節目介紹
Introduction

日本六十年代電影的獨立與革命:若松孝二與足立正生

文:林家威

日本的獨立電影

也許大家對日本電影新浪潮一直存有一個美麗的誤會,以為它也是遠東一個受法國新浪潮影響的電影運動。其實早在1960年前後大島渚和吉田喜重等人已獲賦予重任、在松竹電影製片廠從副導演升為導演,和高達、杜魯福等大師正拍攝其處女作的時期相約。而吉田喜重第一部長片《一無是處》(1960)的結尾竟然和高達《斷了氣》(1960)的結尾同出一轍——這裏不論其偶然性和同時代性,也不談大島渚一直對自己的《青春殘酷物語》(1960)被評論為開啟日本新浪潮之作一事的憤怒和不滿,只想提出,當大島渚和吉田喜重等人紛紛炒松竹魷魚、自立門戶成立自己的獨立電影製作公司之時,其實日本的電影工業已經不再是小津安二郎、黑澤明等大師活躍的五十年代後期那麼輝煌了。

六十年代初期隨電視普及,電影不再是大眾娛樂的王者,電影人口逐年下降,當時的五大電影製片廠(松竹,東寶,東映,日活,大映)為了挽救狂瀾,大膽起用新人,開闢較能轟動社會的政治與性愛題材。這造就了大島渚和吉田喜重等人的所謂電影新浪潮神話,即使如此,電影製片廠思維保守,在政治與性愛題材上裹足不前、投鼠忌器,他們因而自立門戶,開始走獨立之路(大島渚在1961年成立創造社,吉田喜重在1966年成立現代映畫社),而這時才是日本電影最充滿能量、創作力最旺盛的巔峰期[註1]。

因為沖繩美軍基地問題、安保條約、在日朝鮮人問題等,六十年代是日本政治最激進的年代。他們這些年輕的獨立電影人,與已經被電影節和製片廠捧上神台的小津、溝口健二、成瀨巳喜男等大師不一樣,勇於在電影裏引進政治主題和訊息,非常受學生和年輕人歡迎。而當中最賣座轟動、具爆炸力、現在來看仍非常前衛和具實驗精神的作品,卻都出自一個長久以來沒出現在任何電影史教科書上的名字:若松製作公司。

若松製作公司

即使在今天,若松製作並沒有在任何電影史教科書上被大篇幅討論,但是在日本電影界,無論是工業體系或獨立電影人,「WAKAMATSU PRO」(若松製作的日語簡稱)一直是一個如雷貫耳、聞風喪膽的名字,大家聽了必會肅然起敬。而這個成立於1965年的製作公司,創辦人當然是若松孝二本人。它在成立之初,已經吸引了一批在日活寫劇本的年輕編劇加盟,當中包括大和屋竺,田中陽造,曽根中生[註2]。當時他們屬日活的社員,所以都是用筆名為若松孝二寫劇本。除了這班知識份子型編劇,許多時常聚集在新宿酒吧街「黃金街」爛醉談論政治和藝術、當時還未成名的地下前衛文化人,如寺山修司、唐十郎、橫尾忠則,都參與過若松製作的創作。換句話說,若松製作就等於一個梁山大本營,收留當時對抗主流電影、反主流文化和權威制度的一羣另類份子。而在這羣年輕人裏,參與最多創作並最具傳說色彩的,莫過於足立正生。

當若松孝二遇上足立正生

要理解課堂上道貌岸然的電影史為甚麼一直難於給若松孝二和足立正生正確的定位,其實很容易。首先,若松孝二的存在本來就是日本電影界的一個惡性腫瘤。與許多名門大學畢業的導演不一樣,若松不但沒有讀大學,甚至自高中就退學,拍電影前進過黑社會入過獄,而且他所拍的都是當時大家認為第三流的粉紅電影,被認為低級下流。其中最大的風波,莫如1965年柏林國際電影節拒絕由日本五大製片廠推薦的所謂代表日本文化的文藝電影,選了若松的《隔牆有秘》(1965)為唯一一部來自日本的競賽電影。當年事件被視為國恥,在日本文化和政治界鬧得很大,若松成為眾矢之的。雖然如此,當時一批年輕的前衛評論家和電影人卻非常擁護他的電影,大力為他平反。當中有若松的知己戰友、當時很多知識分子公認的電影大師大島渚,及六十年代日本藝術電影最重要的影評人佐藤重臣等。另一個令日本製片廠們對若松恨之入骨的原因,就是他們所製作的電影都沒有若松用五天拍完、預算才300萬日元的粉紅電影賣座!最後一個原因就是若松的電影一直與時事息息相關,題材對準當時的權力機構、國家機器、恐怖主義、社會暴力和性犯罪,都是大家有心迴避和不願看到的禁忌內容。[註3]

即使沒有加入若松製作,年輕的足立正生在六十年代的地下前衛文化、實驗電影製作和社會運動界已是一個風頭人物,他參與了最早的學生運動:第一次安保抗爭,更在讀日本大學藝術學部電影學科的時候和其他同學集體創作了六十年代最重要的兩部實驗電影《椀》(1961)和《鎖陰》(1963),還是當時現代實驗音樂大師John Cage、媒體藝術家小野洋子等人在日本演出節目的幕後搞手,參與了不少當時的地下前衛藝術活動。而進入若松製作後,他為若松所寫的劇本,不但令若松的情色電影除卻暴力和色情外更具藝術和政治視野,在若松監製下拍攝的幾部劇情長片也受到當時日本最前衛的三位藝術家和評論家寺山修司、種村季弘、澀澤龍彥極度讚賞並商談合作。這令到名導大島渚都不得不妒忌,後來找足立主演《絞死刑》(1968),並從若松手中拉攏他來編寫《歸來的醉鬼》(1968)及《新宿小偷日記》(1969)兩部話題作品。照理這樣一個風雲人物後來應為人所熟悉,然而足立無法讓大家(尤其在日本以外)熟悉的最大原因,是他在七十年代初期因投入參與以巴衝突,成為當時與解放巴勒斯坦人民陣線共鬥的日本赤軍其中一位領導人,被國際通緝後潛逃中東,直到1997年在黎巴嫩被捕,在獄中度過三年。被遣返日本後,這位充滿傳奇色彩的電影導演才重新受到注目。

電影革命與獨立的可能性

六十年代的日本,是最具革命可能(不只政治,甚至所有文化藝術,包括電影)、也是最獨立和自由的時代,除了一些教科書上熟悉的名字外,說到能反映這個時代的電影人物,不得不談若松孝二和足立正生。隨着資訊發達,21世紀以後歐美學者已經開始認真研究和發掘二人的作品,並重新評價若松製作的作品羣,可惜他們在華語地區仍然是大家陌生的名字。香港國際電影節十年前也放映一些若松的作品,但並沒有深入去介紹和給予適當的導讀。這次的回顧專題,希望可以讓大家重新發現和思考電影所應具有的革命和獨立的可能性。這次我們特別邀請了日本著名電影評論家四方田犬彥來港做演講和導讀,他是研究若松和足立電影的第一人;師從若松的井上淳一導演亦會來和我們分享他在若松製作的寶貴經驗。還有,被遣返回國後一直無法出境的足立正生,也會在通過網上視像通訊和觀眾交流。

[註1] 大島渚等人並不是獨立電影製作的先驅,他們的大前輩新藤兼人在1950年已成立其獨立電影製作公司,當年新藤與片廠(無獨有偶也是松竹)鬧翻的原因,也是因為片廠認為他的電影太具社會性。此外,和日活鬧翻的今村昌平也和大島渚、吉田喜重同時期脫離片廠於1963年成立今村製作。

[註2] 都是日本最離經叛道的CULT片大師鈴木清順的御用編劇。他們以筆名「具流八郎」集體創作,其中最著名的作品莫過於《殺之烙印》(1967)。

[註3] 六十年代末,若松起初被很多人看不起的情色電影,已經可以堂堂正正地在當時最著名的藝術電影院新宿ATG(日本藝術電影院聯盟)上映,更有人為他搞回顧展,然而,當時仍有很多偽善的衛道之士不把他放在眼裏。

The Independence and Revolution of 1960s Japanese Cinema: Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi

Written by Lim Kah Wai, translated by Francisco Lo

Japan’s Independent Cinema

Perhaps many of us have harboured a beautiful misunderstanding about the Japanese New Wave. We might have presumed that it was a film movement influenced by La Nouvelle Vague of France. The truth is that directors such as Nagisa Oshima and Yoshishige Yoshida were already important players at Shochiku around the year 1960, as they were promoted from assistant director to director. It was about the same time when Godard and Truffaut were making their debut feature. Interestingly, the ending of Yoshida’s first feature Rokudenashi (1960) finds a distant twin in Gordard’s Breathless (1960). Forget about the coincidence and synchronicity, or Oshima’s anger and displeasure in critics hailing his Cruel Story of Youth (1960) as a trailblazing work of the Japanese New Wave. The main point is that when the likes of Oshima and Yoshida flew the coop—leaving Shochiku and establishing their own independent production companies, the Japanese film industry has already lost the luster of the late 1950s when masters such as Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa were at the peak of their careers.

The rise of television in the early 1960s signaled the end of cinema’s reign as the public’s number one choice for entertainment. As the movie-going population decline, the five biggest studios attempts to give a jolt to the industry by bolding hiring newcomers to tackle contentious subjects such as politics and sexuality. These conditions opened doors for the legend of the Japanese New Wave that is associated with filmmakers like Oshima and Yoshida. However, major studios’ conservative ways mentality often got in the way of putting out any meaningful take on sex and politics. Hence filmmakers began to establish their own independent production companies—Oshima’s Sozosha in 1961 and Yoshida’s Gendai Eigasha in 1966. This is the pinnacle of Japanese cinema at its most energetic and creative period. [1]

Due to issues with the American military base in Okinawa, Japan/US Security Treaty and Korean immigrants, the 1960s is the most radical era in Japanese politics. In an era filled with anti-establishment sentiments, young filmmakers were unlike the past masters of the studio era. They were eager to inject their films with political themes and messages, which made them very popular with students and young people. In the most passionate era of Japanese independent cinema, the best selling and most explosive films with the most forward and experimental spirit came from a company that had long been omitted by textbooks—Wakamatsu Productions.

Wakamatsu Productions

Even though textbook film history has largely ignored Wakamatsu Productions, industry professionals and independent filmmakers alike hold the notorious company in high regard. Founded in 1965 by Wakamatsu, the company had attracted quite a few young Nikkatsu screenwriters—Atsushi Yamatoya, Yozo Tanaka and Chusei Sone[2], to name a few—to join their ranks. Since they were still employed by Nikkatsu, they all use pen names when they write for Wakamatsu. Besides these screenwriting intellectuals, there were also a lot of other forward-thinking cultural types—including Wakamatsu collaborators Shuji Terayama, Juro Kara and Tadanori Yokoo—getting drunk while talking about arts and politics inside the bars of Shinjuku Golden Gai. In other words, Wakamatsu Productions was a base camp for alternative artists who were rebelling against the establishment and mainstream culture. Among these youngsters, Masao Adachi stood out as the most active and mythical figure.

When Wakamatsu Meets Adachi

It is easier to understand why film schools struggle to define the position of Wakamatsu and Adachi in the history of Japanese cinema. The industry had long considered Wakamatsu a ‘malignant tumor’. Unlike many directors who were graduates of prestigious universities, Wakamatsu was a high school dropout and former Yakuza member who had served time in prison. He was mostly remembered for making disreputable soft-core pornography known as ‘pink films’. When the Berlin International Film Festival selected his 1965 film Secrets Behind the Wall over the art film recommended by the Japan’s five biggest studios, it was a huge scandal in Japan. Wakamatsu was at the centre of the storm in what the cultural and political circles saw as a national embarrassment. Yet at the same time, young critics and filmmakers—such as esteemed critic Shigechika Sato and master filmmaker Nagisa Oshima—embraced and defended his work. Perhaps another reason why the studios hated him was that Wakamatsu could produce box office hits with a five-day shoot and three-million-yen budget. Also, Wakamatsu had a knack for topical subjects that took aim at the system in power, political machine, terrorism, societal violence and sex crimes. His interests were often taboo subjects that most people avoided and ignored. [3]

Young Masao Adachi was already a hotshot in film production and social movement before he joined Wakamatsu Productions. Besides joining the earliest protest against the Japan/US Security Treaty, he and other students had collectively two important 1960s experimental films—Bowl (1961) and Closed Vagina (1963)—while he was studying film at Nihon University. He was also the organiser of shows for the likes of pioneering avant-garde musician John Cage and multimedia artist Yoko Ono in Japan. After joining Wakamatsu, he wrote screenplays for the director, bringing his artistic and political vision to Wakamatsu’s violent and erotic pink films. With Wakamatsu as his producer, Adachi shot several acclaimed features that led to further collaborations with other acclaimed artists. Seeing something special in Adachi, Oshima hired him to act in Death by Hanging (1968) and join the writing team for Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968) and Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (1969). Logically, such a crucial figure should have a bigger reputation instead of fading into obscurity. Due to his commitment to the Palestinian cause in 1970s, he was living in hiding as one of the Japanese Red Army’s globally wanted leaders in the Middle East. After his arrest in Lebanon and a three-year prison term, he was repatriated back to Japan. It was only then when the limelight is on the mythical filmmaker once again.

Cinematic Revolution and the Possibility of Independence

Japan possessed the highest possibility for (political and cultural) revolution in the 1960s. It was the country’s freest and most independent era. Wakamatsu and Adachi are the two quintessential filmmakers of this era. With the advancement of information technology, western scholars have begun to study the work of these two filmmakers and reevaluate the repertoire of Wakamatsu Productions. However, they are still relatively unknown in Chinese-speaking regions. While Hong Kong International Film Festival had screened some of Wakamatsu’s films ten years ago, there was not any sort of in-depth presentation or suitable reading. We hope this current retrospective can help viewers to rediscover and reconsider the possibility of revolution and independence in cinema. We have invited acclaimed Japanese critic Inuhiko Yomota, a foremost expert in Wakamatsu and Adachi, to present and further the discourse of the two filmmakers’ work. Filmmaker Junichi Inoue, who was mentored by Wakamatsu, will also share his experience working at Wakamatsu Productions. Although Adachi has been unable to leave the country since his repatriation, he will communicate with the audience via online video chat.

[1] The likes of Nagisa Oshima were not the first in independent production. Kaneto Shindo founded his own company in 1950. Coincidentally, Shindo and Shochiku also parted ways because his films had too much social commentary. Additionally, Shohei Imamura left Nikkatsu and formed his own Imamura Productions in 1963.

[2] They were part of cult film master Seijun Suzuki’s screenwriting team, which used the pen name ‘Hachiro Guryu’ in the credits of films such as Branded to Kill (1967).

[3] In the late 1960s, Wakamatsu’s disreputable soft-core flicks were already playing at the prestigious Art Theatre Guild (ATG). There was also retrospective of his films yet many sanctimonious individuals still looked down upon his work.