中国肖像电影评论(2019)|Roger Ebert
Chinese Portrait movie review (2019) | Roger Ebert
2019-12-23 23:35


December 13, 2019   |  


Wang Xiaoshuai's latest movie works so splendidly on its own self-contained and easily divined terms you could watch it without knowing anything about the Shanghai-born director and still walk out stunned. Of course, the payoff of this work is all the richer if you know the course the director took from studio misfit beleaguered by distribution and self-esteem problems to well-liked and promising director of "Beijing Bicycle"—the kind of neo-Neo-realism international film festivals still love—to wave-riding miserablist director of scoring studies of casualties of China's cultural revolution. He leaned more heavily on a depressive longing and woozy inevitability than did, say Jia Zhangke, to name one of the better known directors from the period known as China's Sixth Generation. Life haunts the characters in his movies, who only realize what they've had to live with when looking back at who they were. His characters watch from the outside as tides wash over their existences, precious things are stolen, glories forgotten, potentials smothered. His two latest seem to share nothing but Wang's sharp eye and melancholy form, but they're instructive about the kind of cinema with which he's wrestled all his life.

王小帅的最新电影作品如此精彩,它自成一体,容易理解,你可以在不了解这位出生于上海的导演的情况下观看,仍然会感到震惊。当然,如果你知道这位导演从受发行和自尊问题困扰的“不适合”工作室,到手刃喜爱和有前途的《北京自行车》导演——那种新现实主义国际电影仍然喜爱的导演——到中国文化大革命伤亡者德分研究的波浪主义导演,这部作品的汇报 会更丰富。他更倾向于抑郁的渴望和细弱的必然性,贾樟柯说,他是中国个第六代导演时期最著名的导演之一。生活萦绕在他电影中的人物身上,他们只有在回顾自己的过去时,才意识到自己不得不忍受 什么。他陛下的人物从外面看着潮水冲刷着他们的存在,珍贵的东西被偷走,荣耀被遗忘,潜能被扼杀。他最新的两部电影似乎只分享了他敏锐的眼光是忧郁的形式,但他们对他一生奋斗的那种电影很有意义。



Wang's latest is the gargantuan Golden Bear-winning family drama "So Long, My Son," which follows two families for 30 years, charting the aftermath of the cultural revolution and the period in which Wang began making his own art. "Chinese Portrait" is like the minimalist B-side to that monumental work and it's disarmingly simple in its methodology, one suspects because to film people simply, one must have been quite the reprieve for the dogged social realist. To spill the blood and mine the tears of forgotten men in a country grey with industry, where no life matters beyond the labor it can provide, is a burden even as it gives an artist the world. "Chinese Portrait" spends time with the real people his movies were based on in the places they're rarely seen. He pulls out the incident and characters that color his cinema and places them back in the context from which he plucked them, deconstructing his world like he were spreading the parts of a car on a garage floor.


"Chinese Portrait" is comprised of about 60 non-fiction vignettes. In many of them there are groups of people who remain stationary and some who look directly to camera, letting the audience know that the scene isn't exactly purely objective. In other words Wang had to pose them, at least to an extent. The business that goes on around the lone "subjects" still feels spontaneous, like he had an agreement with just a couple of people and assured the rest of the people in frame that they could ignore the camera. Some of them do feel like traditional portraits brought to life, like the group of children standing with their minder in front of a remote village, neither moving nor smiling, as if waiting for a single picture to be taken. They're all rewarding, in compositional terms, as the errant components flutter past the steadiness of his fixed figures and the somber backdrops.

“中国肖像”由大约60个非小说短文组成。在许多场景中,有一群人静止不动,有些人直视镜头,让观众知道场景并非完全客观。换句话说,至少在 某种程度上,王不得不摆出这些姿势。围绕孤独的“实验对象”进行的交易仍然是自发的,就像他只和吉格人达成了协议,并向镜头中的其他人保证,他们可以忽略摄像机,他们中的一些人确实感受到,传统肖像被赋予生命,就像一群孩子和他们的看护人站在一个偏远的村庄前,既不动也不笑,好像在等待一张照片被拍摄。用作曲的属于来说,他们都是值得的,业务那些错乱的部分,在他固定的身影和阴郁的本哦赢下颤动着。

Critic Michael Sicinski has already pointed out Wang's debt to documentarians James Benning, Peter Hutton and Nikolaus Geyrhalter, building on his pronounced affection for Andrei Tarkovsky to an anxious study of momentum and stasis as the essential tension of the people he's filming. The new reference points help him suggest in blocking and framing what it costs us to stop being productive. In essence it's the refusal of the action around the people staring at the camera that is the one constant. Everything else changes, from the cameras he uses to the year (it was shot over a decade). Even the most desolate of villages and workplaces display progress, whether in the form of men tending great yawning furnaces in factories or men dotting the corners of the frame like ants going about their business. One of the few compositions with no active participants shows people walking in the bottom third of the screen on a muddy path. Behind them in the middle third are old cars, a crumbling series of houses, and an excavator digging up the earth to make room for new developments, represented by the stark and unappealing apartment complexes in the top third. The film can, in just a few seconds, tell you everything you need to know about the China Wang sees; a mud-slicked construction site where promise is perpetual and no one ever just gets to live.

影评人Michael Sicinski已经指出了王小帅欠世界纪录片摄影师James Benning,Peter Hutton和Nikolaus Geyrhalter的债务,这是建立在她对安德烈-塔尔科夫斯基的强烈喜爱之上的,他对动量和停止的焦虑研究是他所拍摄的人物本质张力。新的参考点帮助他建议阻止和框架什么成本,我们停止生产。从本质上来说,人们对镜头的拒绝才是永恒之处。其他的一切都变了,从他们使用相机到那一年(拍摄时间超过10年)。即时是最荒凉的村庄和工作场所也显示出进步,无论是人们在工厂里修剪巨大的熔炉,还是人们像蚂蚁一样点缀着墙角。少数几张没有积极参与者的照片中,有一张显示人们走在屏幕底部三分之一的泥泞小路上。中间三分之一的是旧汽车,一系列的开发项目腾出空间,最上面三分之一的是简陋而毫无吸引力的公寓楼群。这部电影可以在几秒里面告诉你需要知道的关于中国王看到的一切,一个泥泞的建筑工地,承诺是永恒的,没有人只得到生活。



This documentary is in many ways a self-portrait as well as a look outward. Wang himself appears on camera a few times, including on a train looking at the camera, a cigarette in his hand, his homeland flying by out the open window behind him. His movies have always been about the way progress and constant "revolution" makes his characters feel small and out of place. Here he shows himself in their stead, trying to pay tribute to the place and the people who, like him, are dwarfed by the towering currents and endless drive. Even when he sets foot outside the populous towns and cities and finds horses in a field, they're biting each other's fur in a funny embrace, scratching an itch they can't get to. The few minutes Wang captured are of people ignoring the motion all around them seem radical in the face of the dehumanizing effect of progress, the bane of his cinema's existence. Staring at a camera, confronting us in the audience, asking us wonder what if anything is normal about life in a modern civilization constantly dredging up and rebuilding itself. Where does the self fit into the endless momentum? Wang asks us to construct the inner lives of the students staring at us while their classmates do their work, the men stitching fishing nets on the dock, the man in the hardhat with his back to the construction vehicle making more buildings to accommodate more people. As Wang's China grows past predictions about its growth and government, as each corner of the country becomes impossible to film without the drapery of moving bodies and their shadows, what becomes of everyone's identity?


My personal favorite of all of the many compositions here is the first, in which nine men in drab uniforms and miners' helmets lean and crouch around a length of track bisecting the frame. Some of their faces are hard to make out thanks to the shadow of the mine itself or because they're a little too far from the camera, but the way they stand is telling about their outlooks, the way they're used to their jobs. Suddenly a length of cable starts moving and it becomes clear they're watching as something is being pulled up from the mine out into the light. There's no little suspense generated by the anticipation. What's coming up from inside the earth? Probably nothing exciting, but the speed increases and these men just stand there watching. Just when it feels like the payload has to enter the frame, there's a few small light leaks in the film and then it cuts. The reward for their efforts is unknowable to us, and suddenly their nonchalant stances seem political. Their rewards for their efforts are unknown to them, too, as this work will manifest nothing else but more work. "Chinese Portrait" is a stunning work of photography and a simple work of empathy that asks, "How much goes into making sure we all get to just live?" The world, our lives, will get away from us, this is almost certain. Stopping and simply staring at your surroundings, dreaming the interior lives of the people we pass, imagining the hard labor that went into sculpting every place we stand, it may seem like a small thing. But today it's one of the only things that seems truly revolutionary. 


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