大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2008-09-13 15:54:57  【打印
The 65th Venice Film Festival delivers a thrill to the eyes before a film has even been seen. As if leaping from a screen into the future, three sculpted lions are seen part-emerged – a head, front and feet here, head and claws there, face only of the last in sequence – from a giant white cloth covering the front of the Palazzo del Cinema.

Spectacular? Yes. Symbolic? That too. Clearly, say the lions, those in charge of this dream event in the film calendar, a movie bliss-out on a lagoon, have their more active dream for the future. A foundation stone was laid on day two for a new cinema palace planned for 2011. It will bring fresh eminence to the Mostra del Cinema. It will tell the rival Rome Film Festival to get lost or get busy catching up. And if we ever thought Venice was a mere folderol, a solace to ease the film junkie's long withdrawal pains after Cannes, director Marco Müller, who has signed a new four-year contract, means business.

Müller must cater for a world in love with audiovisual saturation and cultural completism. Does that mean the days of wine and roses are over? We who love the Lido gig's reflective pace hope not. Films are allowed to breathe and blossom here: even a slapstick-comedy opener such as the Coens' Burn After Reading. Just as the crowds could almost touch George Clooney and Brad Pitt during the stars' gala wave-and-walk-through on first night, critics are allowed up-close dalliance with the film's fine-tuned fun – a plot about CIA spies accidentally rumbled, then methodically blackmailed, by a gymnasium assistant (Frances McDormand) with dreams of cosmetic makeover – in a festival where quality isn't crowded out.

Detractors might say this has its downside. We're happy enough to linger over the Coens, with a smart cast – Clooney (left) and Pitt showing their comedy chops, McDormand's na?ve-as-a-fox heroine (memories of Fargo's Marge Gunderson), John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton in expert support – being led through a movie where every line counts and every look counts double. Hollywood made us medium-happy, too, with Guillermo Arriaga's The Burning Plain (pictured below), a subtly epic tale of two women living different lives in different times, with Charlize Theron gnawed by slowly revealed guilts and griefs in present-day Oregon while Kim Basinger finds a tragic love-rapture in sunnier, earlier Mexico. (Are the two women connected? No plot spoilers from me.)

But this year's Venice line-up sagged a little early on between high points. We had time to ponder too many mixed-nation thrillers grimy with hokum. Barbet Schroeder's Inju follows a French crime writer (Beno?t Magimel) to Japan to duel with a serial-killing psychopathic rival in a film of popcorn Schadenfreude. Yu Likwai's Plastic City is set in S?o Paulo and promised a Chinese visionary's insight into Brazilian social meltdown. Yu is the regular cinematographer of leading director Jia Zhang-ke. But the film explodes into multiple fragments, part gangster movie, part identity drama, part lens artist's visual brainstorm.

As I write, steadiness is creeping back into the competition. Halfway, the best in show is a low-budget tale of obsession by an Iranian working in the US. Proving that international mixes can work, Amer Nedari's Vegas: A True Story presses our faces to the window of a poor family's bungalow on the edge of the Nevada Babylon – the Strip a garish shimmer in the background – as their slender fortunes turn to calamity. Sold the notion that a suitcase full of millions lies under their backyard, father, son and sceptical mum heave to with spades and mattocks. The loot keeps eluding them; the garden keels into ruin; the house becomes a mining camp, filthy with dust and despairing hope.

Naderi made an early gem of new Iranian cinema, The Runner, before relocating to America. Vegas may prove his naturalisation project, a raw tragedy in the tradition, if not with the bank-breaking budget, of Stroheim's Greed. By the end an unknown cast has become a trio of indelible faces, a patch of land a glimpse of purgatory.

Curios are starting to crowd up for the Golden Lion's attention. Turkey's Milk, the growing-up tale of a poet, has a gobsmacking opening. A cauldron of milk, a woman hung upside-down, a live snake extracted from her mouth. Whenever this scene is shown there should be a sales lady in the auditorium with a tray of smelling salts. France's L'Autre is more long-distance in its weirdness. A looks-proud, independent-minded thirtysomething, played by the mesmerising Dominique Blanc (face of Jeanne Moreau mixed with Bette Davis), discovers she is a fraction too late to throw over a stable relationship for the fugitive dream of freedom and love on the hoof. She becomes – perhaps she always was – borderline psychotic and over-the-border delusional. When you see your Doppelg?nger on a passing train, it is time to settle down or hire a shrink.

On the Venice fringe there have been two films to cheer: an Italian reconstruction and a Philippine satire. Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1963 La Rabbia (‘Rage') was a potion of screen rhetoric, never before seen in the undiluted form the director intended. The original producers wanted to “balance” PPP's jeremiad against class and capital – which becomes much more as the winds of prophecy fill his sails – with a rightwing film-essay from author Giovanni Guareschi. The latter is now discarded. Giuseppe Bertolucci (Bernardo's brother) has re-assembled the old material, added some never seen, and puts before Italy and the world Pasolini's true original rage, a scintillating montage of 20th-century news footage – from Mussolini to Marilyn Monroe – unified and signposted by a genius's vision.

Perfidious media managers; treachery in the name of truth. They are everywhere today, not least in the lies of “reality TV”. Francis Xavier Pasion's Jay, from the Philippines, is an acutely funny tale of intrusive telly reporters, bearing down on a family bereaved by a gay son's murder to make their grief part of a nation's infotainment. They start by poking a lens at the family's faces as they learn the news; they end by getting them to act, or re-enact, every emotional convulsion that needs a second, third or umpteenth take. The remuneration? The reporters will help find the son's killer. By the time they do, even the murderer, we know, will be signing release forms and hungrily securing his 15 minutes of fame.

尚未放映一部电影,第65届威尼斯电影节便使众人的眼球为之一振。一面罩在旧电影宫(Palazzo del Cinema)正面的巨大白布上,凸现出三头雕刻狮子的局部——这里有一个头、前胸和脚,那边是头和爪子,最后一只仅浮现出脸形,它们好像要从屏幕上跃向未来。

壮观?是的。象征?也没错。无疑,这些狮子守卫着电影年历上的这个梦幻盛事、这场水上的电影狂欢,它们对未来怀有更加积极的梦想。第二日,计划于2011年落成的新电影宫举行了奠基仪式。它将为莫斯塔•德尔剧院(Mostra del Cinema)带来全新的荣耀,并使其竞争对手罗马电影节陷入迷失或疲于追赶。而倘若我们有一丝念头,认为威尼斯影展仅仅是个花哨的家伙,是平息电影迷在戛纳电影节后长期难耐的痛苦的一支安慰剂,已续签了4年合同的电影节总导演马尔科•穆勒(Marco Müller)可是当真的。

穆勒必须迎合这个世界对饱满的视听效果和文化完美主义的追求。而这是否意味着美酒加玫瑰的日子已经终结?我们这些喜爱丽都岛马车沉思着溜蹄的人并不希望这样。在这里,电影能够呼吸并走向繁盛:即便是以科恩 (Coen) 兄弟的《阅后即焚》(Burn After Reading)这样的闹喜剧作开幕影片。正如群星鱼贯亮相首映式时,人群几乎可以触摸到乔治•克鲁尼(George Clooney)和布拉德•皮特(Brad Pitt)那样,评论家被容许对这部电影中精心设计的噱头进行近距离的调侃——剧情是关于美国中央情报局(CIA)间谍的秘密被意外发现、接着被一位怀有整容梦想的健身房助理[由弗兰西斯•麦克多蒙德(Frances McDormand)饰演]有步骤地勒索——在这个电影节,影片质量不会因拥挤而受损。

恶意批评者也许会认为它也有缺点,而我们仍开心地流连于科恩兄弟的电影。演员选用得相当巧妙——克鲁尼和皮特展示了他们的喜剧天分,麦克多蒙德“狐狸般天真”的女主角[令人想起了《冰血暴》(Fargo)里的玛吉•冈德森(Marge Gunderson)],约翰•马尔科维奇(John Malkovich)和蒂尔达•斯文顿(Tilda Swinton) 老到的配角演出——我们被牵引着看完这部电影,每一句台词都有涵义,每一个场景都加倍有涵义。好莱坞奉献出了古莱莫•阿瑞加(Guillermo Arriaga)的《燃烧的平原》(The Burning Plain),也使我们比较开心。这是一个关于不同时代不同生活的两个女人的精巧叙事故事。查理兹•塞隆(Charlize Theron)生活在今天的俄勒冈,被影片中慢慢揭示出来的罪恶感和痛苦所深深折磨,而金•贝辛格(Kim Basinger)则在阳光更明媚的早年墨西哥陷入了一场悲剧性的爱情痴迷。(这两位女性有关么?我可不提供任何剧情。)

但威尼斯今年的参展影片在高潮之间萎靡的有一点早。我们有时间衡量太多跨国合作且充满噱头的惊悚电影。巴贝特•施罗德(Barbet Schroeder)的《阴兽》(Inju)中,伯努瓦•马吉梅(Beno?t Magimel) 扮演的一名法国犯罪作家来到日本,与其对手——一名患精神病的连环杀手对决。余力为的《荡寇》(Plastic City)背景设在圣保罗,彰显了中国空想家对巴西社会危机的窥察力。余力为是知名导演贾樟柯的御用摄影师。但整个电影却裂为许多碎片,部分是警匪片,部分为剧情片,而部分则是镜头艺术家的视效展示。

在我写这篇文章时,稳健正悄悄溜回到竞赛中。赛程过半,最好的展出影片是一位在美国工作的伊朗人所带来的有关鬼迷心窍的低成本故事。阿米尔•纳得瑞(Amer Nedari)的《维加斯:真实传说》(Vegas: A True Story) 证明了国际合作“可以”成功。影片把我们的脸压着贴在一户穷苦人家小平房的窗户上,这里是美国内华达州的巴比伦——背景里是闪烁着炫艳灯光的热闹街道,而他们微薄的家产变成了灾难。有人兜售说一只装满百万现金的箱子埋在他们后院,这家父亲、儿子和怀疑一切的母亲便抄起了锹和锄头。箱子始终和他们捉迷藏;花园被翻得糟蹋毁了;房屋变成了开采营地,肮脏得到处是灰土和无望的希望。

纳得瑞在移居美国前,为伊朗新电影业创作出了一部早期精品——《追火车的街童》(The Runner)。《维加斯》也许证明了他的同化计划,这出残酷的悲剧秉承了施特罗海姆(Stroheim)的《贪婪》(Greed)的传统(如果没有超支的预算)。最终,不知名的演员们化作了3张不可磨灭的面孔,而这块土地成为了对炼狱的一瞥。

佳作开始向金狮周围汇聚。来自土耳其的《牛奶》(Milk)举行了令人惊愕的首映。它讲述了一位诗人的成长故事。一大锅牛奶、一名倒挂的女人,从她的嘴中用力拽出一条活蛇。这个场景无论在何时放映,观众席边都站有一位销售女士端着一盘嗅盐。而法国的《另一个人》(L'Autre)在怪诞上则走得更远。迷人的多米尼克•布兰克(Dominique Blanc)饰演一位看似骄傲、思想独立的30岁左右的女性,她的面庞是让娜•莫罗(Jeanne Moreau)与贝蒂•戴维斯(Bette Davis)的混合体。她发现,为了自由和爱这个转瞬即逝的梦想而抛弃一段稳定的关系,有一点太晚了。她变成了——或者一直是——难以界定的精神病患者和确诊的妄想症患者。当你在一列驶过的火车上看到你的分身时,就到了安顿下来或聘请一名精神科医师的时候了。

威尼斯电影节的外围作品中,有两部电影值得喝彩:一部重新打造的意大利影片和一部菲律宾的讽刺作品。皮埃尔•保罗•帕索里尼(Pier Paolo Pasolini)这部《狂暴》(La Rabbia,英译名为Rage)是银屏的浮夸之作,这种导演刻意制造的纯粹形式在此之前从未见过。原作导演们希望在帕索里尼对阶级和资本——二者变得更像是推动其前行的预言——的悲叹与作者乔瓦尼•瓜雷斯基(Giovanni Guareschi)的右翼电影随笔之间寻求“平衡”。后者现在已被摒弃。朱塞佩•贝托鲁奇(Giuseppe Bertolucci)[贝纳尔多(Bernardo)之弟]重新收集旧资料,加入了一些从未见过的元素,将帕索里尼原本真实的狂暴呈现在意大利和世界面前。它们是20世纪新闻连续镜头——从墨索里尼(Mussolini)到玛丽莲梦露(Marilyn Monroe)——才智焕发的蒙太奇,这些镜头都由天才的想象力统一与串接起来。

背信弃义的媒体;打着真相名义的背信弃义。如今,他们遍地都是,而不仅仅在“真人秀”的谎言中。来自菲律宾的弗兰克兹•夏维尔•帕松(Francis Xavier Pasion)的《杰伊》(Jay) 是个相当有趣的故事。故事关于无孔不入的电视记者:他们涌向一个遭遇同性恋儿子被谋杀的家庭,将他们的悲伤制作成整个国家的娱教节目。当得知这条新闻后,他们将镜头探到这户人家的面前;他们让这家人表演或再现每一次情感的惊厥,需要一而再、再而三数不清的拍摄。酬劳?记者将帮助寻找其儿子的凶手。当他们这样做时,我们知道,即使是杀手也将签署释放表格,以贪求其在新闻媒体上的大出风头。

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