新銳英國導演 David MacKenzie 的作品似乎離不開一些心理備受困擾的角色。他自第二部長片《亡情水》(2003) 開始嶄露頭角，電影曾獲英國文化協會選為英國電影節2004 的開幕電影。片中伊雲麥葵格成功地演繹一名徘徊在道德沉淪邊緣的青年，而這種為世不容的角色繼續在MacKenzie 電影中佔據重要位置。英國電影節2007 選來其新作《偷窺者哈藍》，講述少年哈藍 (《跳出我天地》占美比爾飾 ) 走不出母親神秘死亡的陰霾，終日監視別人。
《偷窺者哈藍》改編自 MacKenzie好友 Peter Jinks的小說。 Jinks曾任記者、劇作家，寫作《偷》的故事時正居於愛丁堡的頂樓住宅，與哈藍一樣居高臨下。《偷窺者哈藍》相比 MacKenzie改編Alexander Trocchi 小說拍成《亡情水》更為有趣，前者的空間呈現既然與角色塑造息息相關，透過影像表達更堪玩味。《偷窺者哈藍》展現了文字幻化電影的趣味，正正呼應著英國電影節 2007「光影書情」的主題。
Hallam Foe: Weird Characters and Peculiar Spatiality
Text / Siu Heng
Arts and Creative Industries Officer, British Council
Troubled characters seem to be a common link between all of aspiring UK director David MacKenzie’s films. He made his debut feature Last Great Wilderness in 2002, but it was Young Adam (2003), which the British Council brought to Hong Kong at the UK Film Festival 2004, that made him known to the world. The film deals with a marginalised character, ably delivered by Ewan McGregor, at the verge of moral bankruptcy. The motif of troubled characters recurs first in Asylum (2005), and then in Hallam Foe (2007), one of the 14 titles selected for this year’s UK Film Festival. The film stars Jamie Bell from Billy Elliot as a confused teenager who, haunted by his mother’s mysterious death, spies on people.
The canals of Scotland and the backstreets of Glasgow form an eerie cinematic space under MacKenzie’s direction in Young Adam, highlighting the dark side of human nature. In Hallam Foe, the city of Edinburgh attains even greater significance but in a similar manner of creating peculiar spatiality. The film looks at the city, richly flavoured with Gothic style architecture in the old town, from an unusual perspective by observing the world of the city’s rooftops, sometimes using a hand held camera, from a hotel’s high clock-tower. The urban space is familiar and yet unfamiliar: while millions of people know what Edinburgh looks like, how many of them have examined it from that vantage point?
This dilemma on familiarity perhaps also holds true for the title character of Hallam Foe: his family experience and his voyeuristic deeds may be eccentric, but a teenager’s confusion and pain in his coming-of-age is shared by many. In MacKenzie’s own words, “…his journey is far from conventional, but I hope his experiences have a resonance with all of us…” Spying on his stepmother whom he associates with his mother’s death, peeping on a girl who closely resembles his mother, he watches other people in order not to look at himself. Just as when he stands on the clock tower, he sees every building in the cityscape except the very mansion he is standing upon.
Hallam Foe is based on a novel written by Peter Jinks, who devised this piece of work in his top floor apartment that shares a similar view to the protagonist’s hideout. Jinks has been a journalist and a playwright, and Hallam Foe is his debut novel. As an old friend of Jinks’, David MacKenzie had the idea of filming the book when he first heard about the story. Hallam Foe provides a more interesting case of film adaptation than Young Adam, which is based on Alexander Trocchi’s book, for spatiality, more sophisticated when represented visually, is so closely connected with the characterisation in Hallam Foe. The film once again demonstrates the charisma of “Reel Books”, which the British Council chooses as the theme of the UK Film Festival 2007.
For more information, please visit http://www.britishcouncil.org.hk/ukff07.
(Published in Artslink, October 2007, p.17 )