焦點導演 ― 積葵・大地
DIRECTOR IN FOCUS ― JACQUES TATI

放映片目 Screening

我的舅父MON ONCLE (MY UNCLE)

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遊戲時間 PLAYTIME

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聰明笨伯蠱惑車 TRAFIC (TRAFFIC)

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法國笑匠積葵・大地
THE FRENCH COMEDIAN, JACQUES TATI

 

戰後法國影壇出現過兩位自導自演的喜劇大師,一位是1907 年出生、1949 年首次執導劇情長片的積葵•大地(Jacques Tati),另一位是1928年出生、1962年首次執導的皮爾•愛 泰斯(Pierre Etaix)。無獨有偶,兩人二十多年導演生涯中, 只拍過五齣劇情長片,但已足以確立他們作為喜劇泰斗的地 位。

愛泰斯目前仍然健在,他的五齣影片曾經一度塵封數十年, 數年前才得以重見天日,也發行了DVD和藍光碟。至於積 葵•大地,早於1982年去世。他的電影我主要是在七十年代 中後期在巴黎唸電影時第一次看,當時已佩服得五體投地。 到最近,他的精采作品又以全新數碼版本重新發行,令新一代 觀眾為之眼前一亮。

《節日》Jour de Fete 距離二戰結束不過三四年光景,積 葵• 大地以鄉間小鎮的節日趣事為主要內容,自己粉墨登 場,飾演郵差 Francois;雖然蓄了小鬍子,形象跟後來的于洛 先生(Monsieur Hulot)大為不同,但已窺見其獨特的表演風 格。影片著重淳樸的田園風味,據知拍攝時有黑白和彩色兩 個版本,當年公映了黑白版本,後來又發行了彩色版,我看到 的已是後一版本。

1953年,積葵•大地拍攝了《于洛先生的假期》 Mr. Hulot's Holiday,對法國人的度假狂熱,有非常生動有趣的描寫。又 或許是這齣電影的出現,令法國人對每年度假的訴求更是振振 有詞。那個年代,度假不一定要到外國,就算是一家人開車 到南部海灘,或去東部深山樹林走走,也是一大快事。我在 法國升學那幾年,深深體會到法國人度假大過天的心態,每年 七、八月是法國人放假的高峯期。各行各業,幾乎有一半人 輪流度假,連醫院也減收病人。

五年後,積葵• 大地再接再厲,自編自導自演了《我的舅 父》Mon Oncle,片中于洛先生的形象開始深入人心。這位 法國仁兄,個子高高,無論晴天雨天,老是落雨「三件頭」的 裝扮:雨傘、帽子、乾濕褸,偶爾提着小行李箱,還有吊脚 褲,都是他的生招牌。《我的舅父》甚少對白,演出風格接近 默片以至默劇,但卻非常強調有聲片的聲音元素,例如水聲、 車聲和日常噪音等等。編導挖苦了現代社會的所謂物質文 明,往往只是庸人自擾、作繭自縛。

由1949年到1971 年,積葵•大地只拍過五齣劇情長片,但 已被視為法國國寶級導演兼演員。他的電影具有強烈的視覺 風格,著重超前的意念,以及幽默感和人情味;作為喜劇,因 為含蓄細膩,充滿飄逸的詩意,不會令人捧腹大笑,亦因此不 算特別賣座。這或許解釋了他為何二十多年來只拍了五齣電 影。《我的舅父》當年獲得康城影展評審特別獎、奧斯卡最佳 外語片等多項殊榮,令積葵•大地雄心勃勃,於1964年開拍 70mm 大製作《遊戲時間》Playtime,但影片因為製作費超 出預算而導致製片人破產。然而,我們不應以票房成敗論英 雄,《遊戲時間》洋溢著現代感的佈景和美術設計,到了今天 仍然令人瞠目結舌。

作為車迷,我最喜歡的是197 1 年的《聰明笨伯蠱惑車》 Trafic。片中最令人嘆為觀止的是那輛Renault 4 露營車。由 于洛先生設計的Renault 4,在運往車展途中要經過邊境檢 查站,編導藉此為露營車作了示範。車尾箱打開,可豎立帳 篷,可拉出小几和小凳。車頭的「鬼面罩」,可以拉出電熱網 作燒烤。車身中間可以電動延長,提供更舒適寬敞的休憩空 間。車廂中當然還有電視機,有手動唧出梘液的瓶子,有花 灑頭、有熱水可供淋浴。車尾燈可拉出來當手電筒用,也有 磁力可以「黏」在帳篷頂當電燈用。此外,還備有小型廚房, 有煤氣煮食爐,有自來水,煮食器具、咖啡壺等等。上述這 些設備,全部都是隱藏式設計。這輛小車可說總結了積葵• 大地以至大部分法國人的度假情意結。

文:黃國兆 (資深影評人、導演) 譯:李潔慧

 

After the Second World War, two comedy masters, who wrote and acted out by themselves, emerged in the French film cinema. One is Jacques Tati, who was born in 1907, with his debut directing film in 1949, and the other is Pierre Etaix, who was born in 1928, with his first-time director film in 1962. Coincidentally, in over 20 years of their director careers, they both produced only five feature films, but could already establish their status as comedy masters.

Pierre Etaix is still here with us. His five features had been forgotten for a few decades, and were brought to light again a few years ago. DVDs and Blu-ray discs were issued as well. As for Jacques Tati, he passed away as early as 1982. The first time I watched his film was when I studied film in Paris in the late 70s. I have already fully admired him. In recent, his great pieces have been re-issued in digital form, which will catch the eyes of viewers of the new generations.

Jour de Fete is set in the post-World War II period, Jacques Tati depicts the interesting festive stories of the country as the main thread. He plays a role himself and acted as the postman Francois. He wears little moustache, giving a very different image from his later role Monsieur Hulot. From this, his unique style of performance can be observed. The film focuses on simple rural tastes. As far as we know there are both the black and white and colour versions. At that time, only the black and white version was screened in the cinema. The colour version was issued later on as well. The version of I watched was already the last version.

In 1953, Jacques Tati filmed Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, lively and interestingly depicting the holiday craze of French people. Perhaps the release of this film makes the French people more plausible their appeal for annual holiday. In that period of time, people did not have to spend their holiday in foreign countries. Even if the family drove to the southern beach, or go to the eastern mountains of woods, it could also be a great pleasure. The few years I studied in France enabled me to deeply appreciate the attitude of Frenchman towards holiday as to having priority over everything else. Every year in July and August is the peak season for the French to go on holiday. Almost half of the people take turns to go on holiday in all walks of life, even the hospital reduces the intake of patients.

Five years later, Jacques Tati continued to make his efforts in writing, directing and acting in Mon Oncle. The image of Monsieur Hulot, the character in the film, began to imprint in the hearts of the audience. Regardless of the weather, this tall Frenchman always dresses in his "three pieces" rain gears: an umbrella, a hat, a trench coat. The small suitcase he carries and the hanging pants he wears contribute to signature satirical image Tati built. Mon Oncle is nearly dialogue-free with its performing style resembling silent films and mimes, but with a great emphasis on the sound elements, such as water, cars and other noises we hear in our daily lives. He highlights in sarcasm about the so-called materialistic civilisation of modern society, mocking people for courting troubles for themselves and being caught in the trap they set.

From 1949 to 1971, Jacques Tati produced only five feature films, but has already been regarded as a great national actor and director of France. His film has a strong visual style, focuses on advanced ideas with a sense of humor and human compassion. A subtle and delicate comedy, which is full of graceful and poetic charm, does not make people burst out laughter, so it does not particularly attract audience. This may explain why he had only produced five films in over 20 years. Mon Oncle won the Jury Special Prize of Cannes in 1958, the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1959 and many other awards, and this made Jacques Tati ambitious. In 1964 he shot the 70mm film Playtime, which was a big production at that time. The film production ran out of budget, leading to the bankruptcy of the producer. However, we should not judge if the film is a success or failure by the ticket sales. Playtime is filled with modern scenery and art design, and is still staggering today.

As a car enthusiast, my favorite film is Trafic produced in 1971. What makes me gasp with profound astonishment is the camper van Renault 4 designed by Monsieur Hulot. Along the plot, Renault 4 needs to get through the border checkpoints when it is being transported to an auto show, Tati so then showcases different functions of the camper van in the film, such as opening the trunk to erect a tent, and pull out a small table and stools. The "ghost mask" at the head of the car can be pulled out for electric heating grid for barbecue. The camper van can be extended electrically to provide more comfortable and spacious leisure space. Of course, there is a TV in the compartment, a soap liquid bottle, a shower head, and hot water for shower. The rear lights can be pulled out and used it as a torch. It can also be stuck on top of the tent as a lamp, because it is coated with magnet. In addition, there is also a small kitchen, gas cooking stove, water tap, cooking utensils, coffee pots and so on. All of these devices are in hidden design. This little camper van may be able to sum up the craze of Tati and most of the French people about going on holiday.

Author: Freddie Wong Kwok Siu
(Film Critic & Director)
Translation: Vicky Lee