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獨立焦點 趙德胤
INDIE FOCUS MIDI Z


 

回來,先離開

Home coming is made

possible first by departure.

 

 

窮人。榴槤。麻藥。偷渡客

Poor Folk

 

華新街記事

Huashin Incident

 

歸來的人

Return To Burma

 

摩托車伕

Motorcycle Driver

 

 

冰毒

Ice Poison

 

沉默庇護

Silent Asylum

回來,先離開

文:張偉雄

 

驟眼看,趙德胤是另一個蔡明亮,看他怎樣用王興洪,就像蔡明亮用 李康生。他們皆於南亞出生,在台灣唸書,藉著電影發亮發光,貫徹 地拍自成一格的電影。趙德胤至今三部長片都是差不多的場景(緬甸 邊境市鎮,他的家鄉),差不多的人物(阿洪、三妹:他認識的人), 差不多的故事線(出外、回鄉、找工作),都有摩托車穿梭郊道,興 洪男兒心緒貫穿其中。三妹的故事由最先《歸來的人》(2011)的家 常聽聞,現身為《窮人。榴槤。麻藥。偷渡客》(2012)最後一段不 歸路上的失神女子,到了《冰毒》(2014),看吳可熙的演出,我想 說趙德胤的「陳湘琪」出現了。被逼離鄉別井的三妹,一直變奏演化, 演繹農村女性集體的莫名掙扎。「歸鄉三部曲」展現一種回望願景, 要先離開過然後回返;命運安排,趙德胤的哥哥到泰國打工,《歸來 的人》的小弟阿德就到馬來西亞,同代人也有不少不合法進入雲南, 而他來到台灣,獲得電影的哺育。

 

趙德胤也像是個侯孝賢的學生,而他明明就是,他是第一屆金馬電影 學院的學員,畢業短片《華新街紀事》(2009)就是由院長侯孝賢監 製,不是掛名的,看那兩場打殺戲:拿刀對峙喊打與伏擊,鏡頭在遠 處捕捉演員的在場生活感,正是侯導那一家。長鏡頭有很多種,趙德 胤其實不大夠條件站得那麼遠,有時他反而走近,像《歸來的人》市 集選購摩托車那一場人車間偷拍,他就是懂得觀察之道。

 

處於邊界的自覺,在必定漂泊的地境裡寫照眾生,趙德胤孕育出獨特 的寫實語境。他拍的不是無中生有的人與事,是那些未有條件或不被 批准在電影裡存在的映像。然而只要趙德胤在,它們就在,而且,以 他獨有的方式存在。教人津津樂道是《冰毒》三妹在車站遇上阿洪的 偷拍段落,兩個演員混在人群裡不被察覺,因為鏡頭在高處而注視著 時間地點,她問價,謝絕其他車伕,終於選了阿洪那部摩托車,上路 回家,順流迎風的獵影,命運起步,緬甸謙虛的電影文化,在趙德胤 率直及妥當安排下於焉衍生。

 

我還是從趙德胤苦心孤詣的映像裡遇見了楊德昌的影子,那是儒家傳 統精神在心底似有還無的反覆辯證,楊德昌的儒者困頓是在城市化的 生活,趙德胤珍重的價值觀還可在農莊老人家身上找到;他們知天地, 知道不可不變,沒有長長訓誨,好好生活就是了。耕牛退場就像他們 一輩人老去,讓年輕人換一部摩托車,起碼仍可自己做主。周圍是毒 販的剝削,趙德胤明白莊稼人的善良本質,他的角色都不輕易沉淪偷 歡,犯險時都謹慎警覺,《冰毒》是精神磨滅內心失神的案例,悲劇 說到底還不是甚麼都沒有的悲劇,失手的人還是大自然的孩子。

 

在全球化急促步伐下的農村,賴活亦是抗拒精神磨滅的一課。命運作 弄防不勝防,像《摩托車伕》(2008)的主角,在準備佔人便宜前先 吃一虧;容或是現實強暴的逼害,在《沉默庇護》(2013),王興洪 在台北荒屋帶頭自白身世,回憶慘痛的民主運動,忍著眼淚作見證。 趙德胤有一部城市短片叫《一個人主義》(2010),女主角自我放逐, 在台北公園釣男生,拒絕還鄉,給自己給男生玩一個從受害者到加害 者的角色扮演遊戲。她當然也是個三妹,只是未準備踏出歸鄉一步, 要人提醒著回家的路。趙德胤曾經在一次訪問中說得清楚:「其實一 個人,如果離開你的家鄉,或離開你的過去比較親密的東西,你可能 就一輩子,再也回不到原點了。」

 

趙德胤的電影,就是看守家園,追蹤實在的人,親近流動生態,或毋 忘不動大地,映像是那心跡之鄉,是精神與眼前現實的自證。綠色是 趙德胤影片的定調顏色,《摩托車伕》的男生買新車就選了綠色車身, 是大自然的顏色,家的顏色,闖過禍,遭過殃,也有一點安慰。驟眼 看趙德胤是反全球化的,但他不是按貧富定義去拍,一切鋌而走險背 後都是立身安命。或者,趙德胤最令我聯想起的導演是陳翠梅,他們 都是天生如此,是離家不遠的孩子,他們的電影都是貧窮映像,富足 胸襟。

 

Home coming is made possible first by departure. 

Text: Bryan Chang Wai-Hung

 

At the first glance, Midi Z is yet another Tsai Ming-liang. The way he handled actor Wang Shin Hong reminds you of Lee Kang-sheng in Tsai's movies. The two directors were both born in South Asia, then studied in Taiwan and to be known by their movies that are unique in style and persistant in theme. The three feature films Midi Z made so far surrounded familiar scene settings (Burmese town near border, homeland to the director); familiar charactors (o'Hung, Sam Mui are both personally known to the director); familiar storyline (departure, homecoming, job hunting etc.); accompanied by the presence of motorcycles travelling across country roads. All of these are interwoven with Wong Shin Hong's sentiments. The story of Sam Mui first appeared as a hearsay in Return to Burma (2011), then embodied by Poor Folk (2012) as the hallucinated woman. With the performance of Wu Ke-xi in Ice Poison (2014) , I would say the very Chen Xiang-Qi of Midi Z's have come to life. Being forced to leave her homeland, Sam Mui had been developing in changes, only to illustrate the hidden struggles collectively experienced by women in rural villages. "Homecoming Trilogy" has a retrospective vision—to depart only to return. As if it is an irony of fate, Midi Z's elder brother works in Thailand, while his little brother o'Tak in Return to Burma went to Malaysia. Among his peers who illigally entered Yunnan, the director went to Taiwan instead and was nurtured in film.

 

Midi Z is, not surprisingly, a student of Hou Hsiao Hsien. Being the first batch of apprentice in the Golden Horse Film Academy, Z had Hou as his producer in his final year short A Chronicle of Huaxin Street (2009). You can spot Hou's influence in the two fight scenes: first a threatening stand-off with knife, the other one an embush. The living presence of actors were captured by camera from a distance. There are many kinds of long lens shot. Midi Z does not always have the previlage of filming from afar, sometimes he approaches instead. Take the sneak shot in motorcycle market in Back to Burma for example, it shows the director's mastery in observation.

 

Midi Z developes his uniquely realistic context through a self consciousness of being at the periphery together with a continuous portrayal of many lives in destined diaspora. Z doesn't film people and events out of thin air, he favors images that are not qualified or forbidden by cinema. Midi Z enables the existence of those images, with his very own way. What is fascinating about Ice Poison is the sneak shot scene when Sam Mui met o'Hung in the station. Actor and actress mingled in the crowd unsuspected, with a camera catching exact time and place at top. Sam Mui checked out the prices and rejected other motorcycle drivers and chosed o'Hung. Together they hit the road home, flow with the silhouettes in the wind and, life begins. The humble Burmese film culture is well elaborated by Z's candid and appropriate arrangements.

 

I still recognize a touch of Edward Yang in Midi Z's crafted imageries. It is a faint Confucian spirit engaged in dialectics. The Confucian anxiety of Edward Yang is caused by an urbanized life, while the values that Midi Z treasures can still be found on the elder in the farm. The elder knows the law of nature well, and that change is for certain. He doesn't tell you off besides asking you to live your life in full. Ox retires from farming, what a metephor for the aging generation. Allowing the young man to trade in a new motorbike is one of the few decisions that he still can make. Surrounded by exploitation by drug dealers, Z understands the kindhearted nature of the farmer. His role is not likely to indulge in desire. He keeps alert and prudent even in situtaions of emergency. Ice Poison is an example of eroded spirit and despire. A tragedy ultimately is not one that is left without nothing. Those who tripped and fallen, are still sons of mother nature.

 

For rural villages under the rapid pace of globalization, surviving with a bare life is a kind of resistance. It is hard to escape the trick of fate. Be it the character in Motorcycle Driver (2008) who get punished before taking someone's adventage; or the role of Wang Shin Hong in Silent Asylum (2013) who was prosecuted, took lead in self-confession in a abandoned house in Taipei, and recalled the painful history of democratic movement. He served as a bitter witness. Midi Z once made an urban short called Solitary-ism (2010), the line goes with the main actress who put herself on an exile, hooking up with random guys in the park. She refuses to go home, puts up a role playing game of victim-oppressor. She, of course, is another "Sam Mui", only that this time she is not ready to take the path home, and needs some guidance. Midi Z explained it quite clearly in an interview, " If you leave your homeland, or to be parted from something intimate from the past, it is very possible that throughout your whole life, you can never go back to where you were."

 

Midi Z's films are always about safe-guarding the homeland, tracing down real people, getting close to the flowing ecology, or simply not forgetting the ever existing earth. The imagery is homeland to that will; it is in itself an evidence of spirit and reality. Green is a basic tone to Midi Z's films. The boy in Motorcycle Driver chooses the colour green for his new bike, that is the colour of nature, colour of home. It is a bit of a comfort after all the hazards and troubles. At first glance Midi Z is anti- globalization, but he does not make films to define rich and poor, instead all risks taken are attempts to be contented. Let me put it this way, Midi Z reminds me of Tan Chui Mui the most. They are both born to be kids who cannot be too far away from home. Their films are full of images of poverty, but are rich in content.

 

 

 

 
 
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