2022 is the third year that we co-lived with the Corona virus, and a sense of uncertainty appears to have pervaded the public sphere as a shared feeling. It is hard to be expressed, yet we must face up to the question of what “truly matters” and what is “certain”. The same is true with films. At this moment, the desire to enter the cinema unites the creator and the audience more closely than ever, and the shared empathy has never been stronger. During the lapse when we wait for the screen to light up again, how should the filmmakers, festivals and the audience re- discover the appeal of cinema again? What kind of works do we need at the present? How to navigate through the multiple watching channels, to arrive at the spiritual highland provided by cinema, the light of which is not dimmed by time or oblivion? Right now, to start a more specific imagination about the future should be of great help to the creators that are still hesitating, hoping to feel the brilliance of cinema again.
Whereas in the past, these questions might be mere trivial matters, they grow ever more critical today. In the pre-Internet era, with its advanced video technology, cinema brought about a landscape and experience that transcends beyond the here and now, providing audiences with a window into other lives. However, in the wake of the information explosion, this very window provided by cinema is constantly being challenged. As a new generation of young viewers gradually acquires broader tastes, many choose to forgo the cinema. Not because of fluctuating levels of appreciation or production, but because the definition of ‘viewing’ seems to have quietly changed. Limits of time and space needed for a viewing experience have been broken down, and now an audience may view any content they desire at any time of their choosing. The community formed by viewing is increasingly virtual and online, and each viewer’s needs have become more individualized rather than following the general trend.
When the audiovisual aesthetics established by the cinema encounter this new method of viewership, the challenge to reshape cinema’s appeal in the Generation Z era is self-evident, and pondering over this is necessary and inevitable. When facing a crisis, some will walk forward and confront it, while others will hunker down and weather it. No matter which choice is made, exchange of ideas and encouragement are needed in the ongoing discussion.