The new film "The Long Confession" is Zhang Lu's first Chinese-language film after more than ten years of absence from the Chinese-language film industry.
At the age of 39, the Chinese Korean director and screenwriter suddenly found himself somewhat sensitive to visual and auditory content, so he made his first short film "11 Years Old", which was shortlisted for the 58th Venice Film Festival Short Film Competition.
Afterwards, he started his creative career in both Chinese and Korean contexts at the same time, and filmed more than ten feature films including "Mango", "Bean Man River", "Desert Dream", "Gyeongju", "Spring Dream" and "Wong Goose". In the past 20 years, the film has been nominated for international film festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Logano, and Busan.
"Long Confession", formerly known as "Yagawa", tells the story of a pair of brothers with very different personalities, Lichun and Lidong, who travel together in Yanagawa, Japan, to find the woman they admired together in their youth. She is also called Yanagawa.
The elder brother Lichun is warm and free and easy, talkative and attentive, while the younger brother Lidong is lonely and melancholy, deep and delicate.
As they meet again, the truth of many past stories emerges.
The film continues Zhang Lu's usual light and romantic aesthetic style, showing the delicate emotions that flow between adults in still waters.
Memory and love in the intersection of time and space
"The Long Confession" was inspired by Zhang Lu's impression of Liu Chuan.
Yanagawa is a city in the southern part of Fukuoka, Japan. Many canals give it the reputation of "Water Capital" and "Venice of Kyushu". There are willows on both sides of the canal, and Yanagawa means the river under the willow tree.
The streets are sparsely populated, empty and lonely.
Zhang Lu traveled here for more than ten years, and forged emotional bonds with friends here.
When the trivial fragments of life and the specific faces are connected with the space, he stood by the river and heard the subtle voices in the depths of loneliness become stronger, and when he looked at it, he had the desire to create: if this place The city welcomes a girl with the same name. What will happen?
Zhang Lu put the insights and melancholy sighs of middle-aged people into the film, so that the eyes of more than 50 years old can see the body of 15 years old, and see the former self and others from the perspective of God. The images show the relationship between memory and love, so we see all the characters who are casual, casual and funny. They wander in Beijing, London and Yanagawa, reminiscing about the past and cherishing spring dreams. In the chaos of imagination, let the audience's true feelings react chemically with the film space, and feel the deep aesthetic imagery of symbolic references.
"The Long Confession" is an expression of memory, dreams and imagination, reminiscent of "Spring in a Small Town" and "Last Year in Marienbad".
"Spring in a Small Town" uses five actors to express the entanglement of four-cornered love and the era of the decline of the country and the country. The heroine Zhou Yuwen's dreamy narration, in addition to her own voice and actions, also describes the voices and actions of others. The omniscient view of the scene.
"Last Year in Marienbad" uses a way of interspersing reality and memory to outline the emotional entanglement of the hero and heroine, which is constantly chaotic. A ghostly monologue that interrogates a woman's memories, subconscious and inner time.
The arbitrary jump-cut of time and space in Zhang Lu's film is realized through the cross-narrative of words. Fragmented time and memory blur the current time, thus highlighting the inner time of the characters.
Being with someone you have loved for a long time, in Liuchuan, connecting the past, the present and the future with a river, such a moment is probably a dream of happiness, because happiness is always accompanied by pain, and Lidong and Achuan feel the same way. .
At the end of the film, when Ah Chuan went back to Beijing to see the dead Lidong's bedroom, all the things in it had been emptied, leaving only a wooden bed frame, she was lying curled up on the bed, falling into a huge blank.
Li Dong, who didn't want to leave any trace in this world, finally left A Chuan's singing on the tape, which she often sang in Houhai, London and Yanagawa.
The singing organically connects the space and allows the emotions of the characters to flow naturally in it. We found that in the constructed emotional space, the two have never been separated.
"The Long Confession" restores the unforgettable, unforgettable, but unexpressed love into the details and normality of life, mixed with fantasy, memories and dreams, with Li Shangyin's disappointment and regret that "this feeling can be reminisced, but it was already lost at that time" Helpless, it is a continuation of the half-real and half-illusory style of "Gyeongju", "Spring Dream" and "Yong Goose". Of course, it also has the sighing like "The Girl We Chased Together in Those Years".
Those murmurs, those whispers, those songs, those nonsense, like the waves on the water, true and false, like a dream, flickering in the light and shadow of the water, clear and soothing, giving people a beautiful and romantic feeling , swaying ripples in everyone's heart, making people reflect on themselves and have endless aftertastes.
Time is like flowing water, and "The Long Confession" leaves traces on the water. The deep and silent love between Lidong and Achuan spanned more than 20 years. Just like a white light illuminated by the sun and the moon, when you dig deep, the bottom of the water is A labyrinth, between soothing and smooth, has its own undercurrents.
Chanter in "Xianbi"
Zhang Lu is a director who makes good use of "idle brush" to adjust the audio-visual rhythm, expand the narrative space, extend the time and increase the interest.
The heroine in "The Long Confession" is Liu Chuan, played by Ni Ni, and the male protagonists are Li Dong, played by Zhang Luyi, and Li Chun, played by Xin Baiqing. However, several minor characters in the film, as "idle brushes", have great influence on the catalysis and development of the plot. important role.
The old woman in the izakaya played by Ryoko Nakano has an unknown past; Tatsuki Nakayama, played by Soryo Ikematsu, is haunted by the mistakes he made for his daughter; Tatsuki Nakayama's fifteen-year-old daughter is a fan of Achuan and has an affair with Achuan. Extraordinary friendship.
These three characters seem to be dense dark threads, weaving a web of time and space far beyond two hours.
Achuan is the "her" hometown of Zhongshan Tree, and it is also her hometown. It was Zhongshan who led Achuan to Liuchuan, and then the two brothers Lidong and Lichun came to hear "Chuan".
The three female characters form the mirror images of young, middle-aged, and old women. As the old woman said, each age group has its own cuteness and beauty. Teenagers are rebellious, middle-aged hesitant, and old age are determined.
Women are "mothers", carrying nostalgia, and her characteristics are kindness, tolerance, forbearance, and strength.
The experience of fifteen-year-old girls is also the experience of Achuan. The father is missing and wandering. In the end, they will become like old women, no longer lonely and lonely, and they will be one with the earth and have endless power.
The film's use of sound is exceptionally rich, with dialogue and lines in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English, highlighting the film's sense of place, fluidity and the emotional drive of the characters.
Although Achuan is in Japan, he does not speak Japanese much. Instead, he is Lidong. After studying Japanese in Beijing for two years, he can actually take his brother to Japan to find love. For Achuan "never speak Beijing dialect again", see you after 20 years , he could still hear her "accent has changed, but her voice has not changed", while a Korean tourist's sentence "Love is like a plum blossom, I will leave" expresses the joys and sorrows of Lidong, which can be regarded as a footnote of his fate.
The lyrics of the theme song "Autumn Willows" come from Li Shutong's poem, which is similar to "Farewell". It's like an ethereal dream, and "When I think about it, when I look back, it's very sad." It's like a little nostalgia for the old people and things, and it's like a sigh for the desolate years.
Songs such as "The Moon Represents My Heart", "Nanping Evening Bell" and Lennon's "Oh my love", as the organic whole of the film, illuminate the emotional world of the characters.
Like "The Goose" and "Spring Dream", Ni Ni's dance is also added to "The Long Confession". The dance is like a ritual that regulates the emotions inside and outside the film, allowing people to travel through time and space with the characters in the play.
Compared with Zhang Lu's previous works, "The Long Confession" has weakened the original "deepness" and sharpness, and has changed from focusing on reality to focusing on personal emotions, but the director still tries to add warmth and softness to the society. For example, Lennon and Yoko Ono are repeatedly mentioned in the film, and the tour guide explains that Yanagawa is Yoko Ono's hometown, Lennon is Yanagawa's son-in-law, and Lennon and Yoko represent pioneers, rebellion, love and peace.
The Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, who has been talked about many times by the characters in the film, is good at writing about individuals who are struggling between forgetting and recalling, trying to discern the outline of the world from the fog, and find the energy of writing in an era of lack of rationality , bringing a new perspective to creation from the emotional level in the great social change.
These symbolic characters embody the director's intention and add a different kind of strength to the film.
(The author is a researcher at the Film and Television Research Institute of the China Academy of Arts)