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第七十期杂志——一堂令人窒息的儿童电影课

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    本帖最后由 小山林卡 于 2017-7-27 19:38 编辑
    “A MONSTER CALLS” AND THE STIFLING LESSONS OFCHILDREN’S MOVIES
    《怪物召唤》——一堂令人窒息的儿童电影课

    关键词:怪物召唤探讨适合儿童的儿童电影


       January 6,2017

    image001.jpg

    Lewis MacDougall in a scene from J. A. Bayona’s new fantasy drama, “AMonster Calls.”PHOTOGRAPH BY QUIMVIVES / FOCUS FEATURES / EVERETT
    刘易斯·麦克道高在J.A.巴约纳的新魔幻电影《怪物召唤》中的一幕。摄影:QUIMVIVES / FOCUS FEATURES / EVERETT

    It’s rare fora film to contain both its self-justification and its self-critique, but that’sjust what the new fantasy drama “A Monster Calls” (which opens today) does, ina scene near its beginning. The movie, which is directed by J. A. Bayona andbased on a children’s novel by Patrick Ness, is the story of a bullied,solitary, and artistic twelve-year-old British boy named Conor O’Malley (LewisMacDougall) who is haunted by a recurring nightmare and coping with the graveillness of his mother, Lizzie (Felicity Jones). When he comes home from anafter-school beating at the hands of classmates, she has a surprise for him:she has set up a 16-mm. projector that belonged to her late father, and shethreads through it a print of “King Kong.” While the simian colossus is facingan air assault atop the Empire State Building, Conor says, “What a bunch ofassholes; why are they trying to kill King Kong?” Lizzie responds, “Peopledon’t like what they don’t understand. They get scared.”
    自我辩白和自我批判同时出现在一部电影中是不常见的,但是现在上映的新魔幻电影《怪物召唤》,却在一开始的场景中做到了这一点。这部由J.A.巴约纳执导的电影是在帕特里克•奈斯所写的儿童小说的基础上改编而成,讲述了一个关于12岁英国男孩康纳•奥•马力(刘易斯•麦克道高饰)的故事。他具有艺术天分,但饱受欺凌与孤立。他被不断重复的噩梦所困扰,同时还要面对重病在身的母亲丽兹(菲丽希缇•琼斯饰)。在学校同班同学那里挨了一顿打的一天下午放学后, 他回到家,母亲给了他一个惊喜:她安装了一部16毫米电影胶片放映机,那是她已故父亲的遗物,她把一卷有金刚封面的电影胶片放进放映机中。当他看到巨型猩猩在帝国大厦顶楼遭受空袭的时候,康纳说:“他们真是一群混蛋,为什么要试图杀死金刚?”丽兹答道:”人们不喜欢未知之物,他们会为此感到害怕。”

    Yet there’s nothing scary in the rest of “AMonster Calls,” nothing that people—adults or children—will fail to understand.The movie delivers its meaning repeatedly to make sure that no one misses thepoint; its lessons, rendered even more explicitly than the ones in Conor’sclassroom, are missing only the chalkboard and pointer. It’s cruel to embed“King Kong” within any movie of such earnest and mild intent, and thecomparison does Bayona’s film no favors. Where the 1933 film operatesenduringly on the senses and the unconscious mind of viewers of all ages, thenew film is toned down and buttoned up in the interest of clearly reasonedcomprehension and educational virtue.
    然而在《怪物召唤 》接下来的部分中并没有令人害怕的场景,也没有令人难以理解的地方,无论观众是成人还是儿童。这部影片反复传递的意义就是确保没有人会忽略重点;这部电影所传达的教育意义比康纳在教室上的课更清楚,只是没有黑板和教鞭。在任何如此真挚温情的电影中插入“金刚”这一角色都显得无比残忍,而这一强烈的对比没有让巴约纳的电影锦上添花。那部1993年的电影在所有观众的感觉和潜意识层面都留下了永久的印迹,而这部新电影收敛沉默的基调是为了让人更清楚合理地理解到电影要传达的教育意义。

    The story begins with Conor’s nightmare, of achurch and a graveyard that collapse in a massive sinkhole that sucks hismother in—a scene that seems pretty on the nose when the mother’s illness isrevealed moments later. Then one night, as Conor sits at his desk and works onsome drawings, the room rattles and the wind gusts and he opens his windowand—well, it’s no spoiler to say that a monster calls. There’s a church and agraveyard in view through his window, and there’s also a massive tree, and thattree is what pays him a visit. It’s a gigantic, gnarled thing, rough with barkand shaggy with branches, with fire pulsating in its limbs and roaring in itseyes. The monster’s imperious yet soothing bass voice is provided by LiamNeeson; it has no name, but from the time it appeared onscreen I thought of itas Treeson. And Treeson is a monster with a plan.
    故事是从康纳的噩梦开始的,在噩梦中,教堂和墓地都倒塌了,陷进了一个巨大的深坑里,而他的母亲也被卷入其中。这一场景看起来迫在眉睫,特别是不久之后他母亲的病情暴露。在那之后的一个夜晚,那时康纳正坐在凳子上画画,房间咯咯作响,外面刮起了狂风,他去开窗,然后——怪物召唤着他,这可不是剧透。从他的窗户望出去,眼前有一个教堂和墓地,还有一棵大树,正是这棵大树在召唤他。它巨大多节而扭曲,树皮粗糙枝桠浓密,枝干似有火般跳动动,双目燃着熊熊烈火。怪物专横傲慢又低沉的声音是由连姆·尼森配音的。它没有名字,但在它出现在屏幕的那刻起,我就想到了树怪这个名字。树怪是一个身怀计划的怪物。

    Treeson takes Conor in his fist, King Kong-style,and makes the boy an offer he can’t refuse: first, the monster will tell himthree stories, and then Conor will tell him one—“and it will be your truth, thetruth that you hide; your nightmare will be your truth.” The three stories arelegends of sorts, ones that grow ever closer to the stuff of Conor’s life. Thefirst is about a prince whose father, the king, remarries and provides the heirwith a classic evil stepmother. Treeson exposes the timeless tale to somejournalistic fact-checking and, in the process, teaches Conor to suspendjudgment before the facts are in. The second skips from an ancient kingdom tothe nineteenth century, where an “apothecary” whose potions are derived fromthe yew tree—the same variety as Treeson—is called upon to heal the daughtersof a skeptical parson. There, too, Treeson intervenes in a paradoxical way toteach the boy something about faith and fidelity. In the third, Treeson murmursa story in Conor’s ear about an invisible man, and the result is an act ofschoolroom violence remarkably similar to one that occurs (to far greatereffect) in Barry Jenkins’s film “Moonlight.”
    树怪用手将康纳托起,像金刚那样,并向他提出一个他无法拒绝的条件:首先,妖怪会告诉他三个故事,而康纳也要告诉怪物一个故事——“这将会是你自己藏在内心的一个真实故事;而你的噩梦将会成真。”这三个故事都是传说,每一个都和康纳的生活息息相关。第一个故事是有关一位王子父亲的故事,也就是国王,他再娶了一位妻子,带给他儿子一个典型的恶毒继母。树怪在讲述这个传奇故事的同时结合了一些新闻业里常常出现的真相核查,在他讲述的过程中,他提醒康纳在没有了解所有事情前,先暂时别作出判断。而第二个故事,从那个古老的王国跳到了19世纪,那时有一位药剂师,他用紫杉制了药水(树怪的原身也是紫杉),用来治疗一个形迹可疑的牧师的女儿。这里树怪也用一种矛盾反论的方式教了这个男孩一些有关于信仰和忠诚的道理。最后一个故事,树怪在康纳的耳边低语讲述一个隐形人的故事,而其中校园班级暴力的结果和巴利•杰金斯的电影《血色月光》中讲述的故事非常现实(这里的影响更广大)。

    Bayona presents Treeson’s tales as floridlyold-timey animations blending computerized figures and décor with watercolorand collage, an effect that offers moments of delight until the taut tetheringto Treeson’s voice kicks in—and the lessons that he delivers take over. Becauseof his mother’s illness, Conor is spending lots of time with his rigid anddomineering grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and is then forced to live with herin her stuffy, stifling, child-unfriendly house. Conor’s father (Toby Kebbell)lives in Los Angeles and puts in a rare appearance, taking him to an amusementpark for a day of passing pleasure that doesn’t make a dent in Conor’s crisis.But, as Conor ultimately learns, only “yew” can help yourself—by facing up tothe unreconciled inner conflicts and mixed emotions that are represented indreams and nightmares, and taking their lessons to heart.
    巴约纳用绚烂华丽的怀旧式动画呈现了树怪讲述的故事,画面混合了计算机绘画的特点和带有水彩画和拼贴画风格的装饰,这种画面效果提供了短暂的欢愉时刻,直到树怪扣人心弦的声音进入, 然后他带来的故事含义占了风头。因为他妈妈的病情,康纳大部分的时间都和他那古板又专横的祖母(西格妮·韦弗饰)呆在一起,被迫和她一起住在她那闷热的枯燥、令人窒息、连孩子都不愿意走进的房子。而康纳的父亲(托比·凯贝尔饰)住在洛杉矶,很少露面。他带康纳去了一个游乐园,在那里消耗了一天的愉悦,但这没能够减少康纳的危机感。经历了以上种种,康纳最终意识到,只有“紫杉”能够帮助自己——通过直面出现在所有梦中(包括噩梦)难以解开的内心矛盾和错综复杂的情绪,并将它们所带来的教训铭记于心,从而找到最后的解法。

    Themechanistic storytelling of “A Monster Calls” isn’t satisfying, but it doespack another, overriding lesson, one that reflects my own experience as alifelong movie-viewer and as a parent whose children, now grown, displayedcinematic eccentricities akin to my own.
    机械化地讲述《怪物召唤》 的故事并不能让人心满意足,但是这确实带来另一种效果,这重要的一课,让我--一个作了一生的电影观众和拥有孩子的家长,从两个不同的角度反思我的人生经历。我的孩子现在也在成长,他们也经历着他们如电影情节般的离奇经历,也和当年的我相似。

    As a boy I, like Conor, adored stories of monstersand had the good fortune to catch the end of an unironic, pre-“Mystery ScienceTheater 3000” wave of low-budget, high-concept science-fiction films and luridnightmare shockers that got broadcast on after-school TV. These movies may havebeen stark and dramatically unsophisticated, but they weren’t children’s films;they involved nuclear war and teen lust, technological bewilderment and naturalwonders. They weren’t Shakespeare or Dickens, and they were full of motives andplot points that I didn’t get. But their strangeness shook something deepwithin, and instead of helping to resolve troubles in practical ways, theyexpanded the very sense of what it was to have inner worlds and imaginarylives. They may have been childish in a sense, but they didn’t come packagedwith smiles or suffused with good cheer or with gaud that evoked the concept of“wonder” and “magic”; they had as much brass and grit as the streets outside.The joy of such fare in childhood was the joy of not understanding, of facingmysteries not in order to put them together or to solve them but to revel inthem, not to put together pieces of a puzzle but to make constructions andfantasies of my own, and to imagine that there was a world that I couldn’t yeteven imagine.
    作为一个男孩,我就像康纳一样,喜欢有各种怪物的故事,而且我也很幸运的赶上了《神秘科学剧场3000》之前的低预算、高越概念的科幻电影浪潮的尾巴,也看到了各种足以令人噩梦的放学后电视节目。这些电影画面质朴,情节也不是很复杂,但不适合儿童观看;有涉及到核战争、青少年的性欲、科技带来的迷惘还有自然奇观。他们没有跟随莎士比亚或者狄更斯的风格,他们有自己的主题还有我看不懂的情节。然而这种奇异性震撼到了人的内心深处,他们没有专注于如何用实际的方法来解决麻烦,而是放大了内心世界和虚构生活中所具有的感知。在某种程度上算他们可能是幼稚的,但他们没有用成打的微笑或或华丽俗气能让人想起‘神奇’或‘魔法’的东西来填充画面。他们真实粗糙如粗糙的街面。在童年时遇到的这般喜悦不是成人能够理解的。这股喜悦在面对神秘事物时不是选择去整合或者解决他们,而是陶醉其中;面对谜团时不是去把所有碎片集合起来,而是去构造自己的幻想,去想象一个我甚至无法想象的世界.

    My daughters, when they were little, watched theirshare of children’s movies, too, and I joined them enthusiastically. But theywere far more taken with newer teen comedies and romantic comedies, musical andcomedy and film-noir classics: “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Dragonwyck,” “The PajamaGame,” “While the City Sleeps,” “Some Like It Hot.” I don’t think that theirtemperaments are exceptionally attuned to such movies by the accident of mywork as a critic. Rather, I think that the very notion of the children’s movieis, too often, a coup of marketing that comes disguised in the very virtuesthat the movies purvey. The most potent conditioning of children’s movies is toprepare children to watch the movies that will come along at every age; thetimeless tales of children’s movies keep them captive in the styles and tonesof the eternal now. Their subject is imagination, and their purpose isn’t tospark it but to channel it, to put it to work, whether overtly, in the moralsolution of practical problems, or covertly, as a consumer. At a moment when,thanks to streaming video, there’s more audiovisual work available at the touchof a button than was playing in the whole world in the age of “King Kong,”there are monsters far more free-spirited and liberating than Treeson forchildren to call upon.
    在我的女儿们还是小孩的时候,她们也在看属于她们的儿童电影,我也会热情地参与其中。不过她们看的大多是新的青少年喜剧和爱情喜剧、音乐剧、纯喜剧和经典黑白电影:《雨中曲》、《神秘庄园》、《睡衣游戏》、《夜阑人未静》和《热情如火》。我并不认为因为我是一名评论家的缘故恰好能让她们的性格与这类电影相适应。相反,我觉得所谓的儿童电影概念,不过是一件号称富含所谓电影传达核心的而穿上了市场营销的大衣罢了。最能改变现代儿童电影现状的方法应该是让孩子们去看合年龄电影;儿童电影中用不褪色的童话故事能让自身停留在其永恒的现今里,保持着不变的基调和风格。儿童电影的主题是想象,但是其目的并不是想激发想象力,而是与想象力相连,运用它,不管是在用道德方法去解决实际问题的公开场合上,还是仅是作为一位消费者的私自情况下。当下,多亏了流媒体,我们只需按下按钮,就有比金刚时代统计公开播放的数量更多的影视作品可供选择,而现在除了树怪,还有更多奉行自由精神的怪物等待着被孩子们‘召唤’。


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