FRIENDS (中譯:命運之戀) (2002)

最近經同事介紹,看了一部日韓合拍的電視劇《FRIENDS》。

這劇集早在唸中學時已在偶像雜誌上看到了,當年也有些興趣收看,但不想花零用錢買光碟,而且那時候網上資源又少,所以就沒機會欣賞了。

隔了15年再看,別有一番風味,那些妝髮和畫質雖早過時,但現實生活中再也看不到這種裝扮,反而覺得很新鮮。

起初以為故事的結局如戲名所暗示,二人會選擇維持朋友關係。隨劇情發展,越來越感到身為主角朋友的配角們對推動劇情的重要性。例如,韓語教室的同學給智子的中肯意見,告訴她日本女生跟韓男戀愛在金錢上的困難、智勳友人不厭其煩地代他回信給智子、內衣店女同事在智子的追求者面前潑冷水,並勸智子到韓國找智勳等事件,處處看到友情對愛情的支持是很重要的,終於明白為甚麼這部戲劇取名《FRIENDS》了,因為身邊的朋友對主人公的戀愛有著超乎預期的影響。

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智子追求愛情的機會成本較少,可以說離開日本就離開日本,因為她沒有需要放棄的事業。

 

【一隻手數】葉念琛出品

說不懶也沒人信,2016年看的戲,2017年才寫感想。要不是錄了個聲音檔,以及在年末整理資料時發現它,這些想法可能就不見天日了。

1. 題材日常,主角的職業大多是打工仔,將「香港仔」擺上銀幕,但非完全寫實,因為有配樂和靚人。

2. 節奏有如香港人的生活,不拖泥帶水,對白乾淨沒廢話,單獨看沒特別,但前後影射時頗有化學作用。

3. side story line比主線更感人:唐寧。

4. 不喜歡葉念琛作品的人往往能下一子指出不討喜之處,這也是風格鮮明的印證。

5. 泛駁金句:「我愛你係人都識講,但我忍你係要做架!」(其實我愛你都要做。而我愛你同我忍你其實又冇矛盾架喎。)

言葉之庭 後感 My Thoughts on The Garden of Words

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(1)

《言葉之庭》男主專注設計鞋子,啟發吾以「工匠的心」從事寫作。

(2)

雖然畫風、配樂、剪接很優美,但故事無法感動吾。
「男女主角從未一起生活過,憑甚麼確定之後會幸福呢?他們真了解對方嗎?」
從這般反應,發現自己的電影喜好有明顯改變。
以前喜歡看二人如何相愛,現在喜歡看二人如何相處。
因為真正戀愛過,不再停留於幻想,現在會有關切現實的提問。

(3)

我行我素之如吾,有時候也會懷疑,當個現實主義者,好像會活得舒服一點。
這一兩年,不少舊同學都成家了,而吾跟《言葉之庭》女主角一樣,行動比「標準時間表」落後很多。
但,每個人的性格和價值觀都不同,優先次序也沒必要一樣吧?
要是吾跟她們一樣,重視生活多於情感,做起決定應該會更明快。
偏偏,吾生來就是敏感纖細,做人生決定會顧慮很多。

【一隻手數】哪一天我們會飛

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1. 中途播有廣東話歌詞的主題曲(不是soundtrack,是主題曲,oh my god),將感情spoonfeed觀眾,完全抹殺想像空間。

2. 師生吹紙飛機那一幕不值花一分鐘拍攝。手工飛機在電影一開始便是兩位男主角的獨特標記,代表他們的青春與夢想,其他角色(他們的師弟師妹)跟手工飛機沒有發生過故事,那一幕感覺他們只是在鬧著玩,播甚麼音樂也營造不出追夢的氣氛。想透過畫面打動觀眾,但故事太單薄,這樣做等於浪費菲林。就節奏、鏡頭、對白而言,這不是一部讓觀眾自由想像的文藝片,是一部主題很明確的商業片,卻有在禮堂吹紙飛機之類拖慢故事進度的畫面,令人無所適從。

3. 女主角余鳳芝尋找男二蘇博文的興致,跟她得知他的死訊後的反應似乎不成正比。故事一開始就沒有交代女主角這十幾年少了一位重要朋友該有的感受,她似乎過得好好的,如果不是因為出席同學會,也不會想起蘇博文此人,偏偏她懷疑老公有外遇就第一時間想起蘇博文而不是其他人,合理嗎?尋找蘇博文的過程中,女主角想起很多過去三人行的畫面,好像一起經歷了許多,但女主角長大後的人生觀不見得受過蘇博文甚麼影響,依然是個沒大志而且性格不鮮明的普通女人,到故事尾聲,真相大白時卻又哭成淚人。少女余鳳芝變成中女余鳳芝的過程在觀眾看來是一片空白的,當中的感情轉變也是枝離破碎,難以引起共鳴。

4. 本劇有不少underdeveloped的角色,例如包括校監、舊同學Cindy、一夜情的對象。要令一個故事豐富,不能只靠main roles,有些側面描寫,要靠side cast才做到。可惜除了三位主角,配角的戲份少得可憐(趙學而僅出場兩次),如此疏離的人物關係,豈能伸展出一個背景豐富的成長故事?

5. 這是本土派會喜歡和支持的電影,若是拿走香港的元素,故事本身其實很難打動人心,因為人物的心理刻畫不夠細緻,人與人之間的牽絆亦欠缺舖排。拖垮這部電影的不是演員,也絕對不是道具組,是不夠成熟的劇本。

東尼瀧谷

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2014年12月25日晚窩在家裡看這部代改篇自村上春樹同名短篇小說的電影。一開始narrator以mono-tone交代時局背境有點沉悶,但隨故事突破性的發展而漸入佳境。
孤兒長大成機械插畫家。有一技之長,也不算完全孤獨吧!至少有可以倚靠的專長。
寂寞到聽到秒針聲,從小聽到大,只是在女主角登場的時候暫停過。
經過秋季濾鏡處理似的畫面。
protagonists接narrator的話,有點像stage drama monologue的演繹法,但僅此一句。
吃炸豬排和沙拉的架式很俐落。
男主角的髮型變化:頹廢的長髮 -> 俐落的短髮 -> 短髮加眼鏡
鏡頭focus on女主角的腳。 (去除其他特色,只專注於購物狂的性格)
宮澤里惠讓我見識到何謂衣架身型,而且她笑和不笑完全是兩個人。
爸爸死後也留下很多CD,像處理妻子的衣服般。人死,衣服失去生命的根源。留下一堆衫的心情,該如何形容?這電影做了一個很好的示範。
男主角真的愛過妻子嗎?愛她些甚麼呢?單純脫離孤獨的話,隨便找誰也行,也許,再insensitive的人,都有審美的需求吧!
結尾的時候,男主角說:「把感情投進記憶以外。」亡妻的前男友找他:「『那傢伙』令你吃不少苦頭吧?」不准他叫她「那傢伙」。說穿了只是逃避無常。不過他也說道:「忘了很多事,但忘不了聘請回來的女子試穿妻子衣服時哭泣的場境。」算是體會到同理心的美麗。
寂寞 -> 不寂寞 -> 回歸寂寞 (前面的寂寞和後面的寂寞是一樣的嗎?)
* 日本那麼多精於一樣事項的達人,難不成很多這類獨行俠?所以善於描寫這類人的村上春樹會這麼受歡迎?

Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman

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When people marry royalty, they rarely think about what it means. They only admire the glam, but overlook the responsibility and the stressful pondering upon every decision making.

I wouldn’t have watched this movie if it wasn’t my colleague who is also my favourite movie-going partner suggesting, mainly because the promotion hadn’t reached me. I am indeed glad that she has invited me accompanying her because this movie has filled some two hours in my life with third hand experience as a, not just famous, but, iconic woman, Grace Kelly. I am also glad that I haven’t checked the critics on Rotten Tomatoes as the movie received poor ratings there and I might have skipped it.

I could totally see why its reviews are bad. It is just a very simple and easy plot narrating the post royal marriage life of a famous actress. The conflicts are blatant and the resolutions are predictable. The ending is celebrated by the protagonist’s refined public speech. It is your typical Hollywood film. Despite all, I will say thank you to the movie, for a very personal reason: it brings me back to the time when I studied movies briefly in college. It is commercial movie like this which gives me a sense of fulfilment when I could quickly identify certain elements adapted by directors, for example, the priest and the French teacher are there to re-educate the protagonist, the way it does in every bildungsroman.

There are scenes which remind me of what I’ve learned in woman studies as well. My friend jokingly commented that I was wandering away a bit too far from the subject as I shared my thoughts after the movie. But I do believe this story is gender specific. Think about it. Will a famous actor have to leave his industry for good after marriage? Most likely not. But then again, will a successful male celebrity ever allow himself to be called “marrying up”? To help a country where one isn’t born in build good publicity through fully immersing to its customs, language and culture, and doing so for the sake of romantic and family love is, I dare say, exclusively a female undertaking.

Several philosophical questions came to my head along with the staging of the main character’s identity crisis through she looking at her mirror reflection. So she misses Hollywood. What if she chooses to return? Is it guaranteed that she will be happier as an actress? Spiritually speaking, she may have to learn what her marriage is supposed teach her no matter where she is. Besides, is she really abandoning herself if she takes up the princess role? Because, who is she before she takes up acting? Her inner voice never directly speaks to us, but seemingly she has come to the understanding that life is the biggest stage and she is simply extending her career from the cinema to reality, isn’t she? All these smell of my existentialism class…

And of course, I never not play the playwright at the end of a show. This story can easily turn into a tragedy if Grace’s husband, the prince of Monaco, distrusts her investigation into his sister’s betrayal. She will then be something more than what Kidman portrays through her sharp and defensive glare at the ball surrounded by frenemies — a total loser in both family and career.

Walking out of another movie in which music and costumes thoughtfully selected and paired to facilitate the storytelling, I caressed the irony takeaway outside the entrance of my realistic existence: While Grace has to pay more for the basic human need of love with her higher social status, moviemakers and we moviegoers have to make such a fuss to reflect upon some elementary wisdom in life through a heavily edited version of life.