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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Has Soared So Far, but It May Not Fly in China

来源:纽约时报    2018-09-10 04:58

        HONG KONG — “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first major Hollywood studio release in 25 years with an all-Asian cast, has been hailed as a breakthrough in the United States, one that has topped the North American box office three weekends running. It has been dominating in other markets with large ethnic Chinese populations as well, including Taiwan and Singapore, where the film is set.        香港——《疯狂的亚洲富人》(Crazy Rich Asians)是25年来好莱坞大片厂的首部全亚裔阵容大片,在美国被誉为一项突破,并且连续三周登顶北美票房。在其他以华裔为主的市场,它也大获成功,包括台湾,以及该片的背景所在地新加坡。
        With its cast of mostly ethnic Chinese characters, a soundtrack featuring a number of Chinese artists and story notes that emphasize Chinese culture, it would also seem assured of success in China, the world’s second largest film market, which is playing a growing role in Hollywood’s calculations. The movie even opens with a quote from Napoleon: “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”        以华裔角色为主的阵容,来自多位华裔艺术家的电影原声,加上强调华人文化的故事情节,似乎在中国市场取得成功是理所当然的事情。作为全球第二大电影市场,中国在好莱坞越来越受重视。甚至电影的开头,还引用了一句拿破仑的名言:“中国是一个沉睡的巨人。就让她睡吧,因为醒来的时候,她会撼动世界。”
        And yet the film has not resonated with the “sleeping giant” and may not even be released there. Reached for comment this week, John Penotti, one of the film’s producers, said the application for official release in China was “still ongoing.”        然而,这部电影并没有与“沉睡的巨人”产生共鸣,甚至可能不会在那里上映。该片制片之一的约翰·佩诺蒂(John Penotti)回应置评要求时表示,该片在中国正式上映的申请“仍在进行中”。
        Under China’s strict quota system, a limited number of foreign films are approved for import every year and some experts are skeptical about the movie’s chances. The depictions of profligate spending and vast wealth inequality in “Crazy Rich Asians,” they say, might not sit well with Chinese officials amid the country’s growing push for positive “core socialist values.”        中国实行严格的配额制度,每年批准进口的外国电影数量有限,一些专家对这部电影是否有机会在中国上映持怀疑态度。它对挥霍无度和巨大的财富不平等的描述,可能会让中国官员不满,该国正在积极推行正面的“社会主义核心价值观”。
        “China has Hollywood working for them in terms of films that pander to China or at least make China look good,” said Stanley Rosen, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies Chinese society and cinema. “It’s ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — not the message that China wants to send at all.”        “中国一直在令好莱坞为其所用,拍摄迎合中国的电影,或者至少是让中国看起来美好的电影,”南加州大学(University of Southern California)研究中国社会和电影的骆思典(Stanley Rosen)说。“而《疯狂的亚洲富人》——根本不符合中国想要传达的信息。”
        Even if the film were to be released in China, it would not necessarily be guaranteed success. Among the relatively few Chinese who appear to have had a chance to see it outside the country, the response so far has been lukewarm.        即使这部电影在中国上映,也未必就一定能够成功。有少数中国人似乎在国外已经看了这部片影,截至目前,反响相当一般。
        The movie had a rating of seven out of 10 stars based on more than 4,600 reviews on Douban, a Chinese website (compared to an audience approval score of 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). One Douban reviewer compared the viewing experience to the pleasant surprise of “finding a decent dish in a popular American Chinatown restaurant.” Another panned it, calling the movie “crazy stereotypical.”        该片在中国网站豆瓣上的评论者超过4600人,得分为7分(烂番茄的观众好评为86%)。豆瓣上有人把观影体验比作“在一家受欢迎的唐人街餐厅里发现了一道好吃的菜”一般惊喜。也有人批评它是“极度的刻板印象”。
        Dong Ming, a Shanghai film critic, said: “Maybe the content of the film wouldn’t get censored but it’s a question of whether the film would even be popular in China.”        上海影评人董铭说:“也许这部电影的内容不会受到审查,但不好说这部电影是否会在中国受欢迎。”
        “Chinese people really dislike this kind of westernized Chinese culture,” he added, comparing the movie to American Chinese food staples like General Tso’s chicken and fortune cookies. “The flavor is not authentic.”        “这种被西方改良过口味的所谓中国文化,中国人更不以为然,”他补充道,并且把这部电影比作美国中餐厅里的左宗棠鸡和幸运饼。“变了味儿,不正宗。”
        The stark contrast speaks to the wide gap between the mainland Chinese experience and the Chinese diaspora experience — and in particular, the experience of ethnic Chinese communities who are minority populations in Western countries.        这一鲜明的对比反映出大陆中国人与海外华裔之间巨大的经历差异,尤其是与在西方国家作为少数族裔的华人群体的经历差异。
        In America, many Asian-Americans have spoken out about the emotional impact of feeling represented onscreen in a major Hollywood film.        在美国,许多亚裔都提到在大银幕上看到一部跟自己的族裔有关的好莱坞主流电影所带来的情感冲击。
        The director, Jon M. Chu, even wrote a personal letter to Coldplay asking for permission to use the band’s hit song “Yellow” in the movie. In the letter, he explained that he wanted to reclaim the term “yellow” — which has long been used as a racist, anti-Asian slur — as an emblem for ethnic pride.        导演朱浩伟甚至给“酷玩”(Coldplay)写了一封私人信件,要求允许他在电影中使用乐队的热门歌曲《黄色》(Yellow)。在信中,他解释说,他想让“黄色”一词重新成为种族自豪的象征——此前它一直被用作带种族偏见和反亚洲的诋毁之词。
        “It will give a whole generation of Asian-Americans, and others, the same sense of pride I got when I heard your song,” he wrote in the letter that was shown to the Hollywood Reporter. “I want all of them to have an anthem that makes them feel as beautiful as your words and melody made me feel when I needed it most.”        “这会给整整一代亚裔美国人和其他人带来当初我听到你们这首歌时的那种自豪感,”他向《好莱坞报道》(Hollywood Reporter)出示了这封信,信中说,“我希望他们所有人都能拥有一首赞歌,感受到你们的歌词和旋律在我最需要的时候带给我的那种美妙。”
        However, in China, where Han Chinese constitute over 91 percent of the population, the term “yellow” has no such connotation. Many Chinese would most likely recognize the song in the movie, which is a Mandarin cover sung by the Chinese-American singer Katherine Ho. But far from seeing it as an anthem for ethnic pride, they would know it more as the song that was made popular in the early 2000s by the Chinese rock singer Zheng Jun and later featured in the hugely popular Taiwanese TV drama “Meteor Garden.”        然而,在汉族占人口91%以上的中国,“黄色”一词没有这样的含义。许多中国人很可能会在电影中认出由华裔美国歌手何光玥(Katherine Ho)用普通话翻唱的这首歌。但他们不会把它看作种族自豪的赞歌,更多是会想到中国摇滚歌手郑钧在本世纪初唱红的那个翻唱版本,后来还出现在广受欢迎的台湾电视剧《流星花园》里。
        Such differences highlight the difficulties that Hollywood and the Chinese film industry face as they continue to seek ways to make content that appeals to both mainland Chinese and American populations. They also underline the challenges that the widening cultural gap poses for Beijing, whose growing efforts to exert influence over China’s diaspora communities run the risk of falling flat or igniting a backlash that would only see them drifting further away.        这些差异突显了好莱坞和中国电影业所面临的困难,它们还在继续寻找办法,制作既能吸引中国大陆人,也能吸引美国人的内容。它们还突显了不断扩大的文化差距给北京带来的挑战,北京日益努力对海外的中国侨民社区施加影响,这有可能达不到效果或引发强烈反对,只会让这些社区离中国越来越远。
        “Crazy Rich Asians” showed “Chineseness at its most potent,” said Ying Zhu, a professor of cinema studies at City University of New York. By evoking a more nuanced vision of diaspora culture, she added, the film “galvanized the diaspora Chinese in a way that the mainland film industry — under the tight grip of the Communist Party — has not been able to deliver.”        纽约城市大学电影研究教授朱影表示,《疯狂的亚洲富人》表现出“最大程度的华人味”。她补充说,通过唤起对侨民文化更加微妙的认识,这部电影“以一种共产党严密控制下的大陆电影业未能实现的方式激发了侨民”。
        The challenge of navigating complex racial sensitivities on both sides of the Pacific was again evident in 2016 with the release of “The Great Wall,” the high-profile, China-Hollywood coproduction. The decision to cast Matt Damon in the lead role was denounced by Asian-American actors as “white savior complex ” and “whitewashing,” referring to the practice of casting white actors in roles originally conceived as Asian or nonwhite.        2016年,随着备受瞩目的中国与好莱坞合拍片《长城》的上映,如何处理太平洋两岸复杂的种族敏感性再次成为挑战。亚裔美国演员谴责由马特·达蒙(Matt Damon)扮演主角的决定是“白人救世主情结”和“洗白”,后者指的是由白人演员扮演最初设想为亚洲人或非白人角色的做法。
        Filmmakers were caught off-guard by the criticism. In their mind, the film, if anything, was conceived as an effort to avoid another diversity problem: pandering.        这些批评让电影制作人措手不及。在他们看来,这部电影的目的不是别的,正是为了努力避免另一个多元化问题:迎合大众。
        Chinese audiences had become irritated with Hollywood studios for perfunctorily dropping Chinese actors and Chinese elements into movies in what appeared to be a blatant effort to pander to moviegoers. Making a movie with a mostly Chinese cast that was set in China was meant to solve that problem.        中国观众一直对好莱坞制片公司感到恼火,觉得它们敷衍地把中国演员和中国元素塞进电影之中,似乎是在露骨地迎合电影观众。制作一部以中国为背景、以中国人为主的电影,就是为了解决这个问题。
        To many in China, where audiences are accustomed to seeing Chinese stars on screen, the concept of whitewashing was completely foreign. They may have shared a common goal — to see more meaningful movie roles for ethnically Asian actors — but their reasons for wanting it were totally different.        对于许多中国人而言,观众习惯于在屏幕上看到中国明星,“洗白”的概念完全是外国的事。他们可能有共同的目标——看到亚裔演员出演更有意义的电影角色——但他们的理由完全不同。
        “In America, where race-conscious education is so deep that it penetrates the hair, to film a politically correct movie requires remembering all different points of view,” read a 2017 editorial explaining the whitewashing controversy in the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper.        “在种族主义教育深入到头发丝儿的美国,想拍部政治正确的电影,必须经得起各方检验,”2017年《北京青年报》的一篇社论解读有关“洗白”的争议。
        There is, however, at least one area of cultural exchange that seems to be resonating with both mainland Chinese and the diaspora population in North America. Chinese up-and-coming hip-hop artists and rappers are finding crossover success, with substantial and growing fan bases both in China and abroad.        然而,至少有一个文化交流的领域似乎在中国大陆人和北美的侨民之间引发了共鸣。中国崭露头角的嘻哈歌手和说唱歌手正在取得跨界的成功,他们在中国和海外都拥有不断增长的大量粉丝群。
        The “Crazy Rich Asians” soundtrack features one of those artists, an up-and-coming female rapper named Vava.        《疯狂的亚洲富人》原声带里就有一位这样的艺人——崭露头角的女说唱歌手Vava。

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