2012年5月15日 星期二

Vincent is seven years old. But he wants to be Vincent Price——《Vincent》

        在芸芸當代美國導演中,添布頓(Tim Burton)很可能是最才氣橫溢而最詭奇怪誕的,這類導演通常在藝術上甚為成功,票房卻未必得到支持,像高安兄弟(Joel And Ethan Coen)、占渣木殊(Jim Jarmusch)、韋斯安德遜(Wes Anderson)等,藝術成就或在添布頓之上,一般觀眾倒未必喜歡,添布頓倒是很得片商青睞,也極受觀眾歡迎,這不可不謂之異數。若說添布頓是史提芬史匹堡(Steven Spielberg)以外香港人最熟悉、最喜愛的當代美國導演,也許不算過分。添布頓最優秀的電影,無疑是《艾活傳》(Ed Wood,1994),他在片中表露對史上最爛導演艾活(Edward D. Wood, Jr.)與及五六十代B級科幻片、恐怖片、喪屍片的熱愛,是給一眾堅持夢想的人的頌歌,也是尊尼特普(Johnny Depp)演技至佳之作,偏偏這卻是香港人最不認識的作品。《幻海奇緣》(Edward Scissorhands,1990)無人不愛,其實只是小試牛刀;《無頭谷》(Sleepy Hollow,1999)上佳,可惜不是人人喜愛的作品。《嘩鬼家族》(Beetle Juice,1988)和《火星人玩轉地球》(Mars Attacks!,1996)皆無比過癮,瘋狂得可與彼得積遜(Peter Jackson)一拼,然而添布頓玩弄類型片的手段,又不是後者所能企及的。其實我最喜歡的是他拍的《蝙蝠俠再戰風雲》(Batman Returns,1992),既能發揮個人風格又不失原著味道,基斯杜化路蘭(Christopher Nolan)的新版本劇本更精密、特技更炫目、演員更聞名,但其論人性善惡,不見得就比添布頓深入。可惜的是添布頓不可能再拍蝙蝠俠了。
Vincent Price
        很多人誤以為《怪誕城之夜》(The Nightmare Before Christmas,1993)是添布頓導演的,其實他雖然是幕後舵手,真正的導演乃是他的前同事,迪士尼畫師亨利施力錫(Henry Selick)。是的,添布頓曾經也是迪士尼的畫師。他自幼喜歡繪畫,少年時唸加州藝術學院,後來得到迪士尼的獎學金,順理成章為為迪士尼工作。1982 年他拍出首部個人黑白定格(Stop-Motion)短篇作《Vincent》,以自己的童年生活和思想為題材,並找來他自小崇拜的恐怖片男星 Vincent Price 唸旁白,開啟了他後來當導演之路。今天看來,這部短片幾乎齊集了他往後拍電影的所有元素︰怪誕的故事、詭秘的氛圍;虛實界線模糊、色調陰沉灰暗;純真、靦腆、愛幻想、缺乏父母愛護、不為世俗接受的孤獨男主角;稻草人一般的人物設計、科學怪人模樣的忠心小犬……影片的旁白就是添布頓所寫的一首詩。或許是自傳,更像是他畢生所有電影的預告。有趣的是,迪士尼當年為何會接受這般怪誕的非主流作品?原來當時添布頓的女朋友是迪士尼的行政人員,本片就是她出品的,既是天才遇上伯樂,也可能是女友成就男友吧。喜歡添布頓的朋友,必定要看看這部不足六分鐘的《Vincent》,雖是近二十年前的作品,但比他最近期的電影,似乎還要吸引;Vincent Price 大讚這是“The most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality - better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard.” 不無自我吹捧之嫌,但那也是事實呢︰Vincent 今天被人遺忘了,但他的「同伴」剪刀手愛德華和南瓜王阿 Jack 等人將永遠留在影迷心中,不是嗎?
Vincent Malloy is seven years old
He's always polite and does what he's told
For a boy his age, he's considerate and nice
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price

He doesn't mind living with his sister, dog and cats
Though he’d rather share a home with spiders and bats
There he could reflect on the horrors he's invented
And wander dark hallways, alone and tormented

Vincent is nice when his aunt comes to see him
But imagines dipping her in wax for his wax museum

He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie
In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie
So he and his horrible zombie dog
Could go searching for victims in the London fog

His thoughts, though, aren't only of ghoulish crimes
He likes to paint and read to pass some of the times
While other kids read books like Go, Jane, Go!
Vincent's favourite author is Edgar Allen Poe

One night, while reading a gruesome tale
He read a passage that made him turn pale

Such horrible news he could not survive
For his beautiful wife had been buried alive!
He dug out her grave to make sure she was dead
Unaware that her grave was his mother's flower bed

His mother sent Vincent off to his room
He knew he'd been banished to the tower of doom
Where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life
Alone with the portrait of his beautiful wife

While alone and insane encased in his tomb
Vincent’s mother burst suddenly into the room
She said:“If you want to, you can go out and play
It's sunny outside, and a beautiful day”

Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn't speak
The years of isolation had made him quite weak
So he took out some paper and scrawled with a pen:
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again”
His mother said:“You're not possessed, and you're not almost dead
These games that you play are all in your head
You're not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy
You're not tormented or insane, you're just a young boy
You're seven years old and you are my son
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”

Her anger now spent, she walked out through the hall
And while Vincent backed slowly against the wall
The room started to swell, to shiver and creak
His horrid insanity had reached its peak

He saw Abercrombie, his zombie slave
And heard his wife call from beyond the grave
She spoke from her coffin and made ghoulish demands
While, through cracking walls, reached skeleton hands

Every horror in his life that had crept through his dreams
Swept his mad laughter to terrified screams!
To escape the madness, he reached for the door
But fell limp and lifeless down on the floor

His voice was soft and very slow
As he quoted The Raven from Edgar Allen Poe:

“and my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor
shall be lifted?
Nevermore…”

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