通片和动作片来说,以谈话为主的出口影片并没有那么卖座,部分原因可能是现在的几大制片公司都把注意力放在前者。不过独立制作的恐怖片的海外票房还不错

It is still a harsh business. No fewer than 3,812 full-length movies were submitted to the 2011 Sundance film festival. Yet only 550 films open in American cinemas each year, and most lose money. The business runs on hope. But there is, finally, enough money to keep the projectors running.

但是独立电影这一行也不好混。在2011年圣得西电影节中一共有3812部未删节版的电影参选。但每年只有550部电影能在美国电影院上映。独立电影前景不错。但是最终总要有足够的资金让这些放映机一直运作下去。

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重点单词
  • independentadj. 独立的,自主的,有主见的 n. 独立派人士,无
  • highbrown. 高知识分子,自以为文化修养很高的人 adj. 文化
  • competitionn. 比赛,竞争,竞赛
  • entertainmentn. 娱乐
  • briskadj. 敏锐的,凛冽的 adj. 活泼的,活跃的,快的
  • investorn. 投资者
  • glutn. 供过于求,过量 v. 使充满,过量供应 n. 狼吞
  • popularadj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的
  • slightlyadv. 些微地,苗条地
  • collapsen. 崩溃,倒塌,暴跌 v. 倒塌,崩溃,瓦解,折叠