目前分類:影評 (30)

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Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, is an acclaimed American black comedy film winning the 2014 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. Despite its genre as a comedy, it arouses such turbulent emotions as pity and fear much like a tragedy. It’s not just a story about a washed-up superhero trying to regain his power. Rather, it’s a mirror of every one of us struggling to be relevant in our time, a projection of the universal fear that we don’t exist.

 

Life Meaning

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「the grand budapest hotel 電影」的圖片搜尋結果

There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity  

The best quote in the film, also a thematic sentence, conveys the importance of our inner value in creating beauty and order out of the chaos of human life. Amazingly, so heavy a message can be delivered through such a lighthearted tone of the film. To me, no better words can describe the film than “entertainingly significant.” It keeps me in high spirits for the rest part of the day after watching it. In memory of this delightful experience so that it will leave some traces in my life, I write down what it is all about. Basically, it is an appealing artwork featuring a balanced structure, picturesque scenes, and thrilling suspense. But most significantly, it touches the big philosophical question---the meaning of life.    

 

Prologue

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每當教材提及阿米許 (Amish) 文化,就想到 1985 年的 證人 」。 這部影片的主軸除了英雄主義以外,對邊緣的次文化也多有著墨,是不錯的教學影片。剛正不阿的警官對上貪腐的上司,最後邪不勝正,雖說是公式般的定律,但可以滿足現實生活中對正義的渴求,這是英雄片永遠存在的理由,一如浪漫愛情片,替代性的滿足大眾對永恆不朽愛情的嚮往。

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本篇文章的目的在介紹「北非諜影」這部電影,為何多年來一直屹立不搖,成為美國人心目中經典中的經典。它的魅力在哪裡? 以下引述維基百科對它的註解: 「「北非諜影」是一部1942年的美國愛情電影,世界史上最成功的經典電影之一。本片榮獲1944年奧斯卡的最佳影片、最佳導演,和最佳改編劇本獎。這部電影的角色、劇情、以及主題曲 都成為了一種文化標誌。2007年美國編劇協會公佈影史「最偉大的101部電影劇本」名單,由「北非諜影」奪冠。」

 

儘管1940年代電影工業的技術沒有現在的華麗炫目,「北非諜影」的內容影響深遠,可說是無數好萊塢電影的原型(prototype),尤其在愛國和愛情兩種精神元素上。總體來說,它是美國精神的代表。故事的歷史背景在二次世界大戰初期,仍屬法國傀儡政權統治的摩洛哥。男主角Rick所開設的咖啡館是投奔自由者唯一的希望,在那裏可以拿到合法的離境證明,繼而前往美國,逃離納粹的壓迫。所以美國是歐洲人避難的天堂,是自由的代名詞,本片的基調落在美國這老大哥,可以保護其它國家受迫害者,幫助他們圓夢,讓他們免於恐懼。追逐美國夢的主題永遠是電影人「政治正確」的抉擇。本片最鼓舞人心的一幕,在於聚集咖啡館的群眾,齊唱法語歌對抗德軍的德語歌,政治現實的挫敗在當下得到精神上的勝利。納粹極權與自由民權的抗爭,在睿智勇敢的Rick協助下,自由的一方獲勝,也暗示美國所崇尚的民主精神不死,是全世界的依靠。

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shakespeare  

前言

「莎翁情史」(Shakespeare in Love)於1998年上映,榮獲多項殊榮。它被歸類為浪漫愛情喜劇,主要內容是描繪伊莉莎白時期英國劇場的盛況,文學才子投入劇本的創作,讓劇場充滿生命力。戲劇同時也凝聚社會各階層的人民,雅俗共賞,貧冨齊聚一堂,一同徜徉在虛擬的舞台世界,應和著演員們的情緒,和他們同悲同喜,讓心靈得到替代性的滿足。這就是劇場千古不變的魅力。本片藉莎翁的一段情史,向當時的劇場致敬。另外一個重要的議題,本片也有肯定的答案。到底是戲如人生抑或人生如戲? 是藝術模仿人生還是人生模仿藝術?

 

  1. A Tribute to Elizabethan Drama

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Though much is taken, much abides; and though / We are not now that strength which in old days / Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; / One equal temper of heroic hearts, / Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

What made Skyfall the highest-grossing film in the UK in 2002, and win several accolades, including Outstanding British Film, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song?

James Bond has no lack of duplicates. For example, Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible is his counterpart with the same heroic heart and deeds. The clichéd elements of an action thriller find full expression in Skyfall. The overall structure echoes the pattern of a mythological hero’s adventure. A crisis happens and calls for the savior/hero’s rescue. With the supernatural aid, the hero steps into the mysterious land, like the dark forest or deep ocean, slays the monster and returns with a final boon to benefit his society. Let’s see how James Bond in Skyfall fits into this pattern. The crisis Bond was assigned to solve was to capture M’s rival, a former agent turning into a traitor. The dangerous criminal is no less threatening than the ancient monsters. Bond the hero/savior is lightly armed to fight against the traitor with powerful weapons---a perfect replica of David against Goliath, the triumph of the small over the big, the reincarnation of David’s bow and stone in Bond’s knife. Of course, the bullet-proof hero undergoes trials and tribulations physically and mentally--- the climbing to heights and diving to bottoms, the chasing through tunnels and the setting of traps. The hero/ savior must explore the dark land with a supernatural aid. For Bond, his aid always comes in the form of a beautiful female figure, be it White or Black. This time, it’s M and his partner, a Black beauty, as well as an abused Oriental lady. The trio constitutes Bond’s aid, leading him into the dangerous place, the mysterious Oriental land, Shanghai. There, he captured the very monster, but unfortunately, didn’t slay him right at the spot. After all, Bond is the law-abiding British, a gentleman who adheres to the law. The traitor should be left at the hands of the government. And what’s the final boon to bestow upon his fellow men? The spreading of the virtue of patriotism and self-sacrifice.

James Bond is distinguished from other agents in that he exudes the very flavor of the British--something distinctive in the British civilization, continuous and persisting, stretching into the future and past. It is the one not only characterized by “winding roads,” “green fields” and “red pillar-boxes” as appearing in the scenes of the film. It is also the invisibly patriotic sentiment that pervades the British hearts, soothing and inspiring them in times of hardship. Patriotism has entered into the British soul, so to speak. Despite the changing of times, such a uniting force never fades. George Orwell once indicated that patriotism, although taking different forms in different classes, runs like a connecting thread through the British: “Up to a point, the sense of national unity is a substitute for a ‘world-view’. Just because patriotism is all but universal and not even the rich are uninfluenced by it, there can be moments when the whole nation suddenly swings together and does the same thing, like a herd of cattle facing a wolf.” James Bond films feature the crisis that threatens the nation. The hero/savior manifests the very unifying force of patriotism. He represents the collective consciousness of the British people---loyal to the nation and invincible. The great British Empire has seemingly lost its splendor. But no, it has James Bond's boss, M, to remind people worldwide that “Though much is taken, much abides; and though / We are not now that strength which in old days / Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; / One equal temper of heroic hearts, / Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” With the endorsement of Tennyson’s lines, James Bond cannot be Ethan Hunt. He remains a British hero forever.

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 moneyball-poster  

電影「魔球」(Moneyball)改編自Micahel Lewis於2003出版的小說,主要探討資金有限的棒球隊,如何借助計量經濟學(econometrics),有效率的達到贏球的目標。此片顛覆傳統的棒球經驗,例如由球探針對個人的打擊率(batting rate)、防守率(defense rate)及人格特質(personality)來發掘球星,還有犧牲短打(bunt)、盜壘(steal base) 等常用策略,都遭到否定。本片強調棒球致勝關鍵在於在壘率(on-base rate)。一支球隊中,上壘率高的球員越多,就越容易贏球。根據這個原則,一位耶魯大學經濟系的非專業棒球小子,替奧克蘭運動家隊的總經理Billy Beane選了三位棒球專業人士眼中的爛貨,不是手肘受傷不能傳球,就是球技退化或私生活不檢點的球員。他們能雀屏中選,因為上壘率很高,又因為大型球隊都不想要,所以只需花很少的錢就能買到。只要能上壘,就有機會得分,管他是安打或四壞保送上壘的。所以只要有耐心及判斷力,不要隨意揮棒,慢慢等待保送上壘,贏球機會就變大。這樣的作戰策略,為小成本的運動家隊帶來20場連勝的輝煌戰績,也等於宣揚此經濟學理論的成功。

 

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Introduction

Black Swan, a 2010 psychological thriller, explores the binary conflicts in human life---reason/unreason, love/hatred, repression/passion, hetero/homosexuality. The warring of the two turns out tragic in the film, for the latter overwhelms the former and leads to the death of the female protagonist.

First of all, the theme of binary contradiction is symbolized by the classical ballet, Swan Lake, in which the swan queen should portray two contradictory roles at the same time, White and Black Swan. Nina, the leading character starring Natalia Portman, exhibits the coexistence of evil and innocence, passion and reservation. In her exist the two contradictory qualities. White is associated with the pure and noble while black with the seductive and evil. As black and white swans are twins, the two characteristics co-inhabit the human mind, always waging destructive wars and wrecking havoc on life. In the ballet, white swan kills herself out of the despair over the loss of her lover. In real life, Nina also kills herself out of despair, only that the despair is caused by her jealousy, fear and hatred. The film presents a subtle parallel between Life and Art with Life heavily influenced by Art. The tone is pessimistic and doomed. Now, let’s examine in detail the binary contradictions in the swan queen’s mind.

I. Reason/unreason

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「BJ單身日記」不只是一般的愛情喜劇,它是經典文學「傲慢與偏見」的現代版,更確切的說,是向經典文學致敬之餘,又不忘加入現代顛覆元素的戲謔仿作(parody)。劇中女主角神來一句,”It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces. “(當你的生命中某部分開始順遂,另一部分就會全盤崩壞,這是眾所承認的事實) 已昭告其戲仿經典之意圖,因「傲慢與偏見」開宗明義的第一句話就是: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” (黃金單身漢必缺一個老婆是眾所承認的事實) 前者提到生命無常起落的事實,後者則是千古不變的婚姻法則,有錢的男人必定成為眾家閨女覬覦獵取的目標。

以下分幾點來談本劇的戲仿之處:

一、 男主角的傲慢與真誠

兩位家世顯赫的達西(Darcy)先生,與女主角在宴會中的初相見,不但沒有激起火花,甚至毫不留情用言語譏諷她。男女主角互看不順眼,女覺男傲慢無禮,男覺女庸俗難耐。

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An Indecent Proposal (桃色交易)caused much discussion back in 1993 when materialism was rampant in American society. Today, it still remains a powerful criticism of market values. It is significant not only because it predicts the irresistible invasion of money in life, but also it caters to the ideal romantic sentiment. Altogether, the movie attracts the audience with two immortal topics: money and romance.

First, let’s explore the money issue. Here is the climax when the proposal was offered:

David: [while playing pool] I guess there's limits to what money can buy.
John: Not many.

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The Hours examines the unique female consciousness of being. From the feminist perspective, it may be acclaimed a subtle and exquisite masterpiece. Yet, mundane viewers may decry it as a jejune bemoaning of the white, middle-class women, nothing less than a portrait of bourgeois ennui. Admittedly, the Marxist disciples are justified to criticize the three females’ lives as self-indulgent and self-conscious, because they are free from economic burdens as suffered by women in poor countries. While poverty-stricken women struggling for survival are left no extra energy to question the meaning of their life, these rich, white women have the leisure to ponder over the meaning of their existence. In proletarian view, the repeated quest of “who am I” is a sign of intellectual arrogance bred by material abundance. So, let’s explore the three women’s life and see if it’s really the bourgeois ennui that gives rise to such an unhappy life.

In this film, three women’s lives are fatefully intertwined through a book, Mrs. Dalloway. In 1923, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) wrote this book on the brink of mental collapse. In 1951, Laura (Julianne Moore) devoted herself to reading this book while entrenched in a boring marriage life. In 2001, Clarissa (Meryl Streep) unsatisfactorily enacted the role of this book’s main character, Mrs. Dalloway. To me, the most unforgettable line was uttered by Richard (Ed Harris), a gifted writer dying of AIDS, when he commented on Clarissa’s life: “Oh, Mrs. Dalloway----Always giving parties to cover the silence.” Somehow, “cover the silence” has lingered in my mind for years.

What’s the charm of these three words “ cover the silence” anyway? Something significant about female identity is hidden here.

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The only intimacy I never found to flinch or fade away was a purely intellectual one. There was none of the cant of candour in it, none of the whine of mawkish sensibility. 永不退失的親密關係是純然的知性關係,此中絕無虛矯的真誠及感傷。

(William Hazlitt, “On the Pleasure of Hating”)

In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real. 在這失序混亂的世界,有時只有美才能被信賴。只有藝術的卓越才能不朽。愉悅感不能被打折扣,有時美食才是唯一的真實貨幣。

(Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love 152)

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Brothers (窒愛) is a movie about post-war trauma and sibling rivalry. Released in 2009, it tells a powerful story of two opposite brothers, Captain Sam Cahill (starring Tobey Maguire) and his younger brother, Tommy Cahill (starring Jake Gyllenhaal). Sam marries his high school sweetheart, Grace (starring Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters. In the eyes of his family and colleagues, he is a respectable hero, dutifully serving his family and country, In contrast, Tommy is a drifter on parole, found guilty of robbing a bank. In a military mission in Afghanistan, Sam’s plane crashes and he is supposed dead although his body is missing. The black-sheep brother then takes on the duty to care for his family. As Grace has a deeper contact with Tommy, she becomes sympathetic with him, for she finds that lying under his degraded behavior is the sense of inferiority. Later, Sam miraculously returns from the battlefield, but he is totally changed. He is irascible and aloof, always finding fault with his family and suspecting the adultery between his wife and brother. After a fierce conflict with them, he is sent to a mental hospital. The hope of reconciliation emerges after he confesses to his wife that he has killed his comrade in Afghanistan to come back to her.

The story triggers two issues to ponder: one is about the trauma of a war hero; the other is about the impact of family violence. American culture upholds the qualities of a war hero, who is identified as a superman with perseverance and strength. But in most cases, the trauma inflicted on him is ignored. The American society rewards and honors the war hero in that he sacrifices himself for his country. Those that are physically hurt by enemies, say, getting his arms or legs maimed in battle are entitled to the medal of Purple Heart, which grants them certain privileges. But how about those suffering inside without any visible scar? No reward of course, since mental illness is a sign of weakness in American culture. Brothers brings forth this issue, implying how deep the trauma cuts into a family. The forced murdering of his comrade torments Sam, driving him to self-destruction as a payment for his sin. Only unconditional and forgiving love from his family is the sole source of his redemption.

The other issue touched by this film is family violence. The two brothers’ father also serves in the army, inculcating in his sons the value of sacrifice and honor since their childhood. Such a strict and moral father, however, has his dark side. When he is drunk, he inflicts violence on his family, especially his wife. The younger son is also a victim suffering from his verbal violence. He keeps negating his existence by heaping scorn on his behavior. The black sheep son is thus generated! The two brothers, in a sense, rebel against the violent father in different ways. The elder excels in his career to outshine his father, while the younger sinks into a pit to infuriate his father. Both have a constrained existence.

Overall, Brothers highlights the values of an American family. Although a site of conflict, a family is still a source of redemption. It may well be considered a place of “re” ---return, reunion, reconnect, and reconcile. All the hustle and bustle of outside world can be shut outside the door, with the warmth of the glimmering hearth rekindling the love of each family member.

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The Reader, as some critics claim, is a film about eroticism, Holocaust trauma, morality, and reconciliation. While it touches these issues, I’m most intrigued by the subtlety of the couple’s relationship. How can a middle-aged woman leave a permanent scar in a teenager’s life? In a certain sense, his whole life is haunted by the woman. Is it because the first love is always the most unforgettable? In my view, she is unforgettable not just because she is his first love but because she assumes the complicated role of a femme fatale, who torments the heart of a sensitive man.

In this film, Hanna, the femme fatale starring Kate Winslet is the archetypical figure of Jocasta, Muse and Medusa rolled into one. As Oedipus falls prey to the charm of Jocasta, Michael Berg is fascinated with the beauty of Hanna although she is old enough to be his mother. His Oedipus complex is obvious, as he is always apathetic and cold to his father, a strict man emphasizing disciplines. Thus explains his sexual inclination to an elderly woman, whom he identifies as his mother capable of giving him warmth and love while his biological mother can merely obey his father’s command.

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「楚門的世界」真是一部有深度令人難忘的電影。它的原始概念來自一部驚悚科幻小說。楚門(Trueman) 從小被攝影機監控而不自覺,活到中年時,才發覺身邊所有的人都是演員,只有自己不是。他被外界不可知的力量操控著,他生命中所有的一切,包括父母、妻子、摯友等,都是導演指派的角色。當真相戳破虛偽,喚醒清明的意識時所帶來的震驚與恐懼,絕不亞於一般科幻小說的恐怖懸疑。楚門(Trueman)這個角色,隱涉真實的(true)人(man),代表我們芸芸眾生;掌控他的導演名為Christof,意指上帝耶穌基督(Jesus Christ),代表支配我們生命的神力。將抽象的特質,具體化為故事中的人物來呈現,是中古文學中長篇寓言(allegory)的特色,像15世紀盛行的道德劇(Morality Play)代表作Everyman,各種美德/惡行都化為劇中角色和Everyman 互動,以對話的方式探討生命的永恆價值。楚門這個角色就是Everyman,他所居住的地方名為Seahaven,表面字義為海灣鎮,真實義涵為安全的避風港,在此居住無須面對任何風險。導演Christof一如道德劇中的上帝,主宰每個人的生與死。本文擬就下面幾個面向,探討這部電影對人生的深刻反省。 

I. 偷窺: 道德/非道德? (voyeurism: moral/immoral?)

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The Tree of Life won the prize of Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, getting polarized reactions to the director, Terrence Malick's style. Some critics uphold his artistic and technical skills while some disapprove of his fragmented and non-linear narrative. For an amateur filmgoer like me, bizarre”is the first word that comes to my mind when watching this film. Bizarre though it is, the film is unforgettable with some poetic shots leaving indelible impressions on me.

I. A Visual Manifestation of the Book of Job

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一、故事內容

電影《讓愛傳出去》(Pay It Forward) 由咪咪‧蕾德(Mimi Leder)執導,凱文‧史貝西(Kevin Spacey)、海倫‧杭特(Helen Hunt)及童星哈利‧喬‧奧斯蒙(Haley Joel Osment)主演。內容描述一位教社會學的老師尤金(凱文‧史貝西飾),一如過往地給學生相同的作業,要他們想一個能改變世界的辦法,並將它付諸實行。"Think of an idea to change our world---and put it into action!" 他把這句話寫在黑板上,讓學生用一整個學年的時間來完成。多年的經驗讓他不期望學生會認真去做這作業,即使有也不會有何驚喜。但他的學生崔佛(哈利‧喬‧奧斯蒙飾),提出一個「讓愛傳出去」的構想:「以我為中心,幫助三個人,不要求這三個人回報我,他們每個人必須把感恩的心情傳出去,幫助另外三個人,在這樣的連鎖效應下,兩個星期就可以有超過四百七十萬個人受惠。」崔佛在黑板上畫了一個圓圈,底下再串連三個圈,開始解釋: "That's me; that's three people.  And I'm going to help them. But it has to be somethting really big,  something they can't do by themselves. So I do it for them. And they do it for three other people. " 這不只是口頭報告,他真的付諸實行,幫助一位街頭遊民,帶他回家,給他食物,讓他洗澡,和他聊天,鼓勵他,給他錢,讓他買衣服,找工作。遊民也主動為他們修車。雖然因無法克制的毒癮再度流浪異鄉,卻因緣際會救了一位想自殺的婦女。

崔佛第二個計畫是幫助自己的母親艾琳(海倫‧杭特飾),他撮合尤金老師和母親,讓老師擺脫被酗酒父親放火燒傷的童年陰影和顏面傷殘的自悲接受了愛。

艾琳從小就失去家庭溫暖,成年後走上母親的路,以酗酒來逃避不幸的婚姻並疏於照顧孩子。感受到兒子的苦心,她戒掉了多年的酗酒,還與流離浪盪的母親和好,崔佛的外婆於是加也入這個計畫,幫助一個黑人逃離警察的追捕,黑人在急診室開槍逼護士救氣喘發作的少女,雖因此入獄,但在獄中傳愛。少女的律師父親在感恩之餘送了一部積架新車給一位車被撞爛的記者。記者好奇之餘循線追查,終於找到崔佛,報導了這個故事。

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My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, . . . as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary . . .  I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.  

(from Cathy's confession to Nelly)

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談「失落的世界」中之殖民主義

     恐龍在文學及電影的想像中,不外是一種遲緩、笨拙、怪誕及過時的龐然大物。它被賦予的抽象意義總是負面而具威脅性。以電影「侏羅紀公園」的續集「失落的世界」為例,恐龍再次成為和人類敵對的他者(the other),讓人類陷入極大的危機與恐懼中。以商業電影而言,它的視覺特效值得讚賞,給觀眾帶來不少娛樂。享受完感官刺激之餘,再對它的意識型態稍加省思,便能發掘其中的殖民主義(colonialism)。筆者在本文中,試以西方強權的殖民經驗來解讀此影片。 

     「失落的世界」呈現兩種不同的殖民心態;一種是對殖民地應予尊重並使其保有自己的獨特文化。另一種則是對殖民地應多加利用,以增強殖民帝國本身的實力。男女主角這組人馬代表的是前者,生化科技公司代表的是後者。前者來到恐龍存活的島嶼,目的是觀察並記錄其生態,是為研究及保育,不為任何商業的利益。他們的角色,可以說是西方帝國強權的另類聲音。在殖民主義盛行的十九世紀末,西方有些知識份子,認為不該對殖民地橫加掠奪資源,應該尊重其獨特的文化。他們相繼來到殖民地,目的不在享受政治及經濟的利益,而在滿足對異國文化的好奇。他們以西方人的眼光來觀察殖民地,用自認為是客觀的角度來描繪殖民地的風俗民情。自十九世紀末以來,西方學術界便充斥這類對東方國家的研究論述。以白種人的觀點來看東方世界,處處隱含著殖民強權的優越感。遙遠的東方是顢頇、怪異、及怠惰的同義詞。相對於西方文化所強調的理性,東方文化是神祕而難掌控的。以西方為主體所作的觀察結果,東方成了異類的他者,相較之下,西方文化更顯優質。在「失落的世界」男女主角這組成員中,有生物學家、數學家及攝影家等,他們觀察恐龍的生活型態,正如觀察殖民文化的西方學者,目的為滿足知識的好奇。除了男主角在上集「侏羅紀公園」曾親身經歷恐龍的威力,對這次旅程感到些許恐懼外,其它的成員都對這次的生態之旅抱以高度的期待,內心充滿興奮之情,尤其是是飾演古生物學家的女主角。能親歷這與世隔絕的島嶼,目睹地球早期的絕種生物,是一生難得的經驗。這塊被海環繞的島嶼類似那遙遠的東方,島上的恐龍是地球上古老的生物,和悠久的東方文化遙相呼應。他們體型的龐大笨重,長相之可怕猙獰,跟東方文化的怠惰及怪誕特質有異曲同工之妙。原本以為是一趟刺激有趣的異國之旅,卻成了揮之不去的夢靨。被殖民的他者是神祕難以掌控的,就像恐龍世界是可怕而不能侵犯的。即便是出自善意的干涉,這異質的第三世界仍會作出最不理性的攻擊反應。女主角試圖要救治小暴龍的腿傷便是一例。當她善意的援引西方科技要救小恐龍時,得到的回報竟是母恐龍兇殘的攻擊。西方白種人自認為是仁道的舉止,在被殖民的第三世界看來,卻往往是一種文化侵犯。當殖民強權遭到被殖民者的強力反抗後,會對其冥頑不靈的心態感到憤怒與懼怕。女主角在遭受恐龍的攻擊後,轉而對她所醉心研究的動物感到害怕。這一路的人龍追逐戰,象徵殖民過程的攻防戰。恐龍所代表的異質文化,是非理性難駕馭的一方。這神祕難解的世界,最好由它自生自滅,少干涉為妙,否則它的反撲力量,將會威脅到殖民帝國的生存。影片最後在聖地牙哥發生了暴龍的肆虐橫行,無異是為殖民帝國敲了一記最響的警鐘。

     除了以關懷研究為表象的殖民心態外,片中的生化科技公司代表的是另一種意識型態---對殖民地的經濟掠奪。科技公司派大批人員購置各式精密儀器及武器,為的是活捉恐龍,開設主題樂園供人觀賞,藉此賺取大筆門票收入。他們純粹是為經濟的目的來到此島,對恐龍無情的射擊與捕殺,最後也得到恐龍血腥的回報。當初西方強權經營東方殖民地時,也是以武力為後盾,經濟為前提,對被殖民者的反抗,一律以暴力擺平。西方帝國所到之處,只要插上他們的國旗,這塊土地就屬於他們的,接下來便以槍砲來鎮服當地人民,奪取當地資源以供帝國本身的茁壯發展,科技公司正是這一類型的帝國主義者。任意獵殺恐龍代表對殖民地資源的強取豪奪,只求賺取豐厚經濟利益,無視於對殖民地造成的傷害。獵捕兇猛的暴龍,透露著西方世界中,普遍存在對異國文化的好奇。沒有大眾的窺探欲望,科技公司不會花費巨資來捕捉恐龍。可是當這個神祕的異質文化被強行移植到文明之地時,卻帶來無比的殺傷力。暴龍在聖地牙哥的肆虐,隱含著異質文化入侵的危險。西方的高度文明,一旦被異質文化滲透,將被摧毀殆盡。這樣的場景,把西方與對東方的矛盾情結,顯露無遺。西方人對神祕遙遠的東方,一方面存在要控制駕馭它的欲望(desire);另方面又存在著對它的懼怕(phobia)。本片充分揭露殖民主義的心態,它的本質在於剝奪(exploitation)。 剝奪的方式有粗糙及細緻之別。前者以武力槍砲為特質,後者以人道關懷為表象。後者在譴責前者之於,往往忽略了自己也是侵略者。

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Sadism is not a name finally given to a practice as old as Eros; it is a massive cultural fact ---which constitutes one of the greatest conversions of Western imagination: unreason transformed into delirium of the heart, madness of desire, the insane dialogue of love and death in the limitless presumption of appetite

(Madness and Civilization, 210)

     In the film, Quills(鵝毛筆), Marquis de Sade is portrayed as a victim of social hypocrisy. Indeed he is, in the way he is tortured by the ward guardian, who makes a fortune by publishing his writings after he dies miserably in the asylum. Analyzed from the perspective of madness, Sade means more than a victim of Christian morality. He reveals the true essence of madness, as Madeleine, his devoted reader in the film claims, “You can't be a proper writer without a touch of madness, can you?”

     What is madness after all? Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, shed some light on this. It is “menace” and “mockery”, a “ridicule of men,” an “extreme self-attachment,” “fantastic invention” and “raging animality.” Sade is an outstanding combination of all these symptoms. First of all, Sade can be regarded as a “menace” or “mockery” of Christian theology. When the abbe accuses him of murdering Madeleine because his filthy words drive an inmate to kill her, he retorts, “Suppose one of your precious inmates attempted to walk on water and drowned. Would you condemn the Bible? I think not.”By mentioning the Bible, he is not only taunting its sacredness but also congratulating himself on his influential power as God. Like the Bible, his pornography is irresistible in its seductive power. Hereby, he shows the first sign of madness—the vain presumption about oneself. Another example illustrates his incurable illness of self-attachment: “Are your convictions so fragile they cannot stand in opposition to mine? Is your god so flimsey, so weak! For shame.” The “convictions” refer to the faith of Christianity, which emphasizes the importance of morality. This argument with the abbe implies that Sade is raising his banner of perversions against the moral teachings of God. He is inflated with pride, as he considers himself a stronger competitor in this battle of faith.

     Another argument with the abbe also embodies how he is disgusted with God: “Why should I love God? He strung up his only son like a side of veal. I shudder to think what he'd do to me.”In Sade’s view, the whole teachings of Christianity are based on hypocrisy, with God as the main exemplar. It’s only he, the erotic poet, that can grasp the truth of life: “I write of the great, eternal truths that bind together all mankind. The whole world over, we eat, we shit, we fuck, we kill and we die.” And he further justifies himself by saying that “[i]n order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice. Only then can we know the true measure of a man.” Sade embraces his pornography as the true reflection of humanity. By recording the evil side of human nature, he exposes the true essence of virtue. Christian theology is nothing more than a moral treatise. His perverse writings, in contrast, are more effective in highlighting vice and virtue. In his opinion, the two are inseparable elements of human life; one cannot exist without the other. Here, the extreme self-attachment of madness finds full expression in Sade

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