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影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
甫以《再見瓦城》榮獲威尼斯影展「歐洲電影聯盟大獎最佳影片」,趙德胤說:「是台灣給了我拍電影的養分。」(林旻萱攝) After his film The Road to Mandalay received the FEDEORA Award for Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival, Midi Z remarked, “Taiwan is the place that has nourished my cinematic spirit.” (photo by Lin Min-hsuan)

「感謝台灣的裁培!對當時在緬甸的我來說,『能來台灣』是個像中樂透一樣的命運安排。」甫於威尼斯影展獲頒歐洲電影聯盟最佳影片大獎,《再見瓦城》導演趙德胤發文寫下了他對於台灣的感謝。曾以電影《冰毒》代表台灣角逐2015年奧斯卡最佳外語片入圍資格,而今再以新片《再見瓦城》入圍2016年威尼斯影展正式競賽獲頒大獎,屢次登上國際舞台,領獎時趙德胤總是說,是台灣自由的創作氛圍,給了他拍電影的養分,雖然他原本不是學電影的。

“Thank you, Taiwan! For me, being been able to come to Taiwan from where I started in Myan¬mar has been like winning the lottery!” So said Myan¬mar-born Taiwanese director Midi Z in a social media post after his latest film, The Road to Mandalay, took the FEDEORA Award for Best Film at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.

After having represented Taiwan in pursuit of an Oscar in 2015 with Ice Poison, Midi Z’s next feature, The Road to Mandalay, was chosen to compete at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. Every time he has won awards on the international stage, the young director has made it a point to thank Taiwan, remarking that Taiwan’s liberal creative environment has done much to nurture his filmmaking despite his having studied design rather than film.

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
甫以《再見瓦城》榮獲威尼斯影展「歐洲電影聯盟大獎最佳影片」,趙德胤說:「是台灣給了我拍電影的養分。」(林旻萱攝) After his film The Road to Mandalay received the FEDEORA Award for Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival, Midi Z remarked, “Taiwan is the place that has nourished my cinematic spirit.” (photo by Lin Min-hsuan)

多數作品以緬甸僑民悲歌為題材,導演趙德胤在台灣電影圈已然是一種獨特的識別碼。

自8年前大學畢業製作短片《白鴿》開始,便不斷的以台灣導演身分在國際影展嶄露頭角、獲得注目。當年趙德胤就讀於國立台灣科技大學設計學系,雖不是電影本科系,教授看見他的長才,讓他以影片製拍完成畢業製作,而從此每年至少兩部的短片、紀錄片、長片作品產出,趙德胤從未停下拍片腳步,綿密而計畫性的操練著自己。

With many of his films focusing on the tragic plight of Burmese-Chinese, director Midi Z holds a unique place in Taiwan’s film world.

Since his design course graduation short Paloma Blanca eight years ago, Midi Z has been an attention-getter among Taiwan-based directors at film festivals around the world. Since completing college, he has gone on to make at least two films a year—shorts, documentaries, and features—and he shows no signs of slowing down in his ongoing intense and planned efforts to stretch himself.

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
《再見瓦城》海報由好萊塢電影海報設計大師Akiko Stehrenberger操刀設計,呈現電影中男女主角不同的愛情觀。 The poster for The Road to Mandalay is the work of Hollywood poster designer Akiko Stehrenberger, and reflects the different perspectives on love of the male and female leads.

為糊口、自學電影

「我曾經用著很土法煉鋼的方法嘗試做電影。」趙德胤回憶起當初開始拍片,其實目的只是為了賺錢。

大學時期獨立接案,拍攝婚禮、畢業典禮,剪接、配樂都靠自己摸索。大四時擔心畢業製作過不了關,可能被趕回緬甸,於是他到中央圖書館與國家圖書館把所有的關於電影、導演的書籍借回來看。研究所時期住在研究室,拆掉燈管每天租DVD觀摩,甚至連幕後花絮也不曾忽略,為了省錢,不敢跟同學外出玩樂,鑽研電影佔據了大部分課餘時間,當時不覺得這樣的努力有多重要,現在回想起來,發現對於創作上幫助不小。

重要的是在苦練過程中,這位不太有自信的緬甸僑生因此而喜歡上了電影,教授也發現他有天分。

「我不敢講天分這兩個字,但如果跟人家做一樣的影像攝製,我可能比別人好一點點、也比較快、比較舒服、成就感也比較高。」趙德胤說話總是謙和,帶著一點緬甸腔,談到自己時表情靦腆,與他在電影鏡頭中展現的寫實力道很不相同。

畢業製作短片《白鴿》一鳴驚人,得到釜山影展、哥本哈根影展、澳大利亞影展、里昂影展等國際影壇的肯定,趙德胤也因此被廣告公司延攬,工作簽證成為留在台灣的契機,一年之內他不分晝夜的接案,終於賺了錢給老家蓋洋房,為了能繼續留在台灣這個自由創作的環境,他考上研究所,也同時思考接下來要拍攝什麼樣的題材。

Learning film for a living

“In the past I used some pretty basic approaches to making films,” says Midi Z, recalling his start, when the entire effort was just a way to make some money.

In college, he took on freelance projects, doing filming, editing, and scoring for things like weddings and graduations. In his senior year, he got worried that his graduation project wouldn’t make the grade and he might have to return to his native Myan¬mar, so he hit the library and borrowed every book he could find on film and directing. After successfully making it through college, Midi Z went on to graduate school, also in design, where he rented DVDs daily, watching everything on the disks down to the behind-the-scenes featurettes. His explorations of film took up most of his free time, and as he fell more deeply in love with the world of cinema, his professors began to recognize that he had a gift.

“I wouldn’t presume to say I have a ‘gift,’ I’m just able to shoot a little better and a little quicker than most, and I get more of a sense of comfort and achievement out of it,” says the ever-modest director. As he speaks about himself with a hint of a Burmese accent, Midi Z comes across as quite shy, completely unlike the powerful realism of his films.

His graduation short Paloma Blanca received acclaim at film festivals in countries as diverse as South Korea, Australia, Denmark, and France. Thanks to this, Midi Z caught the attention of advertising agencies, earning himself a work permit that let him stay in Taiwan. For a year he worked on projects night and day, eventually earning enough to build a house for his family in Myan¬mar. After¬wards, to stay on in Taiwan, he tested into graduate school, which was when he began seriously thinking about what he wanted to film next.

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
8萬美元攝製的《冰毒》,工作團隊 只有7位,代表台灣角逐2015奧斯卡 最佳外語片入圍資格。 Ice Poison, made by a team of only seven people on a budget of just US$80,000, was chosen as Taiwan’s entry for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

用影像、書寫故鄉

「我應該至少看過上千部電影,因此逐漸懂得一些技法,其中觸動我內心的,通常與我生長背景故事相關,也因為這種觸動,讓我想拍自己的故事去感動別人。」

趙德胤說,他的電影並不是想拍緬甸家鄉的故事,而是希望將自己的故事說給另一群人聽。

因為關於趙德胤的故事,跟生長於台灣土地的你我很不一樣。

祖籍江蘇南京,出生在緬甸東北方靠近中國邊界的城市臘戌,16歲以前,趙德胤生活於資源匱乏的貧窮環境,權力、財富決定尊卑,現實環境的黑洞讓他想方設法要逃離。

1998年家裡以一個月的生活費買來台灣學校入學考試報名表,趙德胤從6,000個報考者中考取前50名,帶著家人籌款半年買的一套西裝與美金200元,隻身赴台念書。

為了支付生活費與學費,還要能寄錢回家,半工半讀的日子自他抵達台灣後的第二天就開始。

Telling tales of home

“I’d watched at least a thousand films by then, so I’d started to pick up a few techniques and begun realizing that what really touched me were stories that related to my own background. That inspired me to start thinking about telling my own story to similarly touch others.”

What he most wants to do through his films, Midi Z says, is tell his stories to others, since his own background is much different to that of the average Taiwanese.

Midi Z was born and raised in the city of La¬shio, near Myan¬mar’s northeastern border with China, to an ethnically Chinese family that traces its origins to the city of Nan¬jing. Until he was 16, he lived in an area characterized by poverty and a lack of resources. In a world where power and wealth dictate status, life around him was a black hole he desperately wanted to find a way to stay clear of.

In 1998, when Midi Z was 16, his family spent a month’s worth of living expenses to sign him up for an entrance test for a Taiwanese school. He tested among the top 50 of the nearly 6,000 applicants, and with US$200 and a suit that cost half a year’s family savings, headed to Taiwan alone to study. From his second day in Taiwan, he was already working part-time to support himself.

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
趙德胤說侯孝賢、李安都幫助他許多,台灣電影圈前輩非常願意指導後輩。圖為李安出席第13屆紐約翠貝卡影展為趙德胤打氣。 Midi Z says that elder statesmen of Taiwanese cinema like Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ang Lee have been more than happy to give advice to newcomers like himself. This photo shows Lee at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival giving words of encouragement to Midi Z.

前輩提攜、感念在心

來台10年期間,趙德胤沒有回去過家鄉,2008年卻在想要「書寫家鄉」的念頭驅使下,趙德胤自己一個人帶著攝影機回到緬甸拍攝,隔年他入選金馬電影學院主創學員,在侯孝賢的監製下,拍攝了《華新街記事》電影短片,成為侯導門下子弟。

「侯導當時跟我說,沒有資源也能拍片,當年他自己也是如此,因此教了我很多,有他的鼓勵,給了我一個人也能拍電影的勇氣。」趙德胤感謝的說,台灣電影圈的前輩都很願意提攜後輩。

李安導演曾在2014年特地冒著溼冷的冬雨,赴紐約出席唯一入圍翠貝卡電影節的華語電影《冰毒》首映會,映後他盛讚趙德胤能以極其克難的器材與資源,拍出結構完整、議題獨特、表達清晰的電影,他還以自身經驗告訴趙德胤,一個人拍片與200人拍片會遇到的困難差異。趙德胤猶記得李安的助理告訴他,李安導演前一夜通宵開會未休息,仍堅持趕赴會場站台,甚至提早抽出時間希望與趙德胤吃頓飯,當面給他鼓勵打氣,當年的這些感動,至今讓他點滴在心。

2010年買了3張機票,帶著一台攝影機,就跟製片、收音3人完成首部劇情長片《歸來的人》,真實呈現緬甸人的生活,一舉入圍釜山影展和鹿特丹影展老虎獎,前往鹿特丹影展前,趙德胤正式取得中華民國身分證。

2012年第二部電影《窮人。榴槤。麻藥。偷渡客》則獲鹿特丹影展HBF電影基金贊助計劃補助。2013年底,趙德胤帶著7人團隊深入中緬邊境,以10天時間拍完第三部劇情長片《冰毒》,獲選第64屆柏林影展電影大觀單元,並於愛丁堡國際影展獲得最佳影片獎,和瑞典影展及台北電影節最佳導演獎,代表台灣參加2015年第87屆奧斯卡金像獎最佳外語片,最後雖未獲提名,但實力已不容小覷了。

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
2016年以色列南方影展以趙德胤的紀錄片《翡翠之城》為主視覺,整個城鎮四處掛滿印有該片劇照的看板。 The 2016 Cinema South Film Festival in Sderot, Israel, used Midi Z’s documentary City of Jade as its visual motif. The town was practically full of billboards for the film.

身兼編劇、導演、攝影、製作人,一萬美金就能拍出一部長片,期間還完成《挖玉石的人》與《翡翠之城》兩部紀錄片,記錄分隔20年大哥採礦的故事,趙德胤說,前幾部劇情皆與家人、朋友有關,是自己熟悉的情感,是不得不講出來的故事,「對我來說,不先拍這些,拍不了別的,即使《再見瓦城》也是我姊姊的故事,她比我大12歲,劇情講述她們那一輩的人,以及現在東南亞華人的台灣夢。」

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
2016年以色列南方影展以趙德胤的紀錄片《翡翠之城》為主視覺,整個城鎮四處掛滿印有該片劇照的看板。 The 2016 Cinema South Film Festival in Sderot, Israel, used Midi Z’s documentary City of Jade as its visual motif. The town was practically full of billboards for the film.

Help from higher up

For ten years after arriving in Taiwan, Midi Z had not returned to his hometown. In 2008, driven by his desire to tell the stories of his home, he picked up his camera and headed back to Myan¬mar to start shooting. The next year he was selected for the Golden Horse Film Academy, shooting the short film Hua¬shin Incident with renowned director Hou Hsiao-hsien as producer. He went on to become one of Hou’s apprentices.

“Mr. Hou told me then that even without resources you can still make films, and that was how he started out himself. He taught me a lot, and his encouragement gave me the courage to shoot a film entirely solo,” says Midi Z. In fact, he says, the elder statesmen of Taiwanese cinema have all been more than happy to help out the new generation.

For example, in 2014 Ang Lee braved the cold, wet New York winter to make a special appearance at the premiere of the only Chinese-¬language film to show at that year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Midi Z’s Ice Poison. After the screening, Lee was effusive in his praise for Midi Z’s ability to produce a robust, expressive film dealing with an unusual topic despite a lack of resources and equipment. Lee went on to share his own experiences with him, talking about the different problems a filmmaker faces making a film solo versus making one with a crew of 200. Midi Z also still remembers Lee’s assistant telling him that the director had been up all the previous night dealing with meetings, but still insisted on making it to the screening and getting up on stage. He even made time beforehand to share a meal with Midi Z and give him personal encouragement. To this day, Midi Z remains touched and grateful for Lee’s support.

In 2010, Midi Z again picked up his camera to shoot his first feature-length film, Return to Burma, working alongside a producer and a sound mixer. The film, depicting the realities of life in Myan¬mar, was nominated for the New Currents Award at the Bu¬san International Film Festival and won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Just before heading to the latter festival, Midi Z formally became a citizen of the Republic of China.

His second feature, 2012’s Poor Folk, even received sponsorship from the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund. In late 2013, Midi Z and a team of seven spent ten days in the China‡Myan¬mar border region shooting his third feature film, Ice Poison. In 2014 the film was screened in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival, won Best International Feature Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and won Best Director at both the Peace & Love Film Festival in Sweden and Taiwan’s Taipei Film Festival. It was also selected to represent Taiwan in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 87th Academy Awards. While it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in the end, all of this is a powerful sign that Midi Z has become a force to be reckoned with.

While making Ice Poison on a budget of only US$10,000 and serving as writer, director, cameraman, and producer, Midi Z also completed two documentaries, Jade Miners and City of Jade, which tell the stories of Burmese jade miners, and in particular his own elder brother, who had left the family some 20 years earlier to work in the mines. “Personally, I feel that if I hadn’t made these first, I wouldn’t have been able to make anything else. Even The Road to Mandalay is the story of my sister, who’s 12 years older than me, her generation, and the ‘Taiwan dream’ of so many ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia.”

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
《再見瓦城》是趙德胤從獨立製片轉為商業作品的首部長片,故事講述海外華人的台灣夢。 The Road to Mandalay is Midi Z’s move from indie film to the commercial mainstream and tells the tale of two ethnic Chinese in Myanmar and their “Taiwan dream.”

拉長戰線、做大市場

趙德胤的電影有種張力,直視小人物挑戰命運,急切想抓住機會以脫貧、致富的現實,長鏡頭下親人的悲傷絕望,以及人、事的被宰割性,形成獨特電影語彙,吸引了全世界影評的關注。

趙德胤眼中,電影是純然的創作,對他而言沒有任何政治目的與社會包袱,他說自己沒有義務要為緬甸的弱勢講話,也不是由他講述了就能有所改變,他的電影來自於很個人的觀察與表達,「我沒有創作上的包袱,也沒有資源上的限制,更沒有設定觀眾目的,只覺得想要把這些故事講出來才舒暢,是一種藝術家創作發洩抒發的概念。」

影藝.趙德胤 影像敘寫故鄉 成就電影夢想
趙德胤再次站上威尼斯紅毯,他的電影從台灣 出發,敘寫故鄉的故事,發光於世界舞台。 (左至右/男主角柯震東、女主角吳可熙、趙德胤)

而我們從另外一個角度反視,也因為這些電影,觀影者認識了趙德胤。

《再見瓦城》將近四千萬的製作成本,是由法、德、緬甸等國投資,故事本身涉及全球關注的經濟難民議題,引起國際銷售與發行商的投資興趣。這次的製作團隊人員多達200位,是趙德胤第一次挑戰大製作劇情長片,相較於近年國片市場不景氣,許多導演籌資困難,拍攝計畫延宕,向來不以資源設限作品格局的趙德胤,反向將投資分散於國際舞台,踩穩步伐把市場做大。

五年前便開始撰寫《再見瓦城》劇本,由於非電影劇本專科出身,信心不足,謙虛面對戰場卻從不怯戰的趙德胤,於是計畫性將劇本拿去投全世界重要的劇本比賽,一方面期望賺獎金挹注於拍攝,另一個原因,是藉此了解在全世界評審眼中,這個故事能否被理解、認同。

「《再見瓦城》光是劇本就易稿了12次」,趙德胤回想起易稿過程,因此結識許多評審,也得到面對國際創投的機會,他親自到國際市場找尋資金,身兼製片也學習發行,面對創投時還要能「賣」自己的作品,以強悍的精神與理智的分析,想辦法讓自己的作品有一天被實踐,如今作品再次獲獎,他感動的說,「這樣的鼓勵讓我多了自信,激勵著我在電影路上繼續走下去」。

The bigger picture

Midi Z’s films have a kind of tension in how they look directly at the challenges facing ordinary people desperate for a way out of poverty. With his long takes, their desperation and oppression at the hands of people and circumstances become a cinematic vocabulary, and this has caught the eye of critics around the world.

In Midi Z’s eyes, films are simply creations, with no particular political or social pretense. He says he feels no duty to speak for the underprivileged of Myan¬mar, nor does he feel that just by telling his stories he will somehow change everything. His films come simply from his personal observations and ideas; “I don’t try and dress up my films, I just want to tell these stories and get them off my chest. I’m simply an artist venting his emotions.”

From our position as outsiders looking in, these films also help us get to know Midi Z.

The Road to Mandalay cost nearly NT$40 million to make, with investor

When he began writing the script for The Road to Mandalay five years ago, not having a professional background in film meant Midi Z felt somewhat lacking in confidence, but he was nonetheless determined to see things through. He submitted his script to major script competitions around the world, going through some 12 drafts and getting suggestions from a range of judges, as well as finding more opportunities for international investment. As both director and producer, he learned about distribution and how to sell his films to potential investors. Approaching it all with a strong will and clear-headed analysis, he slowly found ways to make his idea into reality. As his latest work has started racking up recognition, he has remarked that such encouragement is a huge boost to his confidence, and helps keep him moving on his journey through film.

電影不是夢、而是實踐

趙德胤今年33歲,為電影跑過四十幾個國家,一百多場國際影展,許多國家還為他這位年輕導演舉辦作品展,而他從不以此為傲,私下生活仍與常人一般,沒有名車華服,不拍戲時為自己煮飯,每日如常看企畫案、看劇本。受訪隔日,他即將飛到威尼斯參加《再見瓦城》全球首映,擔心英文不夠好,提醒自己別忘記帶翻譯機,電影是他每天的生活日常,而不是一個大夢。

「我很少說電影是一個夢,這不太真實,對我來說電影是一種實踐,有很多故事與很多計畫 一步一步去實踐,越做才會越好。」趙德胤說,他隨時都準備好,回到一個人拍電影的模式,台灣的自由帶給他無限的創作靈感,而台灣的電影產業也因為這位異鄉導演而有了更開闊的格局,趙德胤始終相信,自己對電影的誠意與付出,不會因製作規格而受限,只要是情感真實的影像,最終都將會被看見。

More than just a dream

At 33 years old, Midi Z has traveled with his films to more than 100 film festivals in over 40 countries, with several countries even putting on special screenings of his works. However, he hasn’t let all this go to his head. In private, Midi Z is an ordinary person, with things like reading proposals and scripts just his everyday work rather than some grand dream.

“I don’t really talk about film as being a dream, that’s not realistic. To me, film is a practical pursuit, with all kinds of things that need doing and plans that need making. I just take everything one step at a time, getting better with experience,” he says. At any moment, he could go back to his old one-man model. The freedom of Taiwan, he says, has given him near limitless creative inspiration, and his passion and personal investment in film aren’t restricted by the scope of any given production. As long as the images feel real, feel true, then ultimately they will be seen.

看更多精彩內容詳見本期的臺灣光華雜誌

  • 臺灣光華雜誌 2016-10-26
關鍵字: 電影
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