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寻找“功夫女王”(上):传说中的明星

更新时间:2016-11-18 10:26:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Searching for Lady Kung Fu
寻找“功夫女王”(上):传说中的明星

At the reception for an Asian film festival at Lincoln Center six years ago, excitement rippled through the crowd: Was it her? Lady Kung Fu? Was that Lady Whirlwind?

六年前,林肯中心(Lincoln Center)举办了一个亚洲电影节。在电影节的招待会上,一阵兴奋感在人群中散布开来:那是她吗?是功夫女王吗?那是旋风女王吗?

Rumors long circulated that she had left movie stardom in Hong Kong for domestic life in New York City, but no one had heard much else about Angela Mao, possibly the most famous martial arts actress of her time, in more than 30 years.

长期有传言称她已离开香港电影界,去纽约享受家庭生活了。但除此以外,在30多年的时间里,几乎没有什么有关茅瑛的其他消息。她大概是她那个时代最著名的功夫女星。

Surprised fans were now greeted by a small 60-year-old woman wearing a floral silk dress. Her son helped her manage the crowd. One fan, Ric Meyers, approached her for a photo. Like others, he was curious to know what she had been up to. He got his answer.

但当时,出现在惊讶不已的影迷前的她已经60岁了。她身材娇小,穿着一件有花卉图案的丝质连衣裙,儿子帮她控制人群。一个名叫里克·迈尔斯(Ric Meyers)的粉丝走到她跟前,想要同她合影。和其他人一样,他好奇地想知道她一直以来在做什么。他得到了答案。

“She told me and my friends she was running restaurants in Queens,” Mr. Meyers said. “I told them, ‘We all have to go.’ But we all just got too busy and never went.”

“她告诉我和我的朋友她在皇后区开着几家餐厅,”迈尔斯说。“我对他们说,‘我们都要去。’但我们都太忙了,从来没去过。”

“She gave off the impression,” he added, “that she was a very private person.”

“她给人的感觉是,”他接着说,“她是一个非常在乎个人隐私的人。”

On a warm afternoon this September, Ms. Mao, now 66, sat in one of those restaurants, keeping an eye on lunch service as she rubbed her baby granddaughter’s belly.

今年9月一个温暖的下午,现已66岁的茅瑛坐在其中一家餐厅里,一边观察午餐服务情况,一边揉着小孙女的肚子。

The restaurant, Nan Bei Ho, sits on a quiet street in Bayside, a suburban Queens neighborhood beyond the reaches of the subway system and not far from the Long Island border. It is the oldest of three restaurants she runs with her husband and son, all of them in Queens. It serves Taiwanese food and is popular on weekends but is otherwise nondescript.

这家名为“南北和”(Nan Bei Ho)的餐厅坐落在市郊的皇后区住宅区贝赛德一条安静的街道上。这里超出了地铁系统的覆盖范围,距离与长岛的边界不远。如今,茅瑛与丈夫和儿子都生活在皇后区,共同经营着三家餐厅,其中“南北和”是最早开业的。餐厅供应台湾菜,周末生意很好,但其他方面乏善可陈。

Martial arts fans have sought the address of this restaurant for some time — they wanted to know what happened to Angela Mao, the Queen of Kung Fu, who fought and flew through dozens of films in the 1970s but vanished within a decade.

一段时间以来,武术爱好者们一直在寻找这家餐厅的地址。他们想知道,功夫女王茅瑛身上发生了什么。她在70年代的数十部电影中拳打脚踢,飞檐走壁,但不到十年便销声匿迹。

A woman with a hearty laugh, Ms. Mao sometimes expressed confusion that people still had any interest in her.

茅瑛喜欢开怀大笑。她有时会对人们依然对她感兴趣表示困惑。

Over the course of three hours at the restaurant, she spoke in Mandarin, with her son and his wife translating into English. Ms. Mao, who usually declines interviews, reflected on her past without sentimentality.

在餐厅接受采访的三个小时里,她一直在用普通话,她的儿子和儿媳把她的话翻译成英语。经常拒绝接受采访的茅瑛回顾了自己的过去,没有一丝伤感。

On moving to New York: “My son was born, and my husband came here for work. Supporting my family is what is most important to me.”

对于移居纽约:“我儿子出生了,丈夫也来这里工作。支持自己的家庭对我来说是最重要的。”

On her second vocation: “Chinese restaurants are always a good way to make money in the U.S.”

对于自己的第二个职业:“在美国,开中餐馆永远是赚钱的好办法。”

On leaving the spotlight: “My story is now in history. I want to be off the screen. I always keep low.”

对于淡出公众视线:“我的故事现在已经是历史了。我希望远离荧屏。我一向低调。”

When encouraged to discuss her stardom with less modesty, she turned away from her granddaughter, seeming to consider the past for the first time in a long while. Then she chuckled.

听到让她不要这么谦虚,谈谈自己当年的光芒的鼓励后,她放开孙女,似乎是很长时间以来第一次回忆过去。然后,她轻声笑了。

“How famous was I?” she said. “When I was a somebody, Jackie Chan was a nobody.”

“我当时有多出名?”她说。“我当明星的时候,成龙还是无名小卒呢。”

Ms. Mao’s career was brief but bright, taking place in Hong Kong and Taiwan and including roles in more than 30 films over a decade. Studios promoted her as a female Bruce Lee. When she appeared as Mr. Lee’s doomed sister in the 1973 martial arts classic “Enter the Dragon,” her place in the kung fu canon was secured. Quentin Tarantino has cited her as an influence, and a violent fight scene in his 2003 film “Kill Bill” involving a swinging ball and chain is strikingly similar to one of Ms. Mao’s duels in “Broken Oath.”

茅瑛的电影事业短暂却灿烂。在十年时间里,她在香港和台湾演了30多部电影。电影公司把她宣传成女版李小龙。当她出现在1973年的经典武打片《龙争虎斗》(Enter the Dragon)中,扮演李小龙在劫难逃的姐姐时,她在功夫片领域的地位就树立起来了。昆汀·塔伦蒂诺(Quentin Tarantino)就自称受了她的影响。在塔伦蒂诺2003年的影片《杀死比尔》(Kill Bill)中,一个激烈打斗的场景中出现了四处挥舞的链球,和茅瑛在《破戒》(Broken Oath)中的一个决斗场面惊人地相似。

She fought with ferocity and grace, mowing through armies of opponents with jaw-breaking high kicks, interrupting the carnage only to flip her pigtails to the side. A common climax in her films was her combating a villain twice her size.

她的打斗激烈而不失优雅,利用可踢断对手下巴的高踢腿横扫一群群敌人,在血腥搏斗中时不时地把辫子甩到一边。在她的电影中,常见的高潮是她和块头是她两倍的反派搏斗。

“She was the first female kung fu star — name above title,” said J. Hoberman, a longtime movie critic who now writes about video for The New York Times. He has fond memories of seeing Ms. Mao’s movies on triple bills at Times Square grindhouse theaters in the 1970s. “She basically had one act, which was going from an obedient character to a machine-like avenger,” he added. “A lot of people saw her films as feminist statements the same way as Pam Grier films.”

“她是第一位女性功夫明星——想当初,她可是相当大牌,”资深影评人、目前在为《纽约时报》(The New York Times)撰写DVD影评的J·霍伯曼(J. Hoberman)说。他还保留着上世纪70年代的美好记忆:他猫在时代广场(Times Square)的磨坊戏院里,观看三场连放的由茅瑛主演的影片。“她基本上总是演这样的角色:从一个逆来顺受的人,变成冷酷无情的复仇者,”他补充道。“很多人都觉得她的电影和帕姆·格利尔(Pam Grier)的电影一样,是女性主义者的宣言。”

Ms. Mao’s career coincided with the over-the-top, often impolitic exploitation era in film. The narrator for an American trailer of her 1972 film “Hapkido” declares: “Watch out for the pigtail that whips you up and wipes you out. … Lady Kung Fu: the unbreakable China Doll who gives you the licking of your life.”

茅瑛的职业生涯恰好与电影史上那个毫无节制且常常不顾政治正确的剥削片时代重合。在她1972年主演的电影《合气道》的美国版预告片中,旁白宣称:小心那条大辫子,它会让你心荡神摇,也会把你彻底摧毁……功夫女王:坚不可摧的‘中国娃娃’给你好看。”

She was born Mao Ching Ying in 1950 and grew up in Taiwan, the third of eight children, to a family of entertainers for the Peking Opera House. Like her siblings, she started training for the opera at a young age, taking voice lessons when she was 5. She also studied martial arts, specifically hapkido, rising to the level of black belt — a prowess that later distinguished her from other action stars, who merely choreographed their fight scenes.

茅瑛原名茅复静,1950年生人,在台湾长大,出身于京剧院的艺人家庭,在家中八个孩子中排行老三。和兄弟姐妹们一样,她很小的时候就学起了京戏,从5岁开始吊嗓子。她还学习了武术,尤其是合气道,练到了黑带水平——这方面的造诣后来让她从众多动作明星中脱颖而出。其他人在打斗场景中通常只是耍耍花架子。

In her 20s, she moved to Hong Kong, where a thriving film industry was based, but she was hardly romantic about it. “To be honest, the money was just better in movies,” she said. “I had to support my family. Most of the money I made I gave to them. This is the Chinese tradition.”

二十几岁的时候,她搬到了电影产业蓬勃发展的香港,但她对电影几乎没有任何浪漫幻想。“说实话,拍电影收入更高一些,”她说。“我必须养家。我把大部分收入都给了家里。这是中国人的传统。”

Leading female roles were rare in Hong Kong at the time. Mr. Meyers, the fan who met with Ms. Mao at Lincoln Center, is the author of “Films of Fury,” a comprehensive history of the kung fu movie genre. Ms. Mao, he said, was the first woman to star in her own action films without having to defer to a male star.

想当年在香港,女性主角还很罕见。在林肯中心见到了茅瑛本人的影迷迈尔斯,是《狂怒电影》(Films of Fury)一书的作者,该书全面记录了功夫类电影的发展史。他说,茅瑛是第一位身为动作片主演且在片中不必屈居男影星之后的女性。

“Men ran things,” he explained. “Hong Kong had lots of machismo then. Women were considered ‘jade vases.’ They didn’t speak on screen. They were considered decoration.”

“男性曾掌管一切,”他解释道。“当时的香港盛行大男子主义。女性被视为‘玉花瓶’。她们在电影里通常不出声,被当成摆设。”

When asked about this epithet, Ms. Mao snapped, “I was never anybody’s ‘jade vase.’” She shifted in her seat. Moments later, she dispatched her son to tend to a customer she noticed from the corner of her eye.

当被问及对这个词的看法时,茅瑛厉声说道,“我从来都不是任何人的‘玉花瓶’。”她在座位里挪动了一下身子。片刻过后,她打发儿子去招呼她用眼角余光瞥见的一位客人。

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