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  • 不断追求是李安成为奥斯卡最佳导演的原因
  • 2014/4/12 11:02:37
  •    在2012年末,一部3D影片因其唯美而梦幻的画面吸引了大批观众,随后更是在影迷中掀起了解读的狂潮,那就是《少年派的奇幻漂流》(Life of Pi)。这部电影使导演李安再次成为奥斯卡最佳导演的热门人选,而对于这位不求安逸的导演来说,《少年派的奇幻漂流》只是他不断进行的电影冒险中的一次新尝试。正如他自己所说,他一辈子都在学习电影。
    Ang Lee was uncomfortable with Life of Pi from the very beginning. He had every reason to be.
    He might be an Oscar-winning director with a trophy case bursting with award-season hardware, but the 58-year-old filmmaker was more than a little out of his element. For starters, he had never worked with a child as his lead actor before. Nor had he ever made a movie set at sea. Or shot a film in 3-D. Or had to rely so extensively on computer graphics. And he had certainly never found himself dealing with a live Bengal tiger before, even in a minor capacity.
    In short, Lee had every reason not to sign on to direct Life of Pi, an ambitious adaptation of what many have called an unfilmable book and a project that a number of directors before him had walked away from. (Among them: M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón and, after two years of work, Jean-Pierre Junet.)
    And all that, Lee says, is exactly why he took the challenge.
    “Once you’re comfortable—I don’t know, maybe I’m just being Chinese or something—when I get comfortable, I think something bad is going to happen,” Lee said in a recent telephone interview. “Like this film, Life of Pi is pretty impossible. So let me make it in 3-D—even more impossible. Maybe it’s safer that way. It’s always haunting the back of my head: If I get comfortable, if I get overconfident, then something bad is going to happen. For real. It sounds funny, but that’s what I went through.”
    He laughed as he said it—at himself, as if in acknowledgment of how silly it all sounds—but that discomfort with the comfortable is one of the engines that has driven Lee’s career. It also explains why his filmography is filled with strikingly varied projects, ranging from the period drama of Sense and Sensibility to the martial-arts action of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to the comic-book smasher of Hulk to the gay-cowboy romance of the movie that made him the first filmmaker of Asian descent to take home an Oscar for best director, Brokeback Mountain.
    Where other filmmakers’ careers are defined by a specific type of film or style of storytelling, Lee’s is defined by utter and absolute diversity. And so Pi, a feature-length parable about an unusually spiritual boy who finds himself adrift in a lifeboat with a live tiger, fits neatly in Lee’s filmography—in that it doesn’t really fit neatly at all.
    It’s a film that—for all of its technical challenges, and despite its “unfilmable” story—very well could once more find Lee on Oscar’s red carpet come Feb. 24, at least if you believe the early Oscar buzz.
    Taking the tiger by the tail
    Lee is an easy person to talk to—friendly, open, not at all shy about deploying his comfortable, contagious laugh. But beneath the soothing tranquility that all but defines his voice lurks an undeniable drive.
    In other words, he might be a nice guy, but he’s no pushover. Rather, he said, he thrives when he’s being tested, when he’s been knocked back on his heels and when he’s not at all sure if he can rise to the occasion. Or when, he says—borrowing a metaphor from Life of Pi—when he’s in a lifeboat with a certain carnivorous jungle cat.
    “It’s like I drift across the ocean with the tiger,” he said. “When you’re being tested, when you’re put on the edge, you do your best. When you’re doing things for the first time, it’s virginal—you have your innocence; you have your best effort. That’s when I feel safe: when you’re not safe.”
    “And here’s the thing,” he added, with a refreshing degree of honesty and a healthy dose of humility, “if you go to war, if it’s unsafe you’re dead. But that’s not going to happen with the movies. You can still flop a movie—you can flop three times—and nobody kills you. It’s not going to kill you.
    “It’s not that bad. You’re only pretending to do something. But you just be truthful to your heart, and try your best, take the risk and how bad could it be? The worst it could be is, yeah, people hate you for making your movie, but that’s as bad as it will go.”
    In an office somewhere, some studio suit is swallowing hard right now. But don’t mistake Lee’s approach as a cop-out to explain away certain movies, or—worse—as a sign of recklessness. You don’t get to where Lee is in Hollywood by being frivolous with a studio’s millions. Rather, where other filmmakers’ fear of failure might prompt them to stay away from the “risk” of new things, Lee is not so encumbered.
    “It’s intimidating. I’m not saying that I’m fearless,” he said. “A lot of times I’ll be bothered by the real situations. I’ll feel responsible. People can guilt me into feeling horrible.... It’s a big investment; people have a lot of expectations on this movie—those are real pressures, and I deal with anxiety all the time.... But, still, I feel good about making the effort, doing something that’s inspiring. There are a lot of positive sides I take that keep me going.”
    “A film student for life”
    Those are the kinds of things that tend to be hard to remember when you’re in the middle of six months of principal photography on a big-budget adaptation of a beloved book. That goes double when the film is being shot largely in a wavetank built in a repurposed airport in Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan.
    Afterward, though, and after the year-and-a-half of post-production required by Life of Pi—and after he turned the film over to 20th Century Fox—Lee doesn’t have to be reminded why he does what he does. Neither does he have to ruminate very long on why he is so reliably drawn to such disparate projects.
    “I’m a film student for life,” Lee said. “It’s fascinating.... (Films are) fascinating adventures.”
    “It’s just, after three or four movies, I like to expand my filmmaking,” he said. “I want to learn different kinds of filmmaking, different places, genres, people who make them, different specialties. Those are wonderful adventures for me. And there’s a lot to learn.”
    对于拍摄《少年派的奇幻漂流》,李安从一开始就有些不安。他的不安是完全有理由的。
    他是奥斯卡最佳导演奖的获得者,他的奖杯陈列柜里也许摆满了各大颁奖季的奖品,但对于这部电影,这位现年58岁的导演却颇感难以自如。首先,他此前从未让一个孩子在他的影片中担任过主演。他也从未将电影的场景设置在海上过,也从未用过3D技术拍摄,同样也从未如此大量地依赖过电脑绘图技术。在这之前,他肯定也没有对付过一只活生生的孟加拉虎,即使只是一只幼虎。
    简言之,李安有足够的理由不去签约执导《少年派的奇幻漂流》。这部电影的原著曾被许多人称为“不可能拍成电影”的书。在李安之前,有多位导演都放弃了这一拍摄计划(其中包括M·奈特·沙马兰、阿方索·卡隆和尝试了两年最终放弃的让-皮埃尔·热内)。
    所有这些,李安说,恰恰是他接受这个挑战的原因。
    “你一旦安逸了——我也说不准,或许因为我是中国人还是怎么的——当我变得安逸时,我就觉得不好的事情要发生了,”李安在最近的一次电话采访中说,“就拿这部电影来说,《少年派的奇幻漂流》在很多人看来是极不可能完成的。那我就用3D来拍——更不可能了。但也许那样做更保险。我的脑海里总是会有这样的想法:如果我变得安逸,如果我过于自信,那么不好的事情就会发生。真是这样。这个听起来很好笑,但我就是这样过来的。”
    他边说边笑——带着自嘲,仿佛承认刚才的一席话听起来多么傻气,但那种对于安逸的不安正是推进李安职业发展的动力之一。这也解释了为什么他的电影作品充满了如此五花八门的主题:从历史剧《理智与情感》到武侠片《卧虎藏龙》,到由漫画改编的轰动大片《绿巨人浩克》,再到以牛仔同性恋情为题材的《断背山》——《断背山》一片使李安成为首位斩获奥斯卡最佳导演奖的亚裔导演。
    其他电影制作人的职业生涯一般都是通过某一类电影或者某一种叙事风格来定义的,但李安的职业生涯却以彻底、十足的多样性为显著特点。因此,《少年派的奇幻漂流》这部讲述一个有着异常灵性的男孩与一头活生生的老虎乘坐救生船共同漂流的长篇寓言,正好契合了李安电影作品的风格——因为它真的与他的其他作品截然不同。
    尽管面临诸多技术挑战,尽管它的故事“不可能拍成电影”,但这部电影依旧很可能让李安再次踏上2月24日奥斯卡颁奖典礼的红地毯,至少如果你相信奥斯卡颁奖前的坊间传闻的话。
    抓住老虎的尾巴
    与李安交谈很轻松。他友好、坦率,毫不羞涩地展示他那富有亲和力和感染力的笑声。但是,在他那几乎是标志性的舒缓、平静的声音之下潜藏着一种无可否认的干劲。
    换句话说,李安也许是一个很好相处的人,但绝不是一个易于击败的人。相反,他说,当他遇到考验时,陷入困境时,完全不确定自己是否能起而应变时,或者,他说——借用《少年派的奇幻漂流》中的一个隐喻——当他和某只食肉的丛林猫科动物待在救生船上时,他反而会有所成就。
    “这就像我和老虎一起漂洋过海,”他说,“当你遇到考验时,当你被逼到悬崖边时,你就会拼尽全力。你第一次做某件事情的时候,它是全新的——你对之毫无经验,你会尽最大的努力。那就是我感到安全的时候——当并不安全时。”
    “是这样的,”他补充道,带着令人耳目一新的诚实和恰如其分的谦逊,“假如你上了战场,如果不安全你会丧命。但拍电影不会发生那样的事。你可以搞砸一部电影——你可以搞砸三部电影——没有人会杀掉你。你不会因此而丧命。”
    “没有那么糟糕。拍戏只是在佯装做某事而已。但是你得忠于内心,拼尽全力,承担风险。坏又能坏到哪儿去呢?最坏的情况就是人们会因为你拍的电影而讨厌你,但最坏的情况也就这样了。”
    此刻,在某个地方的办公室里,某电影公司的高管也许觉得李安的话很难接受。但是不要将李安的态度误解成一种逃避,以此为某些电影开脱,或者更糟糕的,将之看做他鲁莽的表现。假若轻率地挥霍公司数百万的资金,李安也不可能达到他如今在好莱坞的地位。相反,当其他导演可能会出于对失败的畏惧而远离新事物带来的“风险”时,李安却不会因此止步。
    “其实挺吓人的。我并不是说我无所畏惧,”他说,“现实情况常常使我困扰。我会觉得肩负重任。我会对他人产生负疚感,这让我很难受……这是一笔很大的投资,人们对这部电影有很多期待——这些是实实在在的压力,我时时刻刻都在应对焦虑……但即便如此,我还是觉得付出努力做一些令人振奋的事感觉很棒。我的很多积极态度促使我继续这部电影的拍摄。”
    “ 一辈子都在学习电影”
    当你忙于拍摄一部耗时六个月、由一部广受喜爱的书改编而成的预算庞大的电影时,上文所述的种种你就不大会记在心里了。如果这部电影大部分是在台中(台湾第三大城市)一个改造机场里搭建的波浪模拟水池内拍摄的,你就更不会记得了。
    不过后来,在完成了《少年派的奇幻漂流》历时一年半的后期制作后——在李安把电影交给21世纪福克斯电影公司后——他已不需要再记起为何拍摄这部电影了。他也不需要花很长时间来思考自己为何如此沉迷于风格迥异的电影了。
    “我一辈子都在学习电影,”李安说,“它令人着迷……(电影是)令人着迷的冒险。”
    “只是,在拍完三四部电影之后,我想拓宽自己的电影制作领域,”他说,“我想了解不同的电影拍摄方式、不同的地方、不同的流派,认识其他电影人,了解他们各自的专长。这些对我来说都是精彩的冒险。我有很多东西要学。”

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