《日出(Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans)》

(from Wikipedia;Fair Use/Fair Dealing)
(from Wikipedia;Fair Use/Fair Dealing)

二月,又到奧斯卡季節。早陣子,剛巧看了這部跟奧斯卡淵源甚深的神作,正好閒談一下。

這部也是在康文署的回顧展看的,是茂瑙(F. W. Murnau)的作品。茂瑙最出名的電影,應該是《吸血殭屍(Nosferatu》。看過那一部黑暗的作品,很難想像他會拍這樣一部雅緻可人、朝氣勃發的小品。也許朝氣活力/黑暗陰沉,是他內心一直存在的矛盾?這可能是對的,所以他後來又拍了《禁忌(Tabu, a Story of the South Seas》這樣的片:樸素、有生命力,但也有揮之不去的陰魂。

話說1929年舉行的第一屆奧斯卡,有兩個可稱為「最佳電影」的獎項:「Outstanding Picture」「Unique and Artistic Production」。《日出(Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans》贏得後者,戰爭片《Wings》贏得前者。當年,兩個獎同樣是最高榮譽獎項,用意是表揚不同類型的出色製作。

到1930年,第二屆奧斯卡,學會決定不再頒發「Unique and Artistic Production」,將「Outstanding Picture」定為最高榮譽獎項,並追溯生效;這個獎的名稱改過幾次,就是現時的「Best Picture(最佳電影)」。《日出》就這樣,無端被褫奪「最佳」電影的榮銜,也是唯一獲頒「Unique and Artistic Production」的電影,真夠unique

本片的特色之一,是很少字幕卡。茂瑙在1924年的舊作--《最後一笑(Der letzte Mann)[The Last Laugh》--已表演過幾乎不用字幕卡的神技。比較起來,《日出》不過是一部詩意小品,情節單純,應該更容易用畫面交代;而結果,當然是遊刃有餘。

本片雖云默片,但其實只是沒有人聲對白。茂瑙選用了當時新發明的「Movietone」聲畫同步系統,所以本片附有音效和配樂,是應用這類技術的先驅。

少了對白,就要靠攝影和場面。今天看,依然出色。本片贏得三項奧斯卡,其中一項正是最佳攝影。其中長鏡頭、鏡頭運動,均是本片(或茂瑙)特色。關於本片的攝影,有一篇文章這樣說:

“The main reason why Fox and the Americans were so amazed by Murnau’s work in The Last Laugh, and why they brought him to Hollywood, was what they called the continuous technique of shooting. D.W. Griffith had invented editing, and in silent films there were many cuts in every scene. Murnau, in opposition, pushed to an extreme the idea of the camera moving like a person through a scene. Remember the scene at the beginning of Sunrise in which the hero (George O’Brien) listens to the city woman whistling far away? The camera is him as it goes through the trees and weeds of the swamp, until it gets to the river and meets the woman of the city. All of that scene is in one shot. There are many other scenes like this in Sunrise – long dollies – and that was unusual at the time. That’s why Murnau was brought to Hollywood, for this special technique he had developed."
Almendros, Nestor. 2003. “Sunrise, which earned ASC members Charles Rosher and Karl Struss the first Oscar for cinematography, has inspired filmmakers around the world." American Cinematographer, Volume 84, Number 6. Retrieved from http://www.theasc.com/magazine/june03/sub/index.html

(該文其實不止談攝影,也談本片的背景逸事。)

步出教堂,在馬路上旁若無人地漫步接吻那一段,背景由街道、變原野、再變回街道,實在漂亮得難以置信。找到一篇文章圖文並茂地介紹本片的特技,也介紹了所用的技巧和幕後功臣。雖然只是擷取了靜態畫面,但也足堪窺探本片的美感:

NZPete. 2010. “Murnaus’ SUNRISE – silent storytelling with sophisticated optical effects." Retrieved from http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.hk/2010/06/murnaus-sunrise-silent-storytelling.html

整部電影,都彌漫著一股夢幻的質感

而令這個夢變得圓滿的,是女主角Janet Gaynor
(她亦憑本片及另外兩片的表現,獲頒第一屆奧斯卡最佳女主角。)

Janet Gaynor演活了的角色:純樸、無邪、活潑、堅忍、寬宏、深情。戲中也特意安排她淡掃蛾眉,衣著樸素,更顯其清麗脫俗。(要雞蛋裡挑骨頭,也只能說她實在太吸引。她一出場,我就被到了!劇情說丈夫被城市來的女人吸引,幾乎想要拋棄、殺害糟糠,太欠說服力…)

F. W. Murnau-Sunrise-Gaynor and O'Brien in Boat
(from Wikipedia;Public Domain/公共領域)
宣傳劇照
(有萌妻如此,還想三想四,是腦殘了嗎?)

Janet Gaynor後來跟茂瑙再合作過一部《Four Devils》,看簡介該片以馬戲班為背景,是較黑暗的題材。

Go-Devil machine invented by Murnau for Four Devils
(from Virtual-History;經裁剪;公平使用/公平處理)
Photoplay, September 1928, p.104.
Retrieved from: http://www.virtual-history.com/movie/page/4404

為了拍攝《Four Devils》的馬戲表演片段,茂瑙又應用了新的攝影器材,將鏡頭運動的技巧再推進一步。雖然該文說是茂瑙「發明」,但其實更可能是茂瑙提出要求,而由霍氏的技術人員設計/發明:

“Since Four Devils took place in a circus, Murnau wanted a camera that could move easily and catch the excitement of the setting. “Naturally the camera must not stand stock still in one spot in such a gay place as a circus!" he wrote. “It must gallop after the equestrienne, it must pick out the painted tears of the clown and jump from him to a high box to show the face of the rich lady thinking about the clown."
The Fox technicians built what Murnau described as “sort of [a] traveling crane with a platform swung at one end for the camera" — in other words, a camera crane, a full year before Universal supposedly built the first one for Broadway Melody. Murnau’s staff called the crane “the Go-Devil," and the director was enthralled with the crane’s utility and grace. “The studios will all have Go-Devils, some day, to make the camera mobile," he commented."
Eyman, Scott. 1997. The speed of sound: Hollywood and the talkie revolution, 1926-1930, pp.171-172. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

茂瑙的預言成真了。到今天,推軌、吊臂攝影,都已是標準的電影手法。

可惜該片已佚失,怕是無緣得見。

猶幸《日出》仍在,實影迷之福。

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