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更新时间:2018-11-21 19:59:54 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Film review: Five stars for Roma

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is beautiful in every way. From the subtle artistry of its black-and-white images to its personal yet universal story about a young servant, Cleo.


Set in Mexico City in 1970-71, the film is dedicated to a woman named Libo, the real-life inspiration for Cleo, a nanny and maid for a middle-class family based on the director’s own. Roma is the name of the neighbourhood in which he grew up and where the film was shot. But those autobiographical details are less important than the emotion that thoroughly infuses the film: Cuarón’s deep affection and respect for Cleo, and for a time and place that means home.

影片背景设置为1970 -1971年的墨西哥城,献给一位名叫丽波(Libo)的女性。她是克莱奥的真实原型,一位中产阶级家庭的孩子保姆兼家務女佣,而这个家庭的原型正是导演自己的家庭。他自小在这个叫罗马(Roma)的社区长大,那里也是电影的外景地。但这些自传性的细节并不十分重要,更重要的是融入电影中的情感。在这部影片中,阿方索‧卡隆倾诉了对克莱奥以及意味着家庭的时间和地点的深情厚意和尊敬。

The film begins with a shot of square paving stones in the family driveway, viewed from above so that the stones are seen as a pattern of diamond shapes. One of the few purely impressionistic images, it suggests Cuarón’s method: transforming something ordinary, so that it is seen in a fresh way. Water begins to flow over the stones, and finally the camera is back on the ground, where Cleo is washing the drive.


She is beloved by the four children in the family, quietly whispering “Wake up, my angel,” when she gets them out of bed in the morning. But Cuarón clearly defines her role as a servant, who shares a room adjoining the house with another maid, and works tirelessly. She can enjoy watching television with the family, but has to leave to make tea whenever the father wants it.  Like so many in her position, she both is and is not quite one of them.


The children have yet to learn that their family is in distress. Their father pretends he is going on a business trip, but is really leaving their mother for another woman. Throughout the film, Marina de Tavira eloquently portrays the mother’s strength and the pain she tries to hide.

孩子们还不知道他们的家庭陷入了困境。他们的父亲假装出差,实际上是为了另一个女人而离开他们的母亲。从开头到结尾,塔维拉(Marina de Tavira)在电影里生动地刻画了母亲的力量和她努力隐藏的痛苦。

But that story is a backdrop to Cleo’s. She is played flawlessly by Yalitza Aparicio, who had never acted before. The camera often stays on Cleo’s face, and Aparicio displays the layers of emotion that the character grapples with as she finds herself pregnant, then abandoned by her boyfriend.

但这个故事只是映衬克莱奥故事的背景。阿帕雷西奥(Yalitza Aparicio)完美地演绎了她的角色,虽然她此前从未演过戏。镜头经常停留在克莱奥的脸上。阿帕雷西奥展现了这个角色发现自己怀孕,然后又被男友抛弃时的层层情感纠结。

More than in most films, Roma’s distinctive style is inseparable from viewers’ experience of it. Cuarón evokes the classic works of Italian neorealism, such as Bicycle Thieves. His black-and-white is a naturalistic range of greys, not the deep-black, enhanced shades of film noir. Shooting in large-scale 65mm, he takes a wide view of most scenes as the camera stands back, sometimes panning slowly from left to right. There are no cheap editorial cuts and gestures that tell viewers what to watch, much less what to feel. Amazingly, he creates a sense that we are observing a world, even as he draws us into the lives of people who seem as real as anyone we might meet. The smaller the screen, the more the breadth of that world is likely to be diminished.

比大多数电影更突出的是,《罗马》独特的风格与观众的体验密不可分。阿方索‧卡隆唤起了观众对意大利新现实主义(neorealism)的经典作品的记忆,如《偷自行车的人》(Bicycle Thieves)。他的黑白电影是自然主义的灰色系,而不是黑色电影(film noir,具有悲观色彩的电影)的深黑色强化色调。他采用65毫米的大幅黑白胶片,当镜头向后移动时,他可以用广角拍摄大场景,有时镜头从左到右慢慢移动。没有廉价的剪辑和暗示告诉观众该看什么,更不用说感觉什么。令人惊讶的是,他创造了一种我们正在观察一个真实世界的感觉。他甚至把我们引入那些与我们可能遇到的任何人一样真实的生活。屏幕越小,那个世界的幅度就越可能被缩小。

The moments of everyday naturalism are affecting. Cleo’s boyfriend leaves her at the cinema, walking out without telling her that he won’t return. After, she sits alone on the curb of the noisy street outside the theatre, clutching the jacket he left behind. Her face registers confusion and dismay, but not self-pity. This is a world without melodrama.


High drama is handled by the characters with equanimity, as Cuarón creates glorious, complex images that may, without context, sound precious, but in the film play as realistic details. During Cleo’s appointment with a doctor at a hospital, a minor earthquake rumbles. She calmly observes the rubble that has landed on top of a baby’s incubator. (Cuarón makes it clear that the baby is still breathing.) During the family’s New Year’s visit with relatives, a fire breaks out in the woods, and the entire group, including the children, throw buckets of water on the fire as if it were a holiday game.


Cuarón doesn’t ignore the political turmoil of the 70s, but lets it appear as it would to the characters. The children’s grandmother takes Cleo to a furniture shop to buy a cot for her baby, a sign of how the family has embraced her. Outside the window, pro-democracy students are demonstrating, and paramilitary troops shoot and kill many, reenacting a historical event that became known as the Corpus Christi Massacre.

阿方索‧卡隆并没有忽视70年代的政治动荡,而是通过片中人物的角度展现。孩子们的祖母带着克莱奥去一家家具店给她的孩子买了一张婴儿床,这是一家人接受她的标志。窗外,支持民主的学生在示威,准军事部队开枪打死了许多人。这个场景重演了一桩历史事件,即墨西哥近代史中的科珀斯克里斯蒂大屠杀(Corpus Christi Massacre)。v

But the life-changing events are personal. Using his trademark long scenes (in Gravity, his famous uninterrupted opening is 17 minutes long) Cuarón builds tension by letting those episodes take their time. When Cleo goes into labour, she is seen on the hospital table in the foreground, while doctors examine her baby in the background, the parallel images allowing us to observe her face as well as the action behind her. In another tense sequence, the family goes to the beach and two of the children are carried too far out in the water. Cleo, who can’t swim, must try to save them.


By the time the family huddles together to hug Cleo near the end, she has emerged as both an ordinary woman and an extraordinary screen heroine, resilient and unsentimental.


Cuarón is known for the variety of his style, from the early, sexy comedy Y Tu Mamá También to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the best of the Potter franchise. The Oscar-winning Gravity is sterile and overrated, but his dystopian Children of Men is truly brilliant. It was his one true masterpiece until now. Cuarón not only directed Roma, he also wrote, edited and was cinematographer. Like a magician, he has taken his own memories, turned them into a dazzling fiction, and handed them to viewers like a gift.

阿方索‧卡隆因其风格多样而闻名,从早期的性感喜剧《你妈妈也一样》(Y Tu Mamá También)到《哈利·波特与阿兹卡班的囚徒》(Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)——哈利·波特系列中最好的一部。奥斯卡获奖影片《地心引力》(Gravity)枯燥乏味,是被高估了,但他的反乌托邦作品《人类之子》(Children of Men)确实精彩绝伦。这是他迄今为止唯一真正的杰作。阿方索‧卡隆不仅是《罗马》的导演,还担任了编剧、剪辑和电影摄影。他就像魔术师一样,把自己的记忆变成了一部令人眼花缭乱的虚构作品,然后当作礼物献给观众。

It would be hard for any film to live up to the extravagant praise that has trailed this one from the Venice, Toronto and New York film festivals, but that acclaim – unlikely enough  for a subtitled black-and-white film that is 2 hours and 15 minutes long – isn’t hype. Roma is simply the most exquisite and artistic film of the year.