《梦与狂想的王国》生而为人,不忘初心,何其艰难 by HUA SHANG

《梦与狂想的王国》记录了Ghibli工作室《起风了》和《辉夜姬物语》的创作点滴。 或许是出于市场推广角度考虑,亦或许是宫崎骏先生上下班时间固定(从早上11点到晚上9点笔耕不迭)比较容易被抓到,跟拍摄难度小,宫崎骏先生的内容占了影片的半壁江山。

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这部纪录片将动画创作者的日常捕捉记录呈现给了观众,让大家有机会一睹Ghibli 动画故事里的魔法世界是如何一砖一瓦被构建起来的。

看毕影片, 一度被鸡汤文制造者如地沟油般反复使用,以至于让人闻之作呕的四个字开始在脑海里久久盘旋-“不忘初心”。

何谓初心? 是最初的梦想?是纯粹的热爱?在宫崎骏先生采访录《Starting Point1979-1996》中, 先生对于自己对动画创作的初心如是阐述:“To my way of thinking, creating animation means creating a fictional world. That world soothes the spirit of those who are disheartened and exhausted from dealing with the sharp edges of reality, or suffering from a near-sighted distortion of their emotions. When the audience is watching animation, they are apt to feel either light and cheerful or purified and refreshed.”如此看来,从《风之谷》到《 起风了》,甚或是宫崎骏更早期的作品,都秉承着如是的理念,竭尽所能创作出能够为观众洗去尘世铅华,给予心灵慰借的动画。

不忘初心始于自我感动却不止于此。要创作出一部打动他人的作品,首先要打动自己。在影片采访中,高畑勋先生曾回忆宫崎骏先生在创作过程中曾多次感情激动不能自已的泪流满面。 可这只仅仅是第一步,如果仅仅沉醉在自我感动中,于作品的创作是有害而无益的。更甚者以初心为噱头赚吆喝做买卖,更无异于杀鸡取卵。不忘初心鞭策着宫崎骏先生更加勤奋在绘画技术,人物刻画,情节设计方面不断完善精进,这为了更流畅的讲出心里的故事,更贴切的描绘梦中的世界。如此耕耘下来使得宫崎骏先生能够创作出层次饱满的作品,既不一味的炫耀智识,也不一味的装傻卖萌。例如 一部《龙猫》既能让我的小侄女为其中萌萌的龙猫欢呼雀跃,也能让我的日本历史学教授为其中的绳文时代陶器纹饰两眼放光。

 不忘初心不意味着不反思不质疑。 这位貌似慈祥温暖的白发老爷爷也不是不曾反思质疑过初心,在片中宫崎骏先生无奈的感叹,“设计飞机的人无论意图多么善良,时代之风会把他的梦想转化为机械文明的工具,从来不会无害,而是被诅咒的梦想。动画亦然。所有人类的梦想皆被诅咒。我们怎知电影具有价值?认真想想,电影不就是个兴趣吗?或许你曾可以做些有价值的东西,可现在呢?我们的世界充斥着垃圾。虽如此,依然【要活着】” 对于初心的反思在《幽灵公主》和《起风了》两部影片中,体现的极其明显。由于篇幅所限不在这里展开。

 不忘初心不仅仅需要一个好记性,更需要坚守与守护。而守护初心,浪漫梦想家与精明实干家堪称完美搭配。在Ghibili这个精明实干家非制片铃木敏夫久先生莫属。以下是铃木敏夫在给年轻大学毕业生的经验座谈会上的一席话 (举双手双脚赞同!)

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能够找到彼此信赖扶持一同成长坚守共同初心的同僚是人生一大幸福吧。

宫崎骏先生在片子快要结束的时候如此讲到:

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听上去难免有些悲观。如果守护住如同孩子一般自由的想象力,是否人生的可能性会更多一些?

生而为人,不忘初心,何其艰难。

追忆似水年华— Shunji Iwai《情书》 by HUA SHANG

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每每说起自己超喜欢这部电影,总是被几个高冷文艺友人投以白眼,嗤之以鼻“太纯爱了。”的确《情书》是部非常纯爱的电影:少年藤井树在图书卡片上的写上少女藤井树名字的恶作剧、少女藤井树明明注视着运动会赛场上的少年藤井树却在同学面前假装没有在意。。。岩井俊二将少年少女懵懂心事用镜头一一捕捉定格,让我的少女心随之滥不止。然而在我看来《情书》 不是纯粹的纯爱片,并非只是讲少男少男的朦胧爱恋,这个故事更多的讲述了对逝者的回忆。这也是我最喜欢这部电影的地方。

故事开始于藤井树(男)的祭日, 此时距离藤井树山难离世已经有两年之久了。逝去之人已经在不同的人心中发生了变化,有多少人还能真真切切的回忆起逝去藤井树的模样?有多少人还能够感受到逝去藤井树的曾存的气息?对逝者的祭奠成为了一场团聚的理由,一场宿醉的借口。“感觉大家都心怀鬼胎的样子”还深深怀恋着已逝未婚夫藤井树的博子半开玩笑地无奈说道。

博子对于恋人的死亡始终无法释怀,以至于写了一封寄往天国的信寄并笃定回信来自天国的男友。然而对逝者的深刻眷恋却成了羁绊,阻挡了博子面对现实迎接未来的可能性,她无法直面自己新的恋情,在和逝者的回忆中踌躇不前。

故事的另一条线是阴差阳错收到博子信的藤井树(女)。 在藤井树(女)这条故事线中逝去多年的父亲常常被提及。父亲的死早已被藤井树所接受。“父亲是因为感冒不治而去世“如此的话已经能稀松平常地脱口而出。 然而博子的信开启了藤井树(女)尘封的回忆,遗忘的事情渐渐清晰了起来。在她的回忆中我们看到了少女藤井树对于父亲去世的困惑与悲痛。

整个故事里最让我感动的不是初恋揭晓的结局,而是博子捧着相册向藤井树的母亲追问自己是否与未婚夫同名同姓并曾同班的藤井树相像的片段。听完博子充满妒意的抱怨,藤井树的母亲问到“博子,你还爱着他吗?” 然后一直以乐观坚强面貌安抚博子的藤井树母亲失声痛哭起来。有时对逝者的感情无处释放便被深深埋葬,可这如同休眠的火山,一旦爆发便不可抑制。 

随着时间流逝,对曾挚爱的逝者的回忆就像是图书馆白色窗帘下倚窗阅读的藤井树(男),在随风浮动的帘下若影若现。  然而时间并非是愈合逝去爱人伤口的解药,顶多让其结痂罢了。与逝者的美好回忆也不能治本。诚然美好回忆的滋味甘甜如饴,但沉溺于回忆的甘甜会让人上瘾止步不前。  真正的解药源自于身边还活着的那些值得去爱的人们。是他们带着博子与藤井树(女)走出了回忆的泥沼,开始新的生活。

P.S. 岩井俊二镜头与音乐的交融是我的心头大爱,这也是我如此喜欢《情书》的另一大原因:例如 藤井树在医院里打瞌睡,半梦半醒间思绪在急促的音乐生的伴随下在回忆的时间线里穿梭。还例如博子翻阅着藤井树的初中毕业册,寄信的念头,与跳跃灵动的钢琴声同步,直到藤井的母亲端着茶点进入房,打断了博子的思绪。音乐声戛然而止。  

 

The opposite of Love by HUA SHANG

Review of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless (Нелюбовь)

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“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” -- Elie Wiesel

At the beginning of the film Loveless, two protagonists Zhenya and Boris, a middle-class couple going through the final stage of their nasty divorce, are blinded by hate. The two have a twelve-year-old son, whom none of them wishes to take care of. To them, their son is merely a burden dragging them behind as they rapidly move on to new chapters in life, or a haunting ghost from their failed marriage continually reminding them about their ugly faces of hatred. As if their secret wish was granted, their son soon goes on missing. The incident forces the couple to unify. However, the hatred between the two escalates to a new level as they go on a road trip to look for their son at Zhenya's estranged mother's place, where we catch a glimpse of how abusiveness is passed on from generations. As the searching continues, the falling snow absorbs all the noises of complaining, quarreling, and fighting. Eventually, it reaches a moment of silence, when the hope of finding the boy becomes dim. At the end of the story, Zhenya and Boris, finally parted, have come to the opposite of love. They become indifferent toward each other and the missing boy who was once their son.

The film has demonstrated a skillful usage of contrast. Storywise, we see the sharp contrast between the selfish parents, who care mostly about pursuing their individual happiness and shy away from their shared responsibilities of childrearing, and the selfless volunteers who work together trying every possible way to find the boy. Cinematically, we experience the contrast between the spatial tightness and turmoil in the interior quarreling scenes and the openness and quietness in the exterior searching scenes.

There are several memorizing scenes in loveless that linger in my mind. One is the scene where volunteers search around the son's afterschool hideout, abandoned buildings in the middle of woods. The empty and collapsing space once occupied by the boy vividly translate his feelings of abandonment and isolation visually. The buildings, which used to be occupied by families and happiness, can also be viewed as an excellent visual representation of the state of divorce. Another scene is in the end where Zhenya, the mother, unable to bear more suffocating news on the Ukarian war, puts on her Team RUSSIA running jacket (clever choice of the costume), starts running on the treadmill. Seeing Zhenya's lost eyes, I can't help asking: after all the misfortunes and traumas, is she (the nation) really moving forward or just running nonstop at the same spot?

What I'm most impressed by the film is its nonjudgmental yet critical, compassionate yet non-sentimental point of view. All the social commentaries about the contemporary Russian society, technology, sex, and religion are carefully painted in the background of the main story, precisely and naturally. All the flawed characters are treated with care and respect. Take Zhenya's abusive mother for example; after the couple leaves the grandmother's house, the camera stays within the room, forcing the audience to stay with the monstrous and cruel grandmother. Soon, we see this woman taking off her facade, as she rubs her tiring face and reveals her state of loneliness and sadness. The film filled with brokenness surprisingly has a full circle ending.

The story ends with the shot of the loose strand of police tape, which the son threw onto the tree at the beginning of the film, swaying slightly against the winter sky. Somehow, the ending shot reminds me of Pan’s Labyrinth’s ending (maybe because they are both shots of the trees?). “And that she left behind small traces of her time on Earth, visible only to those who know where to look.” The boy in Loveless also left a small trace of his existence hanging on the leafless tree branches. However, sadly, it's almost impossible for his indifferent parents to open their eyes and to look for his trace in this freezing and loveless winter of Moscow.

复仇女神?That’s not my name! by HUA SHANG

《GoneGirl》里向渣男丈夫复仇的少妇,《告白》里向残杀自己女儿的学生复仇的女老师,《Hard Candy》里向猥亵少女的魔头复仇的少女…原来本充斥着男性荷尔蒙的大荧幕复仇故事逐渐融入了越来越多的女性复仇者的身影。复仇女神成了电影复仇故事的新宠。说起女性复仇电影,在我眼中最具代表性与可对比性的两部莫过于昆汀·塔伦蒂诺的《Kill Bill Vol 1.2.》和朴赞郁的《亲切的金子》。两位沉迷暴力美学,喜欢刺激观众感官,酷爱剧情反转的导演,在女性复仇故事讲述上究竟有何不同呢?

Kill Bill Vol.1 Vol.2

故事的主角(乌玛瑟曼饰 )是一个在自己婚礼彩排上被曾经的爱人也是杀手集团老板Bill带领的四个杀手同僚暗算的女杀手。女主的未婚夫,参加彩排的好友、主持者均惨死乱枪扫射中。身怀六甲的女主也被Bill一枪射中头部,陷入昏迷。在昏迷四年后,女主醒来,变身复仇女神,从东京到美国再到墨西哥一路杀!杀!杀!最后杀死了Bill.

《Kill Bill 》在语言对白上是最不像昆汀风格的电影,机关枪式的连珠妙语不见了踪影,取而代之的是更加锐化的视觉表现。毕竟暴力血腥不能靠耍嘴皮子,是要有白刀子进红刀子出,哦不,应该是砍头如切瓜来表现的。 在电影里既有动感十足的日本动漫,又有视觉对比鲜明的黑白胶片,各种视觉元素被拼接在一起,再配上昆汀好品味的配乐,《kill bill》重塑了传统暴力电影对血浆四溅四个字的定义。

然而在专注于放大视听体验的同时,昆汀却忽视了人物的塑造。在整部电影里,复仇的新娘沦为了让观者体验暴力快感的道具 。复仇之路上的她有何变化心里有没有矛盾斗争这些问题在最后被昆汀借Bill之口简单粗暴的以一句“因为你女主是个天生嗜血的杀手”而草草作答So easyToo Lazy!

《亲切的金子》

相比昆汀的《Kill Bill》 ,朴赞郁在《亲切的金子》里对复仇女主人公金子的人物刻画上就要饱满用心得多了。

故事的主人公金子(李英爱饰)20岁时因“诱拐谋杀儿童”罪锒铛入狱,殊不知金子是被人诱骗顶罪,而真凶另有其人。在13年的牢狱生活中,金子宛如天使一般关怀、帮助着狱友,俨然忘却仇恨洗心革面。然而在她出狱之后,金子亲手撕下“亲切”天使的画皮,变身恶女,踏上了完成复仇计划的道路。

对金子这个人物的刻画源自强有力的对比。 狱中的大善人金子,和出狱后的大恶人金子,一白一黑,对比强烈。普通人只能在善恶交接的灰色地带惶惶度日,而故事里的金子却是能将善恶黑白泾渭分明的划分开来过活的异类。这样黑白分明的生活需要承载常人所不能忍受的痛苦。为何金子会要选择如此生活?原因只有一个:复仇。

在复仇这条路上,首当其冲的阻碍的往往不是仇人而是时间。13年的牢狱时光能轻而易举地将仇恨洗刷殆尽。如何能够保持复仇之火不灭呢?金子选择去做一个大“善”人。她选择性地将13年里的怨气与仇恨压抑与积累着,耐心地等待到出狱之后一并向仇人发作。与此同时,金子狱中的善举为她换来了之后助她复仇的一干好友。除此之外,复仇故事犹如美酒,是需要时间酝酿的。越是长时间酝酿的复仇谋划,越是能够引发观者情感共鸣。在时间元素运用这一点上,朴赞郁要比昆丁高明许多。

可是时间还不是阻碍复仇的最大绊脚石,复仇最大的阻碍源自于复仇者对宽恕的皈依。复仇并不是化解仇恨的唯一途径,宽恕同样是一条出路。所有复仇者都会在复仇与宽恕两条路前徘徊犹豫。对救赎的渴望,对女儿的母爱,和对死去男孩的愧疚,让金子没有全然被复仇黑暗所吞噬袭,她没有选择手刃仇人,而是把仇人的命运交给了一批新的复仇者:那些被金子仇人杀死的孩子们的亲人。个人的复仇立刻变成了群体的复仇,戏剧张力更进一步,不得不说朴赞郁很聪明。

综上所述,《killbill》和《亲切的金子》两部电影相对比,在人物刻画上朴赞郁要远远超过昆汀的,观者能够更够感知与理解复仇者金子这个人物。个人认为电影在拓展观者感官体验同时,也应当加深观者对故事人物的理解,因而我更推崇《亲切的金子》。以女性为主角的复仇故事的崛起是有着积极意义的。以往女性在电影复仇故事里总是扮演着受害者,被拯救者等推动男性主人公复仇故事发展的道具性角色。如今将聚光灯对准女性复仇者,给予女性展示她们仇恨,愤怒,矛盾的机会,能够让观众看到更多的女性视角,了解女性的内心。然而越来越多的复仇女性在电影故事里沦为简单化模式化只为展示暴力而存在的“复仇女神”。女性复仇电影成为了打着推动女权大旗捞金的商业运作,真是可悲。

结束语:

为什么复仇故事如此有吸引力?因为它是现实生活积郁压抑的发泄口?因为它能够间接印证人们心里的“公正世界假设” ?因为它能让我们探究人性中对于报复与宽恕的矛盾?还是因为它所流露出的复仇者百折不挠的精神能够打动人心?似乎这个问题没有一个确切的答案。然而可以肯定的是复仇故事的魅力将绵延不息。

 

Beefeaters and Tea-drinkers_____茶の本 by HUA SHANG

“When will the West understand, or try to understand, the East?” Okakura Kakuzo asks this question in his long essay The Book of Tea. This book can be viewed as his attempt to facilitate westerners understanding the East. Through raising awareness of the disequilibrium of the East and the West, and educating the (sympathetic and well-educated) westerners about teaism, which embraces many aspects of the Eastern values, ranging from religion to aestheticism, Kakuzo hoped to narrow the gap between the East and the West.

Indeed, the West neglected a large chunk of Eastern civilization. However, the East was not doing much better either. In fact, both sides were seeing what they expected to see. For the West, things in the East portrayed in exotic oriental fantasies first drew their attention. As for the East, people’s eyes were fixed on the “keys” to the secrets of Western military and economic success. There were few differences between the beefeaters in Japan and tea drinkers in Europe and the US, the majority of whom ridiculously assumed a commodity as proof of civilization.

Moreover, in this modern (new) world, both sides were busy with struggling for wealth and power. There was a little time for understanding unless there is a practical need such as national security and market expansion.

Is it possible for the two civilizations to reach such a balanced equilibrium as Kakuzo envisioned? Could the “jewel of life” be regained through restoring the balance of the East and the West in modern days? When will “Nikuka reappear and help us fix the grand devastation”? Kakuzo does not offer us a clear answer. So let’s have a sip of tea or a bite of beef. Meanwhile, let's keep pushing the boundaries of our understating through constant questioning, and laugh at our own ignorance. 

P.S. The Beefeaters is a short satirical piece written by Kanagaki Robun. It mocked the peculiarities of Japanese society in the process of modernization during the Meiji period. 

 

 

 

 

Gravities____A Fool's life 或阿呆の一生 by HUA SHANG

The protagonist in Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's A Fool’s Life is a man floating in a space between two worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions. “To live or to die?” He lives this question, with which he painfully feeds his creativity.

His rationalist, scientific turn of mind enables him to view humanity from a distance, the way humans might observe the antics of ants. From that perspective, he glances at the modern society and says in a chilling tone, “ Life is not worth a single line of Baudelaire” (Akutagawa 187).  However, he is aware of the danger of such a height, where the air is too thin, the temperature is too low for a human to survive. After all, he is a mundane human himself equipped with only a pair of man-made wings, which can be easily signed by the sun. Still, he chooses to stay. He lingers for what reason? The desire to create, the attraction of self-destruction, or the unbearable detestation toward the modern society and the humankind? There is no clear answer. Moreover, his fear of losing his conscious mind to think and to create draws him closer to the world of death.

Meanwhile, the gravity of living is pulling him back. As I read closely, I can sense his strong attachments to the living world. He has a passion for nature. He is a man who is capable of gazing at a landscape through Van Gogh’s eyes, and of understanding Rousseau’s language of passions. He is also not immune to love: “Her face seemed to be bathed in moon glow even now, in daylight. As he watched her walk on (they had never met), he felt a loneliness he had not know before” (Akutagawa 193). This beautiful cinematic scene indicates how gently this man loves. Furthermore, his guilt towards his wife and children also ties him to the living. However, the combined forces of love, passion, and guilt do not seem to be strong enough to keep both his feet on the ground of living.

His hunger to create and his fear of losing the capability of creating; his desire for people and his loathing toward humankind: two forces of gravities are constantly pulling him apart. And the man-made wings seem to be not sufficient to help him escape from this "cursed" space. Even worse, this man is drowning in an ocean of ideologies without knowing which one to grab on in order to survive. However, I am inclined to conclude that this man longs for the living world, or else he would not have called his final farewell a defeat.

“To live or to die? Why can’t I find an answer to this question, which seems to be so simple to the majority? I must be a foolish man living a foolish life.” I can almost hear the man’s self-mocking voice.

 

 

玉府藏龙盗宝剑 . 江湖寻梦得真我___卧虎藏龙 by HUA SHANG

玉娇龙一直是我很喜欢的一个电影人物,因为她是个谜。玉娇龙与李慕白之间到底是怎样的关系?她与余秀莲的友情如何解释?她是否爱罗小虎?她为什么会如此执着于青冥剑?她最终为何纵身跳下山崖?玉娇龙身上有太多的谜团吸引着观者去破解。在我看来她有太多面,太多点可以探讨。无奈篇幅有限,只好将我的连片废话浓缩成三个小章节,来讲讲我对玉娇龙的解读。

藏龙

玉娇龙是一个矛盾的人物,最明显的矛盾体现于她双重身份。她既是闺阁待嫁的官家大小姐,也是是向往江湖的武学奇才 。 然而前一个身份束缚着后者,迫使娇龙将武学天赋隐藏于自己和师傅碧眼狐狸之间,不能展示于众人。如此的隐藏,让她小小年纪便学会了防范人心,也让她丢失了直面自我的真心。

第一次无拘无束的展示自己的武学功夫是在新疆大漠。 娇龙与罗小虎鏖战数回合,表面上是为了抢回梳子,夺回自己的骄傲,而内心里她享受着这个难能可贵的大展拳脚的机会。这个机会,对于被圈养在闺阁里的她如同大漠中的甘泉一般难得。

然而娇龙并没有选择留在自由的大漠,与罗小虎厮守终身。父母之爱,孝道之责,都在呼唤着娇龙回家。更重要的是,大漠固然自由,可是这里只有土匪强盗,打劫作乐,并没有娇龙所向往的江湖儿女,快意恩仇。

回家的娇龙再一次将武者身份掩藏起来,可是青冥剑的出现,与余秀莲的结识,让她原本隐藏的武者身份蠢蠢欲动。这个身份,不再甘于隐藏于暗处,它迫切地想要登上舞台,闯入江湖。

顽龙.毒龙

玉娇龙:这套剑真好看!

俞秀莲:再好看也是凶器。刃上染了血,你就不会说它好看了!

玉娇龙:在江湖上走来走去的,是不是很好玩?

俞秀莲:走江湖,靠的是人手,讲信、讲义,应下来的,就要做到,不讲信义,可就玩不长了。

玉娇龙:可我看书上说都是挺有意思的,到处都能去,遇上不服气的就打。

俞秀莲:(笑着)写书的不那么写,书就没法子卖了。

玉娇龙:我看你就像是书里的人。

俞秀莲:(苦笑)洗不上澡,虱子跳蚤咬得睡不着觉,书里也写这个?

这是玉娇龙与俞秀莲初见时的对话。从这对话便可见玉娇龙对江湖的认识带着浓重的理想主义色彩,她不懂江湖中的卧虎藏龙,更不解人心里的卧虎藏龙。也难怪,她毕竟是官府大小姐,涉世未深。师傅碧眼狐狸虽然给了她一个江湖梦,可惜狐狸非良师,在武学上无力提点娇龙,在修为上更无法为其指点迷津。迷茫无助的玉娇龙也只能借助小说传奇了解与构想江湖。而青冥剑与余秀莲的出现让她第一次如此近距离的触及江湖。与此同时即将嫁人的她也深谙自己之后的生活将更加拘束,于是乎娇龙玩性大发,闹出了盗剑这么一出戏。或许她的初衷只是想玩玩,浅尝一下江湖梦的滋味。然而江湖并非浪漫美梦,它更似密布着道义规矩,恩怨情仇的蛛网,一旦进入便难以逃脱。 在挣扎于江湖这张迷网的同时,娇龙也逐渐被自己的欲望所挟持。

正如莎士比亚在哈姆雷特中所讲 “The very substance of the ambition is merely the shadow of a dream.”玉娇龙的江湖梦在她的心里投下了欲望的影子,随着她江湖梦的愈发膨胀,欲望之影也是愈发肆意地扩张。娇龙的欲,具体投射在了青冥剑上。这是一把能够让她速入江湖的绝世宝剑,这也是自恃甚高的她认为唯一可以配的上自己的剑。追寻剑的过程是娇龙深陷欲望泥沼的写照。对剑日益加深的执念,让她的心不再容得下其他,无论是对父母的爱与愧疚,秀莲的友谊,小虎的爱意,统统可以抛却。然而心易变,性难移,李慕白在竹林里与玉娇龙过招,正是要试炼娇龙的本性,看看她到底是一只毒龙还是一只是顽龙。毒龙当斩杀,顽龙可调教。一场竹林之战让李慕白识得娇龙本性非恶,更加迫切的想收这个天赋异禀却误入歧途的少女为徒。只可惜李慕白自己心也不宁,杀师之仇,江湖恩怨,欲念情爱,无不纠缠着他。对于教导娇龙,李慕白分身乏术。

真龙

玉娇龙是虚假的,为了武功心诀,她可以欺瞒师傅,为了青冥宝剑,可以不认姐妹;但她又是纯真的,痴痴地做着在旁人看来毫不着边际的江湖梦。然而在经历了逃婚叛家,闯荡了真正的江湖,目睹了师傅碧眼狐狸与李慕白的双亡,她的江湖梦碎,纯真不再。

“无论你对此生的决定为何,一定要真诚的对待自己。”在一辈子无法真心相对的爱人李慕白死后,面对“祸端”玉娇龙,余秀莲如是讲道。于是娇龙回到武当山,再会罗小虎,然后带着小虎心诚则灵的愿望,一跃坠入悬崖。玉娇龙为何要死?是赎罪?是解脱?种种解释都有可能。在我看来娇龙之死代表着纯真的终结,但这也是娇龙直面自己之后所给出的真诚的答案。

后言

对于一个要踏入滚滚红尘摸爬滚打的人而言,纯真迟早是会丧失的。 如此的丧失是任何人都无力挽回的。 倘若幸运的话,纯真是由或是一本小说或是一部电影所撷取;更加残酷的方式是经由现实洗礼,直接被掳了去。

纯真虽逝,造物者仍留予人们希望:真诚。 真诚与纯真,同源于一个真字:真挚,真情,真心,真爱;然而真诚于纯真多了一份敢于面对真实的诚实。借用鲁迅先生的话 “人生真正的勇士敢于直面惨淡的人生。 敢于正视淋漓的鲜血。” 在纯真丧失之后, 生命里所谓“丑陋”“黑暗”“残酷”的一面如洪水猛兽般袭来。有的人选择逃避,选择不去正视那些“丑”与“黑”,永远留住在自己所构建的“童话”城堡;有的人满目只见那丑陋了,心中油然而生是cynical 犬儒的戏谑,更甚者会滋生对于世界的仇恨与报复心;而有的人能在其间找到平衡,用真诚的眼直面这个世界,直面自己,并从中寻找平静与喜悦。

纯真的丧失一如化雪的过程。落雪的世界是银装素裹的纯净,喧嚣吵闹被宽广的雪野所吸收,然而当雪融时,被掩盖的真实的世界显露了出来,与之前唯美纯净的世界相比这个世界是不完美不纯粹的。然而这个世界又有它的美丽,它可爱,它有更斑斓的色彩,更纷繁的声音……雪虽然融化了,这并非永恒的消失,它化作了水,或是浸入看似干瘪丑陋土地去滋润埋在土中待发的新芽,或是汇集入川河湖海。纯真的雪化作了真诚的水。水性纯,动静兼具,用柔和的力量去化解去包容去滋润。

在我看来纯真的无畏不能被称为勇气,因为它源于无知,源于对于未知最单纯的探索的渴望。这是值得鼓励的但也是值得警戒的。而真诚的无畏,之所以可贵可颂,是因为它源于已知,此刻对于丑陋,黑暗已有所洞悉,知道本着真诚行动的后果或许会是不堪是某种意义的自我毁灭,但仍旧付诸与行动,此所谓真正的勇士。

P.S. 

整部影片中,我最喜欢的还是玉娇龙在客栈过招(痛扁)各路江湖“名士”的片段。那一刻的她是敢爱敢恨的真正江湖儿女,不受规矩束缚,言他人之不敢言,为他人之不敢为,狂言傲语,快意恩仇。那是玉娇龙的江湖梦在真实江湖中留下的美丽而又短暂的片影,或许那也是许多观者的江湖梦在大荧幕上的投影。

Woody Allen 版的《理智与情感》 by HUA SHANG

这部电影中文翻译成是午夜巴塞罗那,而它的本名其实叫 Vicky Cristina Barcelona。 在我看来这是一部发生在Barcelona 由两个纽约来的美国妞所出演的现代版 Sense and Sensibility (理智与情感)。 代表理智的Vicky,在故事的开始,一心期待着在巴塞罗那的学术进展以及与靠谱纽约暖男Doug 计划已久的婚姻生活的开始; 而代表着情感的Cristina 则是期待着Barcelona这个未知城市能够给她带来的新的inspiration,让她找到自己所属于的领域和生活方式。

然而让两人没有料到的是, Barcelona之行并没有带给Vicky 和 Cristina 她们所期待的,而是狠狠的反问了她们一个问题 “what do you want?”

对Vicky而言,那种通过理智可以预见与规划的稳定平和的婚姻生活是她安全感的来源 。而在预见Antonio 之前, 她把这种安全感与爱情画上等号, 并笃定这样的“爱情” 就是她所想要的。而生性多情而浪漫的 Antonio 却撼动了Vicky 对爱情的定义。 在这让人头晕目眩,心跳神迷的全新爱情体验中,情感是高于理智的。 正如你所说, Vicky所爱的Spanish guitar, 高迪的建筑,都暗示着蕴藏在Vicky 内心里的情感的小火苗。而Antonio的出现让星星之火以燎原之势蔓延开来,将Vicky 心里原本的规划的爱情道路烧的无从寻觅。曾经的安全感在这场与Antonio 的爱之火烧过后化成了无趣感。

而Cristina ,她对“what do you want?”这个问题并不陌生。Cristina是个永远在找寻自己的人,她不知道自己想要什么,却又迫切的想要找寻到,可是一次次的尝试只是让她明白自己不想要什么。随情感而浮动的不确定性是Cristina吸引爱人的魅力源泉, 因为她充满好奇心,来者不拒。但这也是将爱人据之千里的致命武器,因为一旦她肯定那是她不想要的,她便会会决绝的离开,重返找寻的道路。 一个不知到自己是想要什么的人, 可以找到短暂的爱情,却往往很难觅到相守的爱人。可是我们什么时候能够确确实实的找到自己的想要的呢?这个问题也困扰着我。

片中还有两个女性角色不得不提。一个是才华横溢却感情泛滥难以自控,动不动就要杀人自杀 的艺术家Maria Elena; 一个是精明务实却难掩生活苦闷的富太太Judy。 如果说理智与情感各是在数轴的两端,那么这两个角色又比 Vicky和 Cristina各自向这两个极端更近了一些。然而理性的Judy 却梦想着不顾一切的爱情;感性的 Maria Elena 亦期待着让爱情平衡点的出现。 Judy 看到 Vicky 像是看到了自己,于是她暗中撮合Vicky 和 Antonio。而Maria Elena则是通过帮助发掘Cristina潜藏的摄影天赋,来平抚Cristina内心不确定因素,从而找到自己和 Antonio 爱情的平衡点 。  然而Cristina没有如所以Maria Elena 所愿成为稳定爱情的调剂品; Judy 盼望的 Vicky 和Antonio 的浪漫爱情故事也以闹剧收场。由此看开,梦还是要自己去做的,把自己的梦强加于他人往往没有什么好结果。

以讽刺到底见长的Woody Allen 不出所料没给我们一个如理智与情感那般的大团圆结局, 理智到底还是没能和情感达成最美妙的平衡。 “what do you want?”生活突然丢来的问题,把Vicky 和 Cristina, 尤其是Vicky问了个措手不及,面对生活的发问,曾经的笃定与计划变成了一个谎言。

电影的最终两人带着怅然若失的表情离开了巴塞罗那。至于将来的她俩会怎样?Vicky 是否会变成下一个Judy? Cristina 又是否会是另一个 Maria Elena, 我无从得知,唯有为她们送上普希金小诗一首《假如生活欺骗了你》。

Microscopic View by HUA SHANG

In Abe’s book Woman in the Dunes, he deconstructs the world in reality, restructures the components to a new landscape, and lures the readers with his poetic languages to look into this new landscape from his microscopic view.

 

The film, with its greater capacities for “isolating physical data and reaching their climax in representing it” (Kracauer, Theory of Film, p.298), adds to visualize Abe’s microscopic view of world. The film version of Woman in the Dues opens with a microscopic close-up of sand grains. With their cameras, Filmmakers represent the sand by deconstructing it to diverse minerals. This opening scene, like a nutrition facts label, introduces the microscopic nature of the world that Jumpei presents in. Moreover, the film’s visual images further enrich the textual feature of many elements in the book: the water, the sand, and especially the skin. The microscopic close-up of the skin maximizes the sexual tension between the man and the woman. Now, the skin truly becomes an individual force powerfully penetrating protagonists’ and viewers’ senses.

Woman in the Dunes is loaded with symbols. To balance such symbolic heaviness, Abe strings all his carefully carved metaphors with a straightforward storyline; Teshigahara unfolds the story in a single location with simple yet vibrating images; and Takemitsu injects souls to these images and make them dance with his minimalist abstract painting-liked musical language. Viewers, lured by forces of all these languages, look deeper and deeper into this microscopic landscape. Some unfortunate fellows may end up trapping inside this landscape, essentially a mind maze built up by artists’ languages, just like Jumpei is trapped in the bottom of the sand, and later on in his own ideas.

A journey “home”__Tokyo Story by HUA SHANG

In Tokyo Story, we follow an old couple traveling from Onomichi to Tokyo to visit their grown-up children. In my eyes, this journey is not about a new adventure to explore the metropolitan Tokyo but rather an attempt to return, returning to a “home” that the old couple once shared with their children. However, the old couple’s journey is actually a journey without destination. Such a sense of “home” is deeply rooted in the old couple’s memory but sadly not in their children’s. They fail to return to this “home” when living with (shuffling by) their children in Tokyo. To this old couple, Tokyo becomes a city too far away, a city with too many people, a city they cannot truly find a sense of belonging. 

Ozu, like us viewers, also accompanied this old couple along their journey. To him, born and raised in Tokyo, this is actually a journey home. However, was he also riding a train leading to nowhere? The Tokyo in front of Ozu’s camera, which was rebuilt after the earthquake and bombings, was not the same hometown he cherished in his memory. Ozu, an aged man himself, was taking a train back home to Tokyo. During the trip, he came to realize that his hometown Tokyo could no longer be reached in real life. Therefore, he got off the train and started to walk towards his memory. By using very limited shots of contemporary Tokyo scenery, he wished to preserve or reconstruct the old Tokyo in his and older generation’s memory. For viewers who do not own these fragments of memories, Ozu offered a chance to get a glimpse of the city’s vibe through displaying its domestic settings. In this way, the director could revive his memory to a maximum extent on the silver screen.

As the journey continues, it seems like that it no longer matters whether there is a destination or not.  Realizing their children could possibly turn out to be worse, the old couple starts to accept what they have in life with grateful hearts.  When they make the decision to go back to their home in Onomichi, sitting on the seawall in Atami. Their figures are seen melting into the nature, peacefully and harmoniously.

The film starts with a shot of a river running through the frame; it ends with a shot of the same river running through it. These two scenes echo on the screen, as if saying that all the gatherings, separations, laughter, and tear would be drifted out into the ocean of time. And those drifting movements are patiently recorded by Ozu’s stationary camera.

Gazing upon the “beauty” in distance by HUA SHANG

representations of women in KokoroSnow Country, Child's play, Sisters of the Gion, and Tokyo Story 

 

Women, in most of the readings and films we have encountered, are subjected to male protagonists’ or viewers’ gaze. Under all the gazes, women are either reducible to an idealized object of male desires or become marginalized figures lacking full-fledged selfhood. No matter whether they are being spotlighted on the pedestal or being shadowed in the corner, those women are kept in distance from male protagonists, viewers and even themselves. Moreover, a sense of helplessness is also pervasive in both cases, following those women as their own inescapable shadows. Strangely, such a mix of distance and helplessness somehow generates a sense of “beauty”, alluring us to step further into the stories.

The male idealization of women lifts women up onto a pedestal against or without inquiring women’s own wishes, which widens the distance between men and women. In Soseiki’s Kokoro, woman is idealized as man’s last resort to seek innocence and beauty within life and human nature. The wife of the sensei is idealized as the purest person in the world by sensei. She is treated as delicate glassware, carefully preserved by sensei. A piece of sensei’s internal monologue after his friend K’s suicide shows his intense idealization towards Ojosan, who is about to become sensei’s wife: “I was glad that she had not witnessed the terrible scene immediately after his death. I was afraid that a beautiful person such as she could not behold anything ugly and frightful without somehow losing her beauty” (Kokoro P.181). Sensei shelters his wife at home, and protects her from the real world, which he thinks is full of ugliness, dirt and danger.  Sensei’s betrayal of K compels sensei to drive his wife further away from his inner world, which he also considers as an ugly and dirty place. From sense’s wife’s conversation with the narrator (student), we can tell that she is not as fragile as sensei assumes and she is helplessly searching for ways to narrow the distance between herself and sensei. However, she does not know that the distance between them is actually vertical. Long ago, Sensei putted her up on a pedestal and has taken the ladder away the day K died.

In Kawabata’s Snow Country, women are idealized as a source of aesthetic experience. And keeping a distance is the essential practice to obtain such aesthetic pleasure. The emphasis of cultivating distance is revealed at the very beginning of the story, by the way Shimamura, the male protagonist, first “see” Yoko. “The light inside the train was not particularly strong, and the reflection was not as clear as it would have been in a mirror. Since there was no glare, Shimamura came to forget that it was a mirror he was looking at. The girl’s face seemed to be out in the flow of the evening mountains” (Snow Country P.10).  Instead of looking at Yoko directly, Shimamura chooses to gaze her from the reflection of the train window. This distanced way indulges him to envision a sort of imaginary beauty, a beauty that should melt into a dreamy nature rather than flourish in an earthy world.  While Komako, the young geisha Shemamura encounters in Snow Country, who has gradually developed her characters and became too real for Shimamura, is ruthless abandoned due to her strong sense of presence. The idealization of women in this story indeed fabricates an aesthetic “beauty”. However this “beauty” is as “cold” as the winter in the snow country. It is hard for us to appreciate this sort of “beauty” without feeling chilling and guilty.

Various female idealizations also generate and widen the distance between women and themselves. In Sisters of the Gion, the elder sister Umekichi, who maintains her loyalty toward her broken patron Furusawa, strictly follows the idealized Geisha code from the beginning to the end. She is an unconscious victim of the male idealization, who came to lose part of her own being and constantly shrouded by shadows, softly yet gloomily.

A blessing or a curse, some of these women still maintain certain degrees of self-consciousness about their true self and idealized self. Struggling to narrow the distance between her own -being and the idealized self, they are helplessly tortured by such internal conflicts. Noriko, the “paragon” of filial piety in Tokyo Story, who always wears a benevolent smile, confesses in the end to being selfish, no longer thinking constantly about her dead husband but rather about her own life and what would become of it. It already took Noriko a long time to reveal her painful and helpless inner struggle, how long would it take her to truly resolve this struggle?

The starting point of women’s self-distancing is gently and cautiously captured by Ichiyo, the only female storyteller we have encountered so far. In Child’s Play, Ichiyo provides us, for the first time, the opportunity to gaze the world through a female character Midori’s eyes, without layering any disguise or creating any distance. We witness her initial moment of growing up from a girl to a woman, the very moment she starts to lose part of her being-ness. “There were things Midori could not talk about. Sad thoughts accumulated, vague thoughts that she could not define herself -thoughts that would never come to the Midori of yesterday… She hated it, hated it, she hated grow up. Why did she have to grow old?” (Child’s Play, P.108) Midori is rather sensitive to notice such unspeakable sadness, and sense such a loss. However, soon the notorious thief “time” will sneak in with its tick-tock footsteps and callously steal this precious string of sadness, which Midori holds so tight in hand at the moment.

“Who are these women? What are their stories? What are their thoughts?” I can’t help asking. Greedy and unsatisfied, I am not pleased with just gazing upon those women from distance and indulging myself in their blurry and man-made “beauty”. I am longing to approach them, to take a look closer, to hear them speak for themselves, and to gaze the world from their perspectives. And I hope the day they ultimately step down from the over-lighted pedestal and walk out of the shadowy corner, we can obtain a broader perspective, a perspective not constrained by gender. 

 

 

 

Kaleidoscope__Roshonmon by HUA SHANG

The experience of seeing Roshonmon is like viewing a world through a fractured kaleidoscope, in which stories, meanings, motivations are continually undone and rewoven before my eyes, making me feel dizzy, confused and even a little bit nauseous. Although a black-white film, I see various colors as those protagonists describing the same crime as turning red, then yellow, now blue…

Korosawa is a compassionate director who does not ruthlessly “abandon” his viewers in the chaotic and destructive world of the kaleidoscope. At the end of the film, he kindly provides us a tiny keyhole, from which we see the woodcutter carrying the baby and walking towards us. Even though it’s just a small peek trough a tiny keyhole, we can see a light of hope penetrating through it. Up to this point, it does not matter whether we can find the key and open this door to see the whole picture. Hopefully, the final shots are sufficient to guide us, as we emerge from the dark cinema and return into our world of shadow and light. 

Growing Pain___I was born but…生れてはみたけれど by HUA SHANG

For most of Ozu’s I was born But…, we see through the eyes of two boys. We, as viewers, soon come to acknowledge the existence of two worlds: the world of the children and the world of the adults. Both worlds have hierarchies. In the children’s world, the power play seems to be more violent and brutal, yet with higher mobility. As long as you are a good fighter or have more sparrow eggs, you can get your way in this world. For adults, the power game is certainly more civilized. However, it is also less socially mobile or less “fair”.  It is a system beyond the control of the individual. People are often found stuck in their positions, like the truck in the opening scene, for better or for worse. For the first part of film, the children’s world rarely intersects with the adults’. The clash of the two worlds happens at the film screening. And the father is not just a father but also one of the employees of the boss, while the sons are not just sons but also the “boss” of a group of children. The illusion of the “powerful” father figure in two brothers’ heads is dashed by the cold reality. A mix of denial, humiliation, confusion, and anguish filled two boys, especially the elder son’s heart. They initiate a protest, challenging the authority of their father as well as questioning the rules of the adults’ world.  The protest eventually ends with a reconciliation. However, Ozu still leaves us with some hope for the future of these boys by offering a warm “open ending”.

Space and Story__Sisters of the Gion 祇園の姉妹 by HUA SHANG

The space within a story can echo and support the story itself. Sometimes, it can even serve as an independent “narrator", adding another layer to the story by telling the story in its own language.

 Mizoguchi was certainly mindful of the beauty and delicacy of the language of space (maybe it’s because he was living at a time when a number of people still inhabited in a world of shadow and communicate with poetic languages?)  Furthermore, he masterfully translated this language of space into moving images through sophisticated camera manipulation. The camera shots in Sisters of the Gion are artfully composed with careful framing maintained. In Mizoguchi’s hands, the long shots, shots with a fixed camera, and long takes turn into lines sketched by great architects, which give the space structure and form. His approaches make us, the viewers, aware of the space and it’s significant role within the story.

 What intrigues me most is Mizuguchi’s intentional creation of distance. Seeing Sisters of  the Gion, I feel like that I am pulled away from the characters and forced to become one of the distant observers. “Why did Mizuguchi try so hard to generate and maintain such distance?” I could not resist asking myself.

 The distance creates noticeable contrasts.  A limited number of close-ups are mostly given to Omocha, highlighting her progressive and uncompromising spirit as well as her unfair sufferings. The distance may also imply the social separation and distance of two sisters, whose figures are constantly seen vanishing in an alley filled with shadows. In addition, I believe, the distance reinforces an interesting contrast between mobility and fixity within the story. Most of the interior spaces in the film are revealed through windows and shoji. From these perspectives, the camera captures characters constantly moving in and out. However, is this “flow of space” necessarily free? As Burch’s To the Distant Observer suggests, the dominant aspect of Japanese architecture can be a ‘static and crystalline’ definition of space.  If so, then Mizoguchi’s fixed frame and long shot further enhance the level of such steadiness. In Mizoguchi’s camera, those protagonists are like goldfishes trapped in a giant glass bowl. They can move freely but only within the container. Omocha, the only one who dares to attempt to jump out of this glass bowl, ends up in hospital with a broken leg, helplessly cursing unfairness in the world of Gion.