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|Ask a local what everyone's favorite song in China is and most likely they'll respond with "Xiao Pingguo Axel Witsel Belgium Jersey ," or in English "Little Apple." Similar to how South Korean rapper Psy's "Gangnam Style" swept all over the world in 2012, "Little Apple" has now become one of the most listened to songs online. It can be heard everywhere in China, from ringtones to the music little old ladies dance to in the park.
Xiao Yang and Wang Taili are the two singers behind this shenqu, a term Chinese use to describe an extremely popular song that gets stuck in people's heads the moment they hear it, even if they don't know why.
Also known as the Chopstick Brothers, Xiao and Wang were nobodies about seven years ago. However Zakaria Bakkali Belgium Jersey , with their big screen debut last month - Old Boys: The Way of The Dragon - earning more than 220 million yuan ($35.77 million) at the domestic box office, the duo have become the newest members of the 100 million filmmakers camp.
In an interview with the Global Times, Xiao sat down with this reporter to talk about his beginnings and share some of his opinions on the current state of film.
In 2007, the music video "Memoir of a Geisha Man" was shared throughout the Internet. Featuring two men making fun of themselves by cross dressing and dancing around in an exaggerated manner, the video's humor along with the deep message behind the lyrics left a strong impression on viewers.
Yet, it was not until the online short film Old Boys hit the Internet in 2010 that the Chopstick Brothers became one of the most discussed topics among China's netizens. Telling the story of two mid-aged men trying to achieve their boyhood dream of becoming singers Yannick Carrasco Belgium Jersey , Old Boys hit China's post-1970s and 1980s generation right in the nostalgia button, while the two's humble beginnings also led them to become representatives of China's grassroots population.
An 11-year age difference between them, Wang and Xiao met through by pure coincidence, but soon discovered they had similar pursuits and could work side by side.
An advertising director for several years, at the time Xiao was feeling limited by his job. "I was like a novelist being forced to write advertisements," Xiao told the Global Times.
Meanwhile Toby Alderweireld Belgium Jersey , according to Xiao, Wang, who longed to be a singer, was eager to find a way for people to hear his songs. By coming together to make music videos and short films, which contain both stories and songs, the two found a balance that fulfilled both their needs.
Xiao explained that they decided to call themselves the Chopstick Brothers because daily commodities like chopsticks are simple things close to people's lives Thomas Vermaelen Belgium Jersey , which is exactly the type of idea the two want to convey - representing the culture of common Chinese youth - by making Chopstick Brothers not just a band name but a cultural brand.
Graded a 6.6 out of 10 on film database mtime, Old Boys: The Way of The Dragon probably won't be winning film of the year, yet, considering the film has no big name stars, 220 million yuan for a big screen debut certainly means it's been a market success.
Many believe the film's high earnings are closely tied to its theme song "Little Apple," which became a giant hit months before the film's premier.
"The first time you hear this song Thomas Meunier Belgium Jersey , you think about how nonsensical it is, but when you hear it a second and a third time, you involuntarily sing along with it," commented Liao Shu, a netizen in Beijing.
Local media has been analyzing the song from all angles in an attempt to figure out why such a simple song has become so popular. For example, according to a report on Chinese Business View Thibaut Courtois Belgium Jersey , psychologists boil the quick popularity of "Little Apple" down to what they call the earworm effect, a term used to describe a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind.
"The release of 'Little Apple' was to promote the film, because our film has no big stars it wasn't getting much media attention. We had to find some interesting ways to get attention," Xiao told the Global Times, adding he was also surprised to discover the song had such vitality, even now that the film has finished its theatrical run the song is still going strong.
I asked him what he thought about the criticism that the full length movie was too similar to the duo's 2010 short film.
"Many directors tell similar stories their entire life. One director I like especially is Yoji Yamada Sven Kums Belgium Jersey , who shot a series of films about a man's bitter life, the only thing that sets them apart is that he lives in a different period of time," Xiao answered.
Xiao's experience as a commercial advertisement director has given him a unique opinion when it comes to the commercial side of film.
"Many people criticize Tiny Times for presenting incorrect values, but why do we have to demand that films set values for people?" Xiao commented. "Tiny Times has positioned itself quite clearly. We should take it as a commodity."
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