Saturday, 20 November 2010

《金鎖記》

今晚去看魏海敏演新派京劇《金鎖記》,乘車時匆匆的把原著翻看了一回。

帷幕開處,驚覺曹二奶奶就在眼前。雖然坐得很遠,還是覺得臉上被她那些話裡的尖刺不經意地掃過,刮得隱隱生疼。然後看著她教兒子抽鴉片、給女兒纏小腳、在親戚面前胡說八道數落媳婦兒,一陣陣像烏鴉鳴噪似的獰笑,聒耳之極,一股砭骨的寒意從心底裡冒升,彷彿劇場的溫度斗然間降到了零下。

魏海敏果然名不虛傳。看她謝幕時五體投地,我何嘗不是佩服得五體投地?

編劇王安祈、趙雪君兩位女士,大概早把祖師奶奶的原著看個熟透,咀嚼爛了,融血入骨,才寫得出這樣情辭並茂的故事來。素來不太喜歡京劇,就是因為文詞稍嫌鄙俗;如今這部《金鎖記》,卻教人耳目一新,刮目相看。也許只是自己孤陋寡聞,以前沒機會看到真正的大手筆而已。

只是,這個戲即使再好,實在不能多看;要是看多了,難保不會潛移默化,讓曹二奶奶的嚦嚦鶯聲把心底裡潛藏的牛鬼蛇神喚將起來,那可大事不妙。

Friday, 19 November 2010

《舞台姊妹》

剛去看進念的《舞台姊妹》,體驗一下在舞臺上面對觀眾的感覺。坦白說,一小時四十分鐘的演出,一直沒看懂。直到完場後聽了石小梅的一席話,才明白過來。

原來她們在演自己,在沉緬於自己的過去,在表述自己的現在,在預覽自己的將來。

難怪五位江蘇崑劇院不同輩份的演員和何秀萍(藝名「何Lily」的唱片騎師)沒有對白、沒有交流,只有自我陶醉。

也許有人會問,為甚麼要花錢花時間看人家自我安慰?我本來也以為自己會割櫈抗議,結果沒有。既來之則安之,我想,自己早已習慣貨不對辦,唯有盡力讓自己心裡舒服一點、平伏一點。

其實,崑劇的身段很好看。其中一位,在排練《牡丹亭》的折子。用扇子連演帶唱聲情並茂的唱了幾段,把扇子放下。又一位,連扇子也不用,只練袖子功,把一幅長長的薄紗當頭蓋和水袖,舞得甚是好看,最後卻把它扔到地上踩成一團。比較年輕的一位,在舞臺前端跳秧歌,跳了很久,愈跳愈快。終於慢了下來,十根指頭化作孔雀的冠冕和長袍,活潑靈敏、搖曳多姿。石老師背著觀眾坐在角落裡,有點像導演,也有點像觀眾,不過不是普通的觀眾,而是團裡的導師,在舞臺後方看著臺前的同事或後輩。只有何秀萍像幽靈一般在臺前踱來踱去,最是無聊。

崑曲也很好聽。少年時不覺得怎樣,老了才聽出一點滋味來。如今才明白,有時候不用聽懂曲詞,光是音調的抑揚頓挫,也足以令人心搖神馳。最後出場的一位應該和石老師同輩的,兩人輪流演唱一段崑曲,大概就是主題曲罷?全曲七字八句,看來像七律。全文記不住了,只記得最後兩句:「無奈異鄉夢斷處,從此殊途不同路。」

最後,六人又重新坐到臺前,面對觀眾。戲到了這裡,才算有點味道。

人生本來就是孤獨的。不過人生在世,總會碰上其他人,要和其他人相處,佛家給兩個人相遇的機會取了一個浪漫的名字,叫作「緣分」。緣分來了,就聚在一起;緣分盡了,那就散夥。殊途不同路,根本就是人的宿命。可是即使多麼豁達的人,只要想起來了,總是難免有點傷感。蘇東坡說得好:「但願人長久,千里共嬋娟。」既然緣分不可永久,親如父母兄弟也一樣,那就互相祝福,希望大家都好好的過日子吧。

雖然人大多喜聚不喜散,但只有身體在一起,心裡各有盤算,那又是甚麼滋味?看著眼前的演員聚集在臺上,但卻各自忙著自己的事情,有人跳舞、有人唱曲、有人練功。那麼,應該算是有緣,還是無分?

姊妹,原是親暱的血緣,也是相知相敬的真情。但在《舞台姊妹》裡,卻看到令人不忍卒睹的孤獨和疏離。石老師說從別人身上看到年輕的自己而感動,其實是感慨,還是悸動?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

On West Kowloon Cultural District

I feel guilty of not sharing my two-cent worth on the West Kowloon Cultural District as early as I want. But the tremendous workload at school just leaves me with little energy to thinking and writing other issues of interest and significance.

My understanding of the purpose of having the six-month public consultation and exhibition is to answer this simple question: "Which option do you choose?" If this is true, then let me give a simple answer: The blueprint of Rocco Design Architects that was inspired by Qingming Shanghetu, a masterpiece of painting that captured in incredible details the metropolis life of Kaifeng in the heyday of Northern Song (960-1127). An animated version of this painting is now on display in Hong Kong, but the official English translation of Riverside on Qingming Festival may not be fully accurate, because the words "Qingming" carries two different meanings in Chinese and there is no evidence to confirm which one was meant by the painter.

So much off-topic for now. Let me get back to the key issue. If I opt for Rocco Design Architects' proposal, the next question would be: "Why?" To explain the reasons of my choice is surely more difficult. But let me try to articulate my thoughts in simple and straightforward terms. I choose Rocco Design Architects' proposal because I think it resonates well with the metropolis character of Hong Kong.

For one thing, I think Mr Rocco Yim and his team have a good grasp of what Hong Kong needs and how we can make the most out of this mega project. Their conceptual framework of the project is succinctly summarised by the title of the project, "Cultural-Connect: Key to Sustained Vitality". To me, "Connect", "Sustained" and "Vitality" are the three key words to the whole project. "Culture", ironically, does not matter too much now because it is such a notoriously broad concept that we would never be able to reach consensus on it. Why waste our time then? We have already wasted too much time on meaningless criticism and debate since the project was first initiated. Our priorities should now focus on how to move things forward. In my opinion, however, it is important to ensure that the facilities in the project are flexible enough to accommodate different forms of art and cultural activities to be performed there.

Connectivity of the design is by all means impressive. I really appreciate the idea of having ferries to connect Central, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and North Point. In fact, if the government refuses to reverse its decision to remove the Star Ferry Pier at Tsim Sha Tsui, perhaps it could be relocated to the West Kowloon Cultural District instead.

For sustainability, suggestions on renewable energy, waste reduction and recycling are to be applauded, but the effectiveness of these devices remain to be seen.

What impresses me most is the layout of the so-called 3D public space. Actually I don't really care if this is 3D or 4D. It is the logical and thoughtful layout that warrants my vote. It looks obvious to me that broad and deep thoughts have been given in the allocation of space with the need and convenience of users as the priority.

For example, the Xiqu Centre and the Xiqu Square will be located to the east end of the project, near Jordan and Yau Ma Tei. Arguably, the Xiqu compound will be the most accessible due to its proximity to public transport networks such as MTR, bus and minibus along Austin Road and Canton Road. Jordan and Yau Ma Tei are also among the oldest areas of development and home to many elderly people. Presumably, they are the largest group of target audience of Chinese opera programmes. Easy access to public transport and proximity to their homes can be expected to attract more attendance for Xiqu performances. It also makes sense to assign workspace and the humanities centre in the more accessible locations of the project for the convenience of users and people who will work there. With these thoughtful devices I feel confident and convinced that the project will be able to connect other parts of Kowloon and evolve into an organic, sustainable project.

However, my primary concern with Mr Yim's proposal is the residential property at the back of the project. As we have seen in many residential complexes developed on or near MTR stations, there is little connection and organic development with the local communities around them. It will be an immense challenge to integrate the new residential blocks with the existing, old communities around them and regenerate them into an organic creature.

The proposals put forward by Foster & Partners and OMA have some distinctive advantages. The concept of City Park with extensive green space and heavy vegetation ("Urban Forest") is by all means refreshing and motivating. But there does not seem any logic in the layout of facilities. Or perhaps I'm just too stupid to figure out. For OMA's proposal, I think the height and density of buildings are too high, and, more importantly, the concept of "village" just doesn't sound right for Hong Kong. The idea of putting a wet market in the project is great in terms of showing the hybridity and daily life of Hong Kong, but I am concerned how it can be coalesced with the rest of the project.

So, my vote goes to Mr Yim and his team.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

電影雜評

終於有時間收拾書桌的雜物,赫然發覺幾張電影票尾,原來這幾個月看過的電影真不少呢:《Toy Story 3》、《Inception》、《線人》、《龍鳳店》、《狄仁傑之通天帝國》、《Grown Ups》、《劍雨》和《告白》。種類不同,本來很難比較,就隨便說說印象較深、觸動較大的幾部罷。

自問對美國的卡通片興趣不高,看《Toy Story 3》純粹是為了解悶,即使之前的兩集口碑載道,至今仍未觀看。故事寫來曲折熱鬧,電腦動畫技術高超,確是賞心悅目。只是沒想到這是給成年人看的故事,難怪引起那麼多朋友在網上高談闊論。電影的教訓很簡單,就是珍惜資源,不要隨便丟棄;但今天的家庭大都是小孩太少,大人太多,幾乎個個小孩都給寵成了呼風喚雨的小皇帝,教他們要珍惜?能聽懂多少?反而戲裡玩具朋友的主人長大之後,怎樣對待玩具的感情和態度,頗能引起成年人的共鳴。還有垃圾焚化爐裡一大群玩具朋友面對危險不離不棄,手牽著手閉上眼睛、一起顫抖著身子等死那一幕,真教人熱淚盈眶。那份純粹真摯的感情,就像《射鵰英雄傳》裡在蒙古草原上騎馬嬉戲的童年郭靖和拖雷,沒有階級、沒有計算、沒有比較,可說是人生最快樂的時刻。但是現在某些家長連小孩子在學校裡跟甚麼人做朋友也要過問,咱們成年人是不是應該痛定思痛反省一下,自己怎樣剝奪了小孩最單純的快樂,再向學校投訴怎麼沒把自己的小孩教好?

《Grown Ups》說的也是友誼,本來以為能引起一些共鳴,結果沒有。平心而論,電影水準只屬一般,最搶鏡的始終是Salma Hayek。幾個麻甩佬屎尿屁連珠炮發的友誼大概也不是我輩所能體會。

在Facebook友儕間掀起熱潮的《告白》,不知怎地,我看來只覺一般。攝影、配樂水準之高是有目共睹的,只嫌太刻意了些。尤其是以輕快、純真、充滿青春氣息的音樂來反襯血腥暴力的場面,諷喻實在太明顯,反有矯情之嫌。電影中提出的問題都是老生常談了,但表達不算有力,除了賣弄天使臉孔魔鬼心腸、殺人不見血的不安與恐懼,實在看不出能造成怎樣的震撼。

松隆子的演出不如預期中突出,出格的應該是她飾演的角色罷?全片演得最好的應該是橋本愛(飾北原美月)、西井幸人(飾渡邊修哉)和藤原薰(飾下村直樹),即是戲裡殺過人的中學生。《告白》之所以造成震撼,坦白說,不是片中的青少年太變態,而是成年人太一廂情願。以前香港也有不少所謂「童黨」殺人搶劫,同樣造成很大轟動,可是未成年的犯人即使惡貫滿盈,也不會得到和成年罪犯一樣的制裁。這就是因為法律「假設」兒童和青少年的心智未成熟,不會干犯殺人之類的嚴重罪行。問題是,這種假設符合實際情況嗎?為甚麼要對青少年那麼寬容,讓他們以為殺人越貨也不用負責?戲裡戲外的事例不只一次提醒我們成年人,青少年心術不正、漠視法紀的情況不容忽視,他們也不一定是因為一時意氣而犯罪,往往都是經過精心籌劃的,但卻可以利用年齡的優勢扮無知博同情,減輕應有的罪責。歸根究柢,都是因為社會和教育制度出現了嚴重偏差,只培藝、不培德,才智比心術重要,一己之私比公義、公德重要,就是這麼簡單。我們不能諉過於青少年打得太多暴力遊戲而導致心理變態,因為這是咱們一手造成的。既然如此,為甚麼我們仍是停留在喜歡窺探血腥場面和變態的階段,沒有深思、不肯對症下藥?明年就是辛亥革命一百周年,但現在我們和清末那些被魯迅痛批、愛看死囚行刑、嗜血無知的鄉民有啥分別?

若要嗜血、追求感官刺激,我寧願看武俠片。武俠片和功夫片不同,總有一股仗劍江湖、快意恩仇的浪漫;而功夫片往往著眼於拳腳功夫的比併,少了一份浪蕩江湖、逍遙自在的情懷。

所以,很喜歡《劍雨》。因為導演拍出了久違了的浪漫。全片流暢可喜,沒甚麼冷場,武打場面細致精巧,賞心悅目。很喜歡曾靜和江阿生在茶館避雨那幾幕,兩人無語相對而情愫暗生,溫馨動人。那是在波詭雲譎的氣氛中難得一段旖旎風光,含蓄有致,餘韻無窮。所以即使《劍雨》的情節沒甚麼新意,犯駁之處頗多(其實被人刺中要害多次而不死,是武俠小說主角獨有的「專利」,有甚稀奇?張無忌、令狐沖不也是給人刺穿胸膛而不死嗎?反而高僧遺體竟是絕世神功秘訣所在,一群武林高手搶奪兩截乾屍,實在難以令人信服,而且畫面太噁心……),還是覺得很好看、很喜歡。

論劇本深度和學術基礎,《Inception》應是眾片之冠。竊以為《Inception》是近年科幻電影的傑作,編導科學造詣深厚,把科學理論與電影元素巧妙結合,成為娛樂、藝術、學術兼備的上乘之作。看到最後,可能每個觀眾的看法也不一樣,但至少也能從中深思人與人之間的關係,鼓起勇氣面對真正的自己。不知怎地,我看完之後,首先想到的卻是「莊周夢蝶」的故事。莊子不知道是自己夢見了蝴蝶,還是蝴蝶夢見了自己,其實和戲裡的inceptors一樣分不清現實和夢境,不是很相似嗎?其實在這個文過飭非、包裝當道的年頭,有時候連現實是怎麼樣,也不像以往那麼篤定了。