Translation Practice II: Reflections on Kenji Mizoguchi’s "A Life in Film" (From my Mandarin dairy.)

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Dec 11, 2018 18:30
The sacrifice of women for men makes me remind the similar plots in traditional Chinese opera (Xiqu) such as Tale of the Pipa, Rain on the Wutong Tree and more.
In the ancient Chinese context, the male characters often face the choice between the pursuit of promotion in politics and his wife/ lover. I’ve heard that the film Zangiku monogatari was adapted from a novel, and the story was very popular during that time. Does this film represent “an ideal woman” from male perspective? or make us provoke thoughts by the tragic love story about a wonderful woman? Why this kind of stories was popular? I am very curious about how social contexts reflect the different tastes.

Zangiku monogatari is the first film of Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Trilogy of Geido.” It is said that they are based on the Japanese traditional arts including kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama), Bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre) and Buyō (Japanese dance). The main male characters rebel the traditional systems while are continuously polishing himself to be on top of the field. These films focus on how the women behind these men offer supports silently.

In the beginning, as a young master who was ignorant of worldly affairs, Kiku finally grow and achieve the peak of artistic career through experiencing the fickleness of human nature after running away from home. Even though Otoku seems a docile wife, she shows an uncompromising and frank attitude about Kiku’s performance in the arts. Is it implicated honesty and perfectionism as the important features of arts?

Furthermore, the beauty of kabuki’s music and dance is revealed in Zangiku monogatari. The antique and graceful atmosphere is engrossing.

這種犧牲女性成就男性的情節,讓人聯想到傳統中國戲曲故事也不少類似故事,不知為何想起了《琵琶記》、《梧桐雨》,放到古代中國的脈絡下男主人公大多面臨追求政治道路上的抉擇。聽說《殘菊物語》改編自小說,是流行於當時的故事還有舞台劇、電視電影的版本。電影究竟是展現出男性眼中「理想的女性」?還是藉這樣美好女性的悲劇結局提出反思呢?為什麼這樣的題材會受歡迎呢?我開始對不同時代的社會背景所反映出故事的品味感到好奇。

《殘菊物語》是溝口健二「芸道三部作」第一部作品,再來是《浪花女》、《芸道一代男》,據說三者的共通點是以描繪歌舞伎、文樂、舞踊等傳統藝術為背景。男主人公在衝撞封建制度中,磨練藝術技藝而成為該領域第一人,特別是些在男性背後默默支持的女性故事。

菊之助從一開始不知世事的少爺,到憤而離家出走,飽受冷暖四處流轉,這過程所積累的人生經驗將其推上了藝術高峰。意味著高水準的藝術來自於豐富的人生閱歷及對世間洞澈的體察。而溫柔體貼的阿德對於菊之助的藝術表現,總是直言不諱、不容妥協。是否也表現了藝術追求「真實/真誠」與「極致」的特性呢?

無論如何,這部電影也展示了歌舞伎別富韻味的樂舞之美,電影洋溢著日式古雅的情調,非常迷人。