Xinhua Dictionary may be filmed into a movie. [Photo/Agencies]
If you haven't heard Xinhua Dictionary yet, now is the time.
There are plans to turn the dictionary into a movie, according to a report by People's Daily.
Some Internet users voiced their doubts as to how a dictionary can be made into a film. "A dictionary made into a movie? Would it be a movie of turning pages? Or perhaps the romance between the phonetic alphabet and the characters?" said netizen @LinnnJiaaHuuui.
Despite the doubts, the dictionary itself is nevertheless a treasure of memory for many Chinese. An 80's born Beijing Internet user With Noodle Handle said that Xinhua Dictionary, which is registered as an Internet company, is a nostalgic piece that brings back memories of her generation.
"My Xinhua Dictionary was given by my father as my first birthday gift, he hoped that I could study hard," she said. "The funny thing is that all my classmates think that the more often we use the dictionary, the better we would perform," she added.
With Noodle Handle also said that the sentences in the 1998 version of the dictionary brought her back to time. An example is "Xiao Hua was admitted to Peking University; Xiao Hong went to technical school; I became a salesperson in the department store. We all have a bright future." She said that vocations in these sentences are the common dreams of people who grew up in the 80s.
"It is alright to borrow the fame of all kinds of classics and use them as impetus for the movie industry," said Li Shaohong, president of the China Film Directors' Guild. "If well adapted, it could be a box office hit," he said, adding that people in the film industry should respect and make use of the changes brought about by the Internet.
In fact, Xinhua Dictionary is not the first time that buzzwords or hot topics registered by Internet companies, and become the target for movie making.
Known as IP movies, or Intellectual Property movies, movies that entitled after a song, slang, or pet phrase all belong to such a category. Forever Young (Zhi Zi Hua Kai), a movie directed by famed TV host He Jiong, for example, is named after the song Zhi Zi Hua Kai. Another example is the pet phrase, "the world is so big, and I want to see it", which has also been registered by Internet companies.
Wang Hailin, vice president of the Chinese Film Literature Society, however, can't help but worry about such a trend in the movie industry.
"The lack of original scripts forced us to turn to the Internet buzzwords, but many of them are not proper movie sources," he said. "It would be pathetic for the film industry to rely too much on the hot spots."
Han Xiaolin, producer of the movie, said that most IP movies are not aimed at telling a good story. "It is not our producers' pursuit to make a high quality movie, it is more of a way of making money fast," she said.
Xinhua Dictionary is the first dictionary issued after the founding of the People's Republic of China, and it is by far the most influential and authoritative reference book that introduces Chinese to the world of the Chinese characters.