Topic: A Fresh Take on a 1934 ‘Murder’
A gruesome murder has been committed on a train in the middle of the night. Only 13 occupants of the carriage could have committed the dastardly deed. Was it a) the Russian princess; b) the American widow; c) the English governess; or d) the Hungarian count? Or any of the nine other multinational posh people and their servants rubbing shoulders on the luxury locomotive, snowbound in the middle of Eastern Europe, with a brilliant Belgian detective inconveniently in their midst?
Chances are this sounds familiar. It’s the setup for one of the most famous detective stories in the world: Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel “Murder on the Orient Express,” which has sold millions of copies. It was made into a sumptuous 1974 movie, directed by Sidney Lumet with the starriest of casts (Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman!). It has been adapted for television, stage and radio. There is a Japanese television version and a computer game.
All this meant that Kenneth Branagh, the director and star of the new film version, which opened in the United States on Friday with the starriest of casts (Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench!), had his own mystery to solve. How do you reinvent one of the world’s best-loved whodunits for a new era? Branagh’s solution was to modify, and sometimes entirely change, character and plot details in ways that may dismay purists but that he felt would give the piece a more contemporary resonance.
“There is always the thorny issue of who will know the plot and how can we divert them,” Branagh said in a telephone interview. “We knew we had to get people’s attention for a recalibrated character in Poirot,” Christie’s idiosyncratic Belgian detective.
To that end, Branagh and the scriptwriter, Michael Green, begin the movie with a showdown at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as the detective solves another mystery. “I wanted to embrace the exotic and worldly side of Christie, to come into the big, hot open skies and find a new Poirot, our ticket for an exotic adventure,” Branagh said.
With an opening that has Poirot tripping up an escaping villain in a positively James Bond-esque manner, Branagh immediately established the detective as a far more dashing man of action than the novel’s small hero “muffled up to the ears of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward curled mustache.”
這個開場讓白羅以絕對詹姆士·龐德的方式逼逃犯露出馬腳，布萊納也立刻將這位偵探塑造成遠比原著中小號英雄瀟灑的行動派男子漢；原著中的小號英雄「衣服直蓋到耳朵，除了一個粉紅鼻子，以及上捲的兩綹髭鬚，什麼都看不見」。Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/320990/web/
Topic: The Actor Behind the Ape
The leader of the troops walks slowly through the ranks of soldiers, who part respectfully, as he looks at them with an expression that combines anger, pain and grim intent. But this isn’t a human commander. It’s Caesar, the ape who is the principal figure in 20th Century Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” franchise. The scene comes from the latest in the series, “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which opens in the United States on July 14, and has generated laudatory reviews.
In “War,” the fragile truce between humans and apes has given way, and we discover the sinister Colonel (played by Woody Harrelson), whose early actions set in motion a series of devastating events for both populations.
Caesar, the ape whose expressions we are watching via digital transformation as he reacts to the Colonel’s murderous deeds and musters his forces, is played by British actor Andy Serkis. In BoxOfficeMojo.com’s ranking of actors by their ticket sales, Serkis is in the top 30, outflanking Brad Pitt and Daniel Radcliffe, among other far more famous names. His films average $125 million at the box office, more (by some distance) than those of Samuel L. Jackson or Tom Hanks. He has been acting professionally for nearly 30 years and has starred in numerous movies, some of them blockbusters like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the 2005 “King Kong,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the “Apes” reboot.
Yet, for most moviegoers, Serkis, 53, is probably neither a household name nor face, since he has specialized for more than a decade in creating roles through performance capture — a complex technology that records the movement and facial expressions of human actors and then painstakingly renders them digitally to create fantastical characters, like Caesar, Gollum and King Kong.
Caesar, wrote A.O. Scott of The New York Times in a review of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” is “a role that continues to redefine screen acting in the digital age. His facial expressions and body language are so evocatively and precisely rendered that it is impossible to say where his art ends and the exquisite artifice of Weta Digital, the special-effects company, begins.”
紐時影評人A.O.史考特在「猩球崛起：黎明的進擊」的評論寫道，凱撒是「數位時代繼續重新定義大銀幕表演的角色。他的臉部表情和身體語言如此生動和精準演出，不可能說他的演藝止於何處，特效公司Weta數位公司的精良技術又自何處開始。」Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/315730/web/#top
Topic: Berlin Film Festival to make acting prizes gender neutral
The organizers of the Berlin International Film Festival (aka Berlinale) said last Monday that they will stop awarding separate acting prizes to women and men beginning next year, and the performance awards will be defined in a gender-neutral way at next year’s festival, for which a physical event is planned.
The festival awards a Golden Bear for the best film and a series of Silver Bears, which until this year included best actor and best actress honors. Organizers said those prizes will be replaced with a Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance and a Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance.
In a statement, the co-heads of the festival, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, said “not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry.”
The festival’s Golden Bear is one of the most prestigious awards in Europe, together with the Palme d’Or of the Cannes festival in France and the Golden Lion award of the Venice Film Festival. Cannes still singles out a best actor and actress, while Venice awards a Volpi cup to actors of each sex.
At the same time, the Alfred Bauer Prize, which is named after the festival’s founding director, will be permanently retired. The prize was suspended this year due to revelations about Bauer’s role in the Nazis’ moviemaking bureaucracy.
Commenting on the decision to hold a physical event next year, despite uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two directors stressed the need for a “lively relationship with the audience.” “In times of the corona pandemic, it has become even clearer that we still require analogue experience spaces in the cultural realm,” they said, noting that other festivals have also resumed holding physical rather than virtual events. The 2021 festival is scheduled for Feb. 11-21.
縱有冠狀病毒疫情所造成之不確定性，對於明年柏林影展舉行實體典禮的決定，兩位總監強調「與觀眾保持活生生關係」之必要性。「冠狀病毒疫情中愈發清楚顯示，在文化場域中，我們仍需要能提供類比經驗的空間」，他們表示，其他影展也已恢復舉行實體典禮。二○二一年之柏林影展訂於二月十一日至二十一日舉行。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/08/31/2003742547