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2019/04/26 達因賽益 電影中的傳統/現代表現:《巫醫》與《靈魂交替》(2) -Khoo Gaik Cheng

2019-04-26

演講:Grappling with representations of tradition/modernity in Dain Said’s films
Dukun (2018) and Interchange (2016)
達因賽益 電影中的傳統/現代表現:《巫醫》與《靈魂交替》
時間:2019/04/26 13:00-15:00
地點:國立交通大學人文電影館,人社二館3樓

簡介
This lecture acknowledges that Malaysian films struggle in the age of anxiety to engage with many socio-cultural and political issues, ethnic relations, gender disparity, the denial of human rights, freedom of expression and nationalist discourses. In an early essay, “Just-Do-It-Yourself,” I pose cosmopolitanism as a way to describe what historian Sumit Mandal terms “transethnic solidarities” among independent Malaysian filmmakers in their collaborative projects (Khoo 2007). While many of the films screened in this festival reflect this cosmopolitan attitude (having an openness towards the culture of others as reflected in sensitive portrayals of the racial Other, being influenced by global film styles), there have been significant changes in the film industry, technology and among independents that make the cosmopolitan framework difficult to contain and apply to all Malaysian films.  That said, this lecture will take up some of the festival’s themes, namely by addressing the discourse of Malaysian modernity in the ‘Age of Anxiety’, through a discussion of two films by Dain Said set in the urban cosmopolis where the mystical exists.
 
I read the spaces of Dukun and Interchange via temporality and spatiality that gestures towards the idea of networked or circulating modernities, to eschew and deconstruct the often diametrically opposed binaries of tradition/modernity, past/present, colonial/postcolonial in favour of integrating the two and thinking of them as relational. As Walter Mignolo notes, modernity is conditioned on the presence of coloniality; so too has western modernity its dark side: colonialism (2011). While the resurfacing of ghosts, the mystical, beliefs in black magic and the monstrous feminine in Malaysian or other SEAsian films can be read positively as signs of pluralizing modernities, through positing “alternative” or “Asian” modernities, this gesture nevertheless returns the power of primacy to European modernity as the source of its planetary diffusion (Friedman 2015). Notionally the rendering of tradition in most Malaysian fantasy/horror reflects a postcolonial anxiety about our state of modernity, whether it’s ambivalence about the benefits of modernity (alienation in the family) or a sense of cultural lag that Malaysia is ‘not quite modern’, not quite scientific, not quite divested of its sometimes silly superstitions.
 
My analysis though hopes to make sense of the sleek modern architecture in Interchange that does not resemble the reality of a working class police photographer’s accommodations and the traditional blue and white buildings that are iconic of Malaysian police stations. The presence of the indigenous Borneo historical characters in the hypermodern city hearkens to the return to older layers of regional history: reminding Malaysian viewers of urban Malaysia’s deep-roots in the nusantara (archipelago). I will show how Dukun and Interchange do not only suggest that the past (in the form of the Sumatran dukun and the Tingang tribe of Borneo) haunts the present for colonial and postcolonial injustices that once addressed can be put to rest; but that the present and the past (and the future of the past) are deeply imbricated in temporal continuity. Thus, tradition and modernity are enmeshed and appear to evolve in new forms that may not be linear. Such a reading I hope can contribute to and enrich Friedman’s and Mignolo’s project of connecting local modernities.
 
馬來西亞電影在焦慮的年代試圖處理各種問題,例如社會文化和政治議題、族群關係、性別不平等、人權侵犯、表達自由和國族敘事等。我早期在一篇論文中提出以「世界主義」把握馬來西亞獨立電影人的協作計劃,以解釋歷史學家蘇密曼達(Sumit Mandal)所說的「跨族群團結」(Khoo 2007)。本次影展放映的電影,大部分都反映了這種世界主義態度(透過對族群他者的敏感刻畫,顯示對他族文化的開放態度,且受到國際電影風格的影響)。不過,這些年的電影工業、技術,和獨立電影群體本身已有顯著變化,世界主義的架構已難以容納和適用在所有馬來西亞電影。本演講討論達因賽益的兩部電影《巫醫》(2018)和《靈魂交替》(2016),它們的場景皆設定在都市,卻有神秘元素存在。藉此,我將回應本次影展的主題,討論「焦慮的年代」中馬來西亞現代性的問題。
 
我通過時間性和空間性的概念來解讀《巫醫》和《靈魂交替》,指出一種網狀或循環的現代性概念,得以避開並解構經常被視為對立的傳統/現代、過去/現在、殖民/後殖民,反而將他們結合並認為他們具有相關性。如同Walter Mignolo(2011)所述,現代性受到殖民性的制約,西方現代性也有他的陰暗面,即殖民主義。馬來西亞或其他東南亞電影中不斷出現的鬼魂、神秘元素、巫術信仰和變異的陰性,雖可正面地解讀為現代性的多元化展現,或假定一個「另類」或「亞洲」現代性的存在,然而,這個說法卻是主權交還給歐洲現代性,視之為現代性在全球發散的源頭(Friedman 2015)。概念上而言,大部分馬來西亞恐怖片呈現的傳統,反映了攸關我們現代性狀況的後殖民焦慮,無論是關於現代性益處的矛盾情緒(如家庭關係的疏遠)或是文化滯後之感,如馬來西亞「不夠現代」、不夠科學,或仍未能摒棄愚笨的迷信等。
 
我試圖解讀《靈魂交替》中,那不反映現實工人階級警察攝影師所應居住的整潔現代建築,還有象徵馬來西亞警局的藍白建築。傳統婆羅洲歷史人物出現在超級現代城市,暗示回到早期區域歷史的重要:它提醒馬來西亞觀者,都市馬來西亞深根於馬來群島。我將分析,《巫醫》和《靈魂交替》不止呈現出(以蘇門答臘巫醫或婆羅洲Tingang部落為形式的)過去,依然糾纏著殖民/後殖民不公的現在,而這些不公只要獲妥善處理就可安息;這兩部電影還展現了現在和過去(和過去的未來)在時間延續性之下深深纏繞。因此,傳統和現代性被絆在一起,同時逐步形成未必線性的發展形式。透過這樣的解讀,我希望能進一步充實Friedman和Mignolo的在地現代性連結計劃。

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