Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter June 29, 2022

The Development of Digital Technology and Changes in Performance Esthetics

Zhenlin Li


Digital technology has ushered in the era of immersive movies. These developments have generated new requirements in performance esthetics that are detailed below. For one example, there are new demands for certain types of exaggeration and embellishment as well as more romance and pretense in documentary-style performances. There is also demand for more stylized and cartoonish performance formats. These performances have to be accurate, adequate, and to the point. Emotions should be expressed layer by layer, unrolling smoothly and delicately throughout the performance. Training in non-physical performances should be added to green- and blue-screen performance training. In solo performances without partners, actors and actresses should dramatically characterize their roles and consciousness when acting in the “void” of the studio. The digital era has strengthened attention, comprehension, emotions, etc. as performance attributes. The interaction between film performances and digital technology has contributed to the integration of Chinese performance discourse with the international discourse. Together, these factors have constructed a new type of performance esthetics in Chinese films.

Corresponding author: Zhenlin Li, Shanghai Theatre Academy, Shanghai, China, E-mail:

Translated by Qian Xu, Communication University of China.

Funding source: China National Social Science Major Research Project in Art

Award Identifier / Grant number: 19ZD11

  1. Research funding: The article is a supported by the China National Social Science Major Research Project in Art “History of the Thoughts on Chinese Film Performance Esthetics” (Grant number: 19ZD11).


Fan, Y. 2015. “Film Performance: When People Meet with Technology.” Contemporary Cinema 6: 12–16.Search in Google Scholar

Gao, W. X. 2018. “Qianxi xinjishudianying dui yanyuanxiangxiangli he ganshouli de yaoqiu [A Brief Analysis of the Requirements of New Technology Films on Performers’ Imagination and Perception].” Art Evaluation 23: 176–178.Search in Google Scholar

Li, Z. L. 2017. Zhongguo dianyingbiaoyan meixuesichaoshishu (1975–2015). [History of the Thoughts on Chinese Film Performance Esthetics (1975-2015)]. Beijing: China Film Press.Search in Google Scholar

Lin, Q. M. 2018. “Qianxi texiaojishu dui dianyingbiaoyande yingxiang [A Brief Analysis of Special Effects’ Impact on the Art of Film Performance].” Movie Literature 11: 73–75.Search in Google Scholar

Wei, W. 2015. “Film Performance in the CG Era.” Contemporary Cinema 8: 132–135.Search in Google Scholar

Xu, R. Z. 1985. “Dianyingbiaoyan yishu weihe shangbuqu [Why the Level of the Art of Film Performance Can’t Go Up].” Film Art 2: 33–37.Search in Google Scholar

Zhang, Y. N. 2019. “Shuzijishuxia dianyingbiaoyande xinrenzhi—yi liulangdiqiu weili [New Recognition of Film Performance in the Era of Digital Technology—Taking The Wandering Earth as an Example].” Journal of Zhejiang Vocational Academy of Art 4: 71–75.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2022-06-29

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow