Tag Archives: clint eastwood

Actor vs Director/演员vs导演

Not too long ago, I posted an article written by a local journalist about how directors need to direct. Recently, our local productions have also been under fire for unoriginal content, incoherent plot, inaccurate facts and poor performances. So much has been said and clearly the problem is glaring at us defiantly. It’s not about to go away and leave us alone.

If people are losing interest in local content, it is a worrying phenomenon, not because it impacts my job, but because local content helps shape our media scene which is something unique to us. If it’s strong and vibrant, it helps puts our country on the global stage, and allows us to bask in collective pride; if it’s unworthy and disconnecting, we lose a common relation.

I feel strongly that something needs to be done to revive the passion but I don’t know where to start. What I do know though, is that it’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of effort.

What are your views?

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I have always admired Clint Eastwood as both an actor and director. He has the ability to transform ordinary stories into emotional journeys. He doesn’t milk moments to evoke sympathy, he doesn’t abuse close-ups to prove his actors’ suffering, he doesn’t need fancy cinematography to create mood and atmosphere. That is what makes a remarkable director.

If we put the acting chops aside and look at the production process, you will realise a lot of what we see, is the result of various decisions made by the director.

It is the director, not the actor, who decides whether any take is ok or not. It is the director and editor, not the actor, who finally piece the rushes together to tell a complete story. It is the director, not the actor, who decides what music and sound effects to put in, fading in and out at which point and to sustain for how long, that can complement an actor’s performance or create mood; It is the director, not the actor, who eventually decides out of so many takes for one particular action, which one to use; whether to cut an expression shorter; or what shots to include before and after a moment that can change the dynamics of the story. These decisions all impact the final product and performance of actors. Being a director is not easy because it comes with heavy responsibility.

While actors are important assets in a production, the role they play in the production process is very limited.

As such, what does an actor turned director like Clint Eastwood have to share in an interview in the latest issue of Men’s Journal (US)? I think much can be learnt from the maestro.

Excerpts from the interview can be found below.

我一直都很尊敬 Clint Eastwood,也很喜欢看他导的电影。因为他可以成功的让一个很平凡或很乏味的故事,在不煽情的情况下,感动观众,扣人心弦。

他不需要让他的演员大哭,不许运用大特写来表达演员的伤感,不需靠漫长的镜头来搞气氛,却还是能很清楚的表达主角的内心挣扎和痛苦, 我想这就是他身为导演的功力。

演员本身的演技是另一回事。毕竟在拍摄时,决定表现ok不ok的人是导演,不是演员;最后把原本拍摄时没有次序的画面拼凑成一个完整故事的人,是导演和剪辑师,不是演员;加入什么音乐和效果来配合演出也是导演的决定,不是演员;决定选用某个take,决定在某个表情的前后加入什么画面,要剪还是要保留也都轮不到演员。而这些选择都会影响故事的节奏和演员最后在银幕或电视上呈现出来的表演,所以可想而知,导演所要扛的责任如此重大。

演员在制作环节里所扮演的角色重要,但却非常有限。

以下是身为演员也身为导演的Clint Eastwood 和 Matt Damon在美国杂志“Men’s Journal” 里访问的语录。

Men's Journal November 2010 (US Edition)

Cover Story

“He [Damon] knows. He instinctively knows. When he directs he’s going to be great at it. Because he understands actors, and all you have to do is have some compassion for the process.” – Clint Eastwood, predicting success for Matt Damon.

“如果 Damon 当导演,他将会很棒。他的直觉敏锐。他也了解演员,所以他只需要对过程表示同情。” - Clint Eastwood 相信 Matt Damon 会成功

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“It’s easy to fall into that trap of following what’s being made now, what people like, but if you fall into that calculus, you’re already completely fucked. You have to do something that you believe in and that you like.” — Matt Damon believes that the proper use of power is the pursuit of independence.

“我们如果跟随大众的喜爱,和目前现有的作品来决定制作的方向, 我们就惨了!你必需跟着自己的直觉,自己的喜爱。” -- Matt Damon

Clint Eastwood

“Budget-conscious Eastwood — beloved of money men, crews, and actors alike because he doesn’t squander precious time, needlessly tinker with the script, or cover his artistic ass by shooting every scene from multiple angles”

“Eastwood 精打细算,非常受到台前幕后工作人员的爱慕 -因为他不浪费时间,不无谓的修改剧本,也不会为了发挥个人的创意而多余地从每个角度取镜。”

Eastwood 说:“如果你听别人的,他们都有办法说服你放弃你原本想做的事。一直都有人这么劝我,从The Man with No Name 到 Gran Torino.”

“It’s futile to follow fashion — not because fashion is contemptible, but because it’s unpredictable.”

“跟随潮流是没用的 -不是因为潮流惹人争议,而是因为根本无法预测什么会流行。”

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“Go placidly among the noise and haste.” — Morgan Freeman summing up Clint Eastwood’s philosophy. In other words: “Do your job, help others do theirs, and then relax and let what happens happen.”

“在吵杂和仓促之余,温和地前进。” -Morgan Freeman 谈 Clint Eastwood 的哲学。其实也就是说:“做好本分,帮别人做好他们的本分,然后就放轻松,让一切该发生的发生。“

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Clint Eastwood and his Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood
不知道大家看了这部电影吗?

Gran Torino Trailer

我看了这部电影后,感触很深,对 Clint Eastwood 有更崇高的尊敬。如果你们看了预告片,可能会觉得电影的主题很沉重。种族歧视,帮派斗争,围绕着一个寂寞,气愤的老人,世界的问题已经够烦了,还要看这样的电影来消遣啊?这部电影确实让我哭笑不得。它的奥妙在于电影拍摄得细腻却不失节奏。Clint Eastwood 导演并不会浪费时间把他的人物内心的痛慢慢的表现出来,而是点到为止。但这样的呈现方法还是非常有感染力,也让结局更悲哀。人物的言行举止,小动作,镜头的拍摄,让大家充分的了解这位人物,话不需要很多,但还是能认识他。让我十分敬佩的是Clint Eastwood 能把听起来很“废话”的台词演绎得那么的贴切和逼真。表面上好像不可能从一个对世界有这么多怨恨的老人家口中说出的话,由他说竟然不会让我觉得别扭。我想这是演员都应该练成的功力。不是没个剧本都会有完美的台词,但这应该就是有功力的演员和没经验的演员的不同。或许正是因为一些话很出乎预料,所以为人物制造了另一种性格的特点。

这部电影看完之后,感觉Clint Eastwood 所饰演的 Walt Kowalski是一个我认识的朋友,感觉好像真的参与了他人生的那短短的一部分,非常扣人也让我在落幕后,哭了许久,一直无法抽离。就连晚上也做了梦。

这部电影是那么的有影响力。希望大家会支持 Clint Eastwood 的这部作品。

Gran Torino is probably the best movie I’ve watched in the past couple of months.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie seems to contain very dark and heavy themes of racism and gang activity set in a messed-up neighbourhood, centred around an old, grouchy man. Not exactly the kind of movie to take the mind off the many problems facing the world right now. But you’d be surprised that there are a few laughs in the movie.

Clint Eastwood is so convincing as Walt Kowalski (a Korean War veteran), that he makes the most ridiculous dialogue ring with depth. Pain is written all over his face and immediately you know this is a man who’s seen death, who’s gone through life tough and lonely. Every step he takes seem to ache with old injury, and you could almost feel it through the ankles to his lower back. And yet he displays incredible grit and strength in the face of young terror, pointing his make-belief gun at the kids holding real guns and throwing them off with the ridiculous gesture, when really he would be easily outnumbered in a fist-fight. Director Clint Eastwood wasted no time in milking poignant moments, allowing just one tear to be shed while his face was half hidden in shadow. It was enough. He tells stories by building characters, not through the dialogue nor the action. Every prop was placed for a reason, a reason that furthers the story, that forms the character’s inner feelings, thoughts and behaviour. It isn’t there just to provide foreground or create visual depth. It speaks of the characters and it tells their story.

The plot is enriching, and the main characters go through a journey, be it redemption, enlightenment or character building. It tells of the irony of life, that nothing is forever. Prejudices formed could change, allies become enemies, fear becomes strength. Death is never far away.

By the end of the movie, Walt was almost like the friend I knew, whose wife died before he did and whose experience in Korea made him the man he was — angry, jaded and distrusting. I saw his walls crumble slowly, I saw the glint in his eye when he made friends and taught the boy how to be a man, brought him shopping for tools on his first job and offered to lend him his prized Gran Torino to bring the girl out on a date. I saw the fire in his eyes when he knew the people he cared about were bullied, I saw weakness when his heart ached. The true strength and sacrifice he displayed in the face of danger arose from the need to protect the people who trusted him.

I cried and mourned way after the movie ended, because his spirit was so real, I felt a part of me left when the credits rolled.

Watch it and you’ll know what I mean.