Saturday, May 9, 2020

'Cli-Fi,' rather than 'Sci-Fi,' Is Changing Attitudes and Creating New Film Trends, reports Japanese writer YUKARI ISEMOTO

Move over sci-fi, here comes cli-fi

'Cli-Fi' rather than 'Sci-Fi' Is Now Changing Attitudes and Creating New Film Trends

5/8 (Friday) ENGLISH TRANSLATION HERE. Original Japanese text from AMP via YAHOO JAPAN scroll down to see way below:

AMP [amp] by Yukari Isemoto -- Edited by Tokuyuki Oda

A panic film that has been treated as a sub-genre within the science fiction (SF) genre. In particular, panic films about natural disasters have become an independent genre in recent years as "Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction)".

Recently, words such as global warming and climate change have been making the rounds in the media.
   All of these disasters are said to be caused by global changes such as global warming and climate change.
 People's attention was also focused on climate change and the climate crisis, and it's safe to say that climate was the watchword of 2019. Climate Change was also named "Person of the Year" for 2019 by TIME magazine in the United States.
What was particularly striking was that the youth movement on this issue was very active. Starting with the aforementioned TIME honor, students around the world have risen to the occasion, and demonstrations and protests have become active and continue to this day.
 An organization calling for a strike called the "Climate Strike" has risen up, mainly students, and is calling for a break from school in protest.
Climate Strike also said in a statement, "Adults, politicians, have been skipping their homework. It's all verbal promises and no improvement has been made," he said, pointing out the responsibility of adults.
Of course, this is partly because I'm starting to feel climate change and global warming as immediate and pressing issues, but it's also probably due to the influence of the "Cli-Fi" panic movies that I'm seeing as entertainment.
Next up: the Cli-Fi that was science fiction

Cli-Fi, which was SF.

What does a Cli-Fi film look like? For example, the 2004 film "Day After Tomorrow" was a sci-fi panic film about people confused by an ice age suddenly brought about by global warming. The film was a hit, grossing approximately 20 billion yen in North America and 5.2 billion yen in Japan.
The film's German writer/director, Roland Emmerich, wrote and directed the 1996 film Independence Day, about a three-day battle between aliens and Earthlings trying to invade Earth.
He also directed the film 2012, which was released in 2009. 2012" is in the same genre as the aforementioned "Day After Tomorrow," a disaster panic film about survival on earth after an earthquake and tsunami, based on a story known as the prophecy of the Mayan civilization and the annihilation theory.
 At the time of their release, these films were billed as science fiction films. In other words, it was only a scientific fantasy, a hypothesis, a panic story in which both "aliens" and "earthquakes" existed only in the same imagination.
In recent years, however, it has been difficult to dispel the fears that climate change could actually cause what is happening in the world of these films to happen. Watching the film again, it suddenly seems so real, and every time I see news of a natural disaster, I think of these scenes from a science fiction film and feel more and more uneasy.
 As interest and awareness of the climate crisis grows, there is a growing sense of danger that these fictions will actually happen, and a growing momentum, especially among young people, that something must be done about it.
Cli-Fi works in each country

Now that science has advanced, it has become easier to create realistic images of hypothetical situations. The phenomenon itself is made with CG, and when you add real actors to it, you feel as if you are watching a real video. And this technology is not limited to entertainment images such as movies and dramas.
 In Japan, NHK and the Cabinet Office have been releasing video simulations of possible future disasters. It's a very realistic video that shows the projected damage of a major disaster. It is said that they are working to educate people about disaster prevention measures to protect their lives, but even though they know it is CG, it is still scary. You could say that this is also a kind of Cli-Fi.
 At the same time, there is a growing concern about natural disasters in Europe.
In France, L'Effondrement, which takes place in a post-century world where civilian life has collapsed, and La Derniere Vague (The Last Wave), a drama series that depicts the lives of missing surfers and the changing people around them in a quiet French resort area threatened by a huge wave, have been popular and critically acclaimed.
Norwegian author Maya Runde's bestselling 2017 book, The History of Bees, pales in comparison to the ongoing decline of bees and how the environmental changes caused by human-created "insecticides" affect human life, illustrating the popularity of the Cli-Fi drama.
These are just a few examples, but in recent years there have been a number of Cli-Fi stories published around the world based on the hypothesis of climate change and "what if it actually happened..." that cannot be described as "science fiction", and people's interest is growing.
This is probably because people around the world are feeling that a climate crisis is definitely on the way, with the extraordinary rise in water levels that has flooded the city of Venice, the heat wave in France, and the repetition of "this year is unusual" weather reports.
Next page: COP25 on the verge of invoking the Paris Agreement



COP25 was on the verge of invoking the Paris Agreement

COP25 in December 2019 attracted a lot of attention in many ways.

The first question is whether specific measures will be decided in advance of the Paris Agreement, the international framework for combating global warming, which will be launched in 2020. And that the United States, the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has already given official notice of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. And during the period, environmental groups awarded Japan the disgraceful "Fossil Prize" for its reluctance to take action on global warming.

 Some believe that the international community's expectations of Japan are reflected in this ironic fossil prize, but the minister himself disappointed environmental activists when he said that he wanted to keep oil fuels as an option at this time. Maybe we should abandon the idea that we're "expected" or that we've made our presence known.

 Because of its location, Japan is prone to many natural disasters, and even from a global perspective, it is a country with a high level of disaster prevention awareness and well-developed countermeasures. Nevertheless, the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 caused an unprecedented number of victims, about 25,000 dead, and the news footage reporting the damage was a major shock to the world. Even Japan, which was thought to be so well prepared for disasters, has been confronted with the fact that there is nothing to be done when faced with a natural threat.

 Even though major earthquakes are unavoidable disasters that cannot be avoided even by human power or scientific knowledge, the abnormal weather that is occurring around the world today - unseasonal typhoons, heavy rains, rising sea levels, heat waves and wildfires - is often attributed to global warming. Although there are some objections, it can be said that it is the cause that has been created by mankind with the progress of science that is causing global climate change.

A world still reluctant to address pressing environmental issues

Cli-Fi" is a new genre that was born and coined in 2011 by fomer Tokyo resident Dan Bloom, who lived in Japan for 5 years 1991-1996 while working for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper as a news assistant. Age 71, Dan retired now but still working as "a climate ativist of the literary kind,"now lives in Taiwan, in the midst of the current global trend. He speaks Japanse,  French, Spanish, and Chinese. As cli-fi novels, films, and television series draw attention to the genre, will people's interest and awareness of the climate crisis increase? Dan Bloom says yes!

 It's also true that some of the world's leaders, and some experts, are determined to ignore the movement altogether. To this Dan Bloom says "they are on the wrongside of history!"

 It is still fresh in our minds that US President Trump made fun of Greta, a girl who had attracted worldwide attention, and condemned her on Twitter, while Brazil's president expressed his displeasure and refuted her in public. It is said that it is really immature to deal with a teenage girl, but the adults who are not trying to face the environmental problems and who are not taking action are probably guilty of the same thing.

 We must be beginning to realize that global climate change is caused by humanity, and that only humanity can control its causes now. One after another, reports have been released saying that we can't put it off any longer, and that it could be delayed from tomorrow. We can only hope that the Cli-Fi genre, which was born out of this momentum, will not be written off as youth entertainment.

For more, see Dan Bloom's information website THE CLI-FI REPORT at:
Text: Isemoto Yukari / Editing: Oka Tokuyuki




Sci-Fiではなく「Cli-Fi」 人々の意識変化と新たな映画トレンド
5/8/2020 (金) 12:01配信

SF(Science Fiction)ジャンルの中のサブジャンルとして扱われてきたパニック映画。特に自然災害を題材としたパニック映画は近年「Cli-Fi(Climate Fiction)」として独立したジャンルになりつつある。






「Climate Strike(気候ストライキ)」なるストライキを呼びかける組織が学生中心に立ち上がり、抗議のために学校を休もうと声を上げている。

グレタさんが国連のスピーチで大人を強い言葉で叱ったことも記憶に新しいが、こうした動きに共通しているのは、若者が未来の地球に今までにないほど多大なる不安と強い関心を抱いているということ。Climate Strikeも声明文の中で「大人たち、政治家たちは宿題をサボってきた。口約束ばかりで何ら改善されていない」と大人の責任を追及している。



1 comment:

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