“How kind of you to let me come - My Fair Lady series No.3”

「感謝您邀請我來」-窈窕淑女系列3

 

2009

Single channel video / HDV

6:15 minutes

 

“How kind of you to let me come” is the third piece of “My Fair Lady series”, since I came to the UK, I have been constantly aware of the huge gap between the mainstreams and marginal under the multicultural/global context; who has the power of discourse? I found English class students to film because these students that just arrived in England were starting to face the clash between different cultural and self-identity as Eliza in the movie. I attempted to reproduce the exact training what Eliza had in the movie. After the students read the phrase “The Rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” aloud, the tutor would repeatedly correct their pronunciation and articulation problems.

 

In my editing every student became completely mute whenever they attempted to pronounce the phrase. Instead the viewer is only able to observe their various emotions and thinking through their body language combined with the professor constantly correcting them.

「The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain」是六零年代經典電影『窈窕淑女』中語言學教授Higgins用來訓練賣花女ELIZA正確發出A這個音的句子,也是整部電影最著名的台詞,不斷反覆出現,也成了評斷Eliza是否成功由勞工階級轉變成上流社會淑女的標準。

 

「感謝您邀請我來」是我『窈窕淑女』系列中的第三件作品, 自2008年我到英國後, 我不斷意識到所謂多元文化的背景下,主流與弱勢間巨大的差距,最後誰掌握了話語權?我找了Pre-sessional (碩士課程前的英文課,語言成績未達入學門檻的學生須先通過課程才能正式入學) 的學生與教授拍攝,因為這些剛來到英國的學生也初到英國的學生就像ELIZA般開始面對不同文化與自我認同的衝擊。 我企圖重現了電影中教授Higgins對ELIZA所做的訓練,當學生們自行唸出「The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain」後,教授再針對其發音語咬字的問題不斷反覆糾正。

 

最後透過剪接, 在作品中無論學生們多麼努力每個人都變成完全的無聲, 伴隨著老師不斷反覆糾正發音的的背景音,觀眾只能透過學生的表情和肢體語言去觀察他們每一刻的情緒的變化和想法。

 

"The Rain in Spain stays mainly in the Plain - My Fair Lady series no.2"

「西班牙的雨落在平原上」-窈窕淑女系列 2

 

2009
single channel video
HDV
6:49 minutes

 

“The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain” is the phrase that Professor Higgins uses to train Eliza to pronounce the “A” sound in “My Fair Lady.” This phrase appeared constantly and it eventually became the standard to judge if Eliza had succeeded. This video, I intend to present more directly, the parts in the movie that were deliberately beautified – the pains and struggles faced in the process of cultural/class transformation. I found English class students to film because these students that just arrived in England were starting to face the clash between different cultural and self-identity as Eliza in the movie. I attempted to reproduce the exact training what Eliza had in the movie. After the students read the phrase “The Rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” aloud, the tutor would repeatedly correct their pronunciation and articulation problems. In the final work, I removed the tutor’s training process, and only showed the students repeating the line and making corrections

 

Embarrassment, frustration, numbness, we seem to clearly observe a transformation from being totally untrained to after training, but my question is what did we change in the end?

「The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain」是電影『窈窕淑女』中教授Higgins用來訓練ELIZA正確發出A這個音的句子,也是整部電影最著名的台詞,不斷反覆出現,也成了評斷Eliza是否成功的標準。這件VIDEO中延續了我一直以來在後殖民現象對個人的影響與文化身分認同文危機的關心,也是由七零年代經典電影『窈窕淑女』發想的第二件作品。

 

這次我想更直接地呈現電影中被刻意美化(淡化)的部份-麻雀變鳳凰的過程中的陣痛與掙扎。我找了Pre-sessional (碩士課程前的英文課,語言成績未達入學門檻的學生須先通過課程才能正式入學) 的學生與教授拍攝,因為這些剛來到英國的學生也正開始面對不同文化系統與自我認同的相互衝擊。我企圖重現了電影中教授Higgins對ELIZA所做的訓練,影片中每個學生面前有一張印有「The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain」的紙,學生自行唸出後教授再針對其發音語咬字的問題不斷反覆糾正。最後作品中我去除了教授訓練的過程,只留下學生不停重覆修正的片段,像電影的NG鏡頭,但沒有人能預測下一個take的表現會如何?

         

 

 尷尬、受挫、麻木、力圖振作、再次的受挫,現實其實是如此地殘酷,我們好像清楚地觀察到一個從未訓練到訓練後的轉變,但我的問題是到底最後改變了什麼?

 

“Come back! My Fair Lady - My Fair Lady series No.1”

「回來吧 ! 我的窈窕淑女-窈窕淑女系列 1」

 

2009

two channels video installation
HDV
5:30 mintes

 

In “Come back! My Fair Lady,” it continued the practice of repeating what one hears from earphones, as shown in “Music.” I took the most famous part, “The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain” from My Fair Lady. This is the turning point where Eliza suddenly understands, just when everyone had almost given up. I separated the original line into two parts, one for Professor Higgins and the other for Eliza. In the first filming, the girl only hears the lines for Eliza, and in the second, she only hears the lines for Professor Higgins. Finally, I put the 2 images side by side, which is basically, the same person in the same scene, creating a dialogue between 2 different actors.

 

To me, My Fair Lady represents the process of cultural and social transformation. However, the actual conflicts and contradictions are skillfully camouflaged by the director through song and dance, making the viewers only see Eliza’s joy after transformation; the pain in the process is greatly diminished. Ironically, viewing the drama now, the values and ideal life that are acclaimed are already entirely old fashioned, but I am powerless to find an opposing viewpoint, because these values still remain today. To me, it reflects the longing attitude of Asian countries and the third world toward the West the past 100 years. Masses try to learn English or go studying in the West, all in hopes for a better life; however the cultural impacts and hardships in daily life are everywhere. I am divided at every moment and like Professor Higgins, I push myself, desiring to have better language abilities, appropriate behavior, and logical thoughts. I want to integrate into this culture, but at the same time, contradictions cause me to become conscious of my original cultural background. I am like Eliza, constantly struggling and having questions. It’s impossible and unnecessary for me to change myself, “I can’t! I am so tired …I am so tired!”

”Come back! My Fair Lady”中我企圖呈現當個人面對不同社會與文化背景衝突時內在的矛盾,我從六零年代的好萊塢電影『窈窕淑女 My Fair Lady』得到了靈感。這部由奧黛麗赫本所主演的喜劇主要故事圍繞著一個貧窮的賣花女Eliza,雖然夢想著更好的生活,但勞工階層的口音與舉止並不允許她作夢,直到接受了語言學教授Higgins的訓練,最終麻雀變鳳凰的故事。

 

作品中我使用了『窈窕淑女』中最著名的片段「The Rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain」,當所有人幾乎放棄,但Eliza突然開竅的時刻,也是整部電影的轉折點。我把原有的台詞拆開成了Higgins教授的與Eliza兩個部分,第一次拍攝女孩只能聽到Eliza的台詞,第二次則是Higgins教授;最後我把兩個影像重新並置,同樣一個人在同樣的場景但卻是兩個不同的角色相互對話。

 

對我而言『窈窕淑女』整部電影的真實了表現了是一個文化與社會階級轉化的過程,但真實的矛盾衝突卻又被導演巧妙地用誇張歌舞與喜劇的糖衣包裹,使觀眾能直接感受ELIZA蛻變後的喜悅,但過程的苦卻大大減半。諷刺的是現在重新觀看,其中的價值觀與對理想生活的歌誦是那麼的八股過時,但無力的你卻很難找出什麼立場反駁,因為它們依舊存在。對我而言這同時間也反射到這過去一百多年來亞洲與第三世界長期對於西方的憧憬與追隨的態度。數以萬計的學習英語或到西方求學,我們都期望著更好的生活,但文化衝擊與生活上的不適應卻又無所不在。我時時刻刻都分裂著,我像Higgins教授般鞭策自己,渴望著更好的語言能力、合宜的舉止與邏輯的思維,極力的想融入這個文化;但同時間矛盾又使我更意識到什麼是自己的原生文化背景,我像ELIZA般不斷抗拒與疑問,我不可能也沒有必要改變,I can’t!I am so tired …I am so tired