魁北克法語電影和法國電影的一脈相承
The Shared Lineage of Quebecois French Cinema and the Cinema of France

文:黃國兆 Freddie Wong

記得年輕時,對藝術媒介的多元性,抱持相對開放的態度。除了市面戲院公映的主流電影,有時會在第一映室 、火鳥等等電影會的場合,觀看另類的實驗和動畫短片。那時,加拿大的諾曼麥卡倫),是一個響噹噹的名字。

印象中,那時會看到的加拿大電影,一般都是法語對白的𣁽北克電影。原因顯然是語言和文化的差異。加拿大的官方語言是英語和法語,但英語顯然比較強勢。拍英語片的加拿大導演,很容易便融入美國荷里活的工業體系,許多本來是加拿大籍的導演,因為長期拍攝荷里活片,因此早就被「誤認」為美國導演。例如以《月黑風高殺人夜》(1967)獲得奧斯卡最佳影片金像獎的著名導演諾曼朱維遜 ,本身就是出生於多倫多的加拿大裔美國導演。

過去在康城影展揚名立萬的加拿大導演,也是以拍攝英語電影為主,例如,拍過《慾望號快車》(1996) 的大衞哥連堡,以及拍過《性感俱樂部》(1994) 的艾湯伊高揚等。不過,也有一些本來拍攝法語電影的魁北克導演,例如丹尼斯維爾諾夫 ,因為法語片成績驕人而被美國的大公司羅致,轉而拍攝荷里活大片,包括《毒裁者》(2015)、《天煞異降》(2016)和《銀翼殺手2049》(2017)等。

今次的魁北克影展,會放映維爾諾夫十年前的法語電影《理工學院屠殺案》(2009) 。雖然影片的黑白攝影,某程度上已減低血腥暴力的感覺,但影片的屠殺場面,仍相當令人震撼。原來校園槍擊案並非美國獨有,這些年加拿大也發生過兩次嚴重的校園槍擊事件。本片的成績,比起美國導演吉士雲辛當年在康城奪得金棕櫚大獎、以1999年美國俄勒岡州校園槍擊案為背景的《大象》(2003),也不遑多讓。

魁北克的法語電影,由於同聲同氣,同文同種,跟法國電影有非常密切的關係。看加拿大的法語電影,感覺上跟看法國電影差不多。克勞德朱特拉的《安東尼叔叔》(1971),當然不是積大地的《我的舅舅》(1958)。一般而言,相對低成本的製作,得以保持獨立電影的創作自由度和個人風格。《安東尼叔叔》借一個少年的目光,讓觀眾體驗人生的苦與樂,充滿淡淡的哀愁。朱特拉的電影語言成熟精煉,是魁北克電影的殿堂級人物。

早年在康城闖出名堂的另一位魁北克導演是米修布洛特,他以一齣紀錄片風格的黑白電影《命令》(1974),奪得康城影展的最佳導演獎。魁北克的法裔加拿大人,基於語言、文化的差異,亟欲脫離加拿大而獨立。影片敍述當年魁北克出現了分離組織,綁架了兩名政要,加拿大治安當局大為緊張,濫捕無辜市民,不經審訊就刑事拘留,鋃鐺入獄。雖然最終獲得釋放,但各人所受的屈辱和驚嚇卻毫無補償。像加拿大這麼文明的國家,也曾出現這種蔑視人權的恐怖情況,真不敢想像「引渡條例」若然通過,香港市民將要面對甚麼局面。

魁北克法語電影和法國電影的緊密關係,可以從我個人的一點經歷略窺一二。七十年代後期,我當過法國著名導演阿倫歌爾勞的助導,也因此而得知,原來加拿大法語電影也有兩位同名同姓的電影人,一位是名作《攝影師JA馬田》(1977)的收音師,另一位則是硬照攝影師。事實上,歌爾勞導演、伊夫蒙丹主演的犯罪片《假局》(1977),也是在加拿大實地拍攝。

至於尚皮亞利費華導演的《藍波逝去的故鄕》(1977),也是魁北克和法國合作,女主角之一竟是法國女演員Myriam Boyer,而她是我當助導的法國片《禍水紅顏》(1979) 片中的女配角,而兩齣戲的角色都叫做Jeanne。至於監製之一的Hubert Niogret,也是我認識多年的法國著名影評人,近年專門拍攝亞洲電影的紀錄片,2012年就拍了一齣有關胡金銓的紀錄片。

今年在康城影展的「一種關注」單元,看到的A Brother's Love,也是非常法國口味的魁北克電影,愛情、親情、兄妹之情,不停的啜核對白,不停的進餐場面,充滿對哲學和人生的討論,裡面提到的包法利夫人、福柯等等法國文、史、哲元素,如果不是那些法語對白有着濃濃的加拿大口音,我真的以為是看了一齣法國電影呢!

説了這麼多閒話,只是想說明魁北克法語電影和法國電影一脈相承的關係。至於再進一步的瞭解,就留待大家觀影時發掘了。

英文翻譯:羅鍵鏘)

When I was young, I had a relatively open-minded attitude towards the diverse variety of arts. Besides the mainstream fares in the theatres, sometimes I would watch experimental films and animated shorts at Studio One and Phoenix Cine Club, among other occasions. At the time, Canada’s Norman MacLaren was a prominent name.

I remember most of the Canadian films I’ve watched at that time were mostly French films from Quebec. Though both English and French are the official languages of Canada, English had a stronger presence. It was easy for Canadian directors who made English films to integrate into the Hollywood film industry. A lot of Canadian directors have been mistaken as American directors because they had been working in Hollywood for a long time. For example, Norman Jewison, who directed the Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night (1967), was actually born in Toronto, Canada.

Among the Canadian directors who have made their names in Cannes, most of them are known for making English films, such as David Cronenberg (Crash, 1996) and Atom Egoyan (Exotica, 1994). However, there are Quebecois directors who began their careers in French. After a string of success with French films, Denis Villeneuve was recruited by big American studios to direct films including Sicario (2015), Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017).

Villeneuve’s black-and-white French film Polytechnique (2009) will be part of this Quebecois program. The monochrome images may have lessened the bloodiness, yet the film’s mass killing scenes remain shocking. Turns out school shooting does not only happen in the US, as there have been two serious mass shooting incidents in Canadian schools recently. This film’s achievement is no less than American director Gus Van Sant’s Palme d’Or winning Elephant (2003), which is based on a 1999 school shooting in Oregon.

Perhaps because of its closeness in language and cultural background, Quebec’s French cinema has a very close relationship with the cinema of France. Surely, Claude Jutra’s My Uncle Antoine (1971) is not Jacques Tati’s My Uncle (1958). Generally speaking, the relatively low-budget productions allow independent films to maintain their freedom of expression and personal styles. Jutra’s film lets viewers experience the joy and pain in life through the eyes of a teenager. His film language is mature and sublime in this subtle and melancholic feature, which cemented his place in the pantheon of Quebecois cinema.

Michel Brault is another Quebecois filmmaker who made his mark at Cannes. His black-and-white docufiction Les Ordres (1974) won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Because of the language and cultural differences, Quebec’s French Canadians have longed for secession from Canada. The film chronicles the kidnapping of political figures by a Quebecois separatist group. It was a time of great political turbulence, as the Canadian government arrested many innocent citizens and held them for a long time without a trial. Although they were eventually released, the authorities never made up for their pain and suffering. Even in a civilized country like Canada, such acts of blatant human rights violation could occur. I cannot fathom what Hong Kong citizens will have to face if the extradition bill is passed.

I can tell you from my experience the close relationship between Quebecois French cinema and cinema of France. In the late 1970s, I had worked as the assistant director for acclaimed French director Alain Corneau. Hence I found out that there were two French Canadian film workers of the same name. One of them was the sound man for JA Martin Photographer (1977) while the other was a still photographer. Also, Corneau directed Yves Montand in the crime thriller The Threat (1977), which was shot in Canada.

Jean Pierre Lefebvre’s The Old Country Where Rimbaud Died (1977) is a collaboration between Quebec and France. One of its lead actresses Myriam Boyer is also featured in Série Noire (1979), for which I served as assistant director. Coincidentally, her characters from both films are named Jeanne. As for its producer Hubert Niogret, he is a renowned French critic whom I have known for a long time. In recent years, he has specialised in making documentaries about Asian cinema. In 2012, he made a documentary about King Hu.

This year, I have just watched A Brother's Love at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. It is a Quebecois film with a strong French flavour—romance, familial relationship, non-stop stinging dialogue and numerous dining scenes. The film is filled with discussions about philosophy and life, with mentions of Madame Bovary and Michel Foucault. If it wasn’t for their unmissable Canadian accent, I would have thought I was watching a French film!

All these musings are just my way to show the shared lineage between Quebecois French cinema and the cinema of France. It is up to you to discover a deeper level of understanding when you watch the films.

(English translated by: Francisco Lo)