2007/10/03

Taking Notes: 'Universe Makers ... and Breakers' (1981) by Philip K. Dick

這一篇是 Dick 談科幻電影,其中一段提到 Blade Runner,大家可以看看作者本人的見解。文章很短,所以除了開頭的作者介紹外全文呈現。慣例還是粗體為重點。

原出處為 SelecTV Guide,Feb 15 ~ Mar 28,1981。發行者正是 Dick 家的有線電視公司。Dick 寫這篇換來一整年看免$$。X-D

閱讀出處:
Philip K. Dick, "Universe Makers .... and Breakers (1981)" in Lawrence Sutin (ed.), The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), pp.103-105.

p. 103
Science fiction films have put one over on us. Like the veil of maya, your special effects department down there in Hollywood can now simulate anything the mind can imagine ... and you thoght it was all real. No, they really don't blow up planets. It's true; they make it up. And a great deal of skillful imagining is going on these days. Not content with destroying whole planets, inventive scriptwriters and directors will soon be bringing you peculiar new universes with inhabitants to match. Watch for it. What you thought an alien looked like ... well, it is going to look a lot worse. What burst through Kane's shirt in Alien is not the end of the line of monsters but more the beginning.
p. 104
It takes megabucks to match the imaginations behind sci-fi films, and that money exists because the profits are there. Not for the story of the film; that isn't what Hollywood goes for, now that Hitchcock has left us. Why do you need a story line if your special effects department can simulate anything? Graphic, visual impact has replaced story. Authors of science-fiction novels know this and grumble; what they wrote is not what you get when the film is finished. But this is as it should be. We are seeing a story, not being told it.〔Dick 完全否定科幻片有良好劇情鋪陳的可能嘎!〕

Ridley Scott, who directed Alien and who now intends to bring into existence a $15 million film based on my novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, confessed to an interviewer from Omni magazine that he "found the novel too difficult to read," despite the fact that the novel appeared as a mass-circulation paperback. On the other hand I was able rather easily to erad the screenplay (it will be called Blade Runner). It was terrific. It bore no relation to the book. Oddly, in some ways it was better. (I had a hell of a time getting my hands on the screenplay. No one involved in the Blade Runner project has ever spoken to me. But that's okay; I haven't spoken to them.) What my story will become is one titanic lurid collision of androids being blown up, androids killing humans, general confusion and murder, all very exciting to watch. Makes my book seem dull by comparison.〔顯然 Dick 的幽默感不差 8-p〕

Still, you wouldn't want to see my novel on the screen because it is full of people conversing, plus the personal problems of the protagonist. These matters don't translate to the screen. And why translate them, since a novel is a story in words, whereas a movie is an event that moves? They're not called movies for nothing. I have no complaints.〔連 Blade Runner 都說成這樣,要是 Dick 地下有知(聽說這個辭彙因為腦殘記者的關係前陣子很紅),發現他的小說被拍成現在的樣子,不知作何感想?〕

Sometimes we sci-fi writers tell ourselves that the recent mass excitement over our wares is due to the successes in the actual space program, all those manned and unmanned probes, all those pictures sent back of moons no one knew existed, not to mention rings that are braided together in an affront to known laws of physics. But this isn't the case. The real reason for the wild financial successes of recent sci-fi films is: Human imagination takes a quantum-leap breakthrough by the special effects people; films such as Close Encounters and Alien and 2001 would be just terrific, just as awe-inspiring and wonderful if we were still driving Model A Fords -- perhaps even more so.

The fact is, spaceships no longer dangle on strings, no longer fizz,
p. 105
hesitate, or wobble past you, as in the old Flash Gordon serials. The monsters are no longer inflated rubber toys haltingly mimicking what the average ten-year-old could dream up. There is great sophistication at the dream factory these days. If I as an author can think it up, they can build it in such a way as to scare or amaze you, and in all cases convince you. And this is why, really, sci-fi films work now, in contrast to the old days, when kids at Saturday afternoon matinees hooted and giggled at Lon Chaney, Jr., emerging from a fake swamp to inflict the mummy's curse on yet another idiotic lady.

As a writer, though, I'd sort of like to see some of my ideas, not just special effects of my ideas, used. For all its dazzling graphic impact, Alien (to take one example) had nothing new to bring us in the way of concepts that awaken the mind rather than the senses. A monster is a monster, and a spaceship is a spaceship. Star Trek, years ago, delved more into provocative ideas than most big-budget sci-fi films today, and some of the finest authors in the science-fiction field wrote those hour TV episodes. I'm getting a little tired of people turning out to be robots, harmless-looking life forms evolving into sutpendous but predictable space squids, and, most of all, World War Two's Battle of Midway refought in outer space. But I must admit that the eerie, mystical, almost religious subtheme in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back enchanted me. Now and then the sense of wonder is there. Okay, if they would just stop blowing up the orbiting space station at the end -- but it looks so nice, that acid-trip color-burst display. This is the great written rule: Sci-fi films end not with a whimper but a bang. And maybe that's as it should be, in the best of all visual galaxies.
〔起碼 Dick 的確預見科幻電影的趨勢所在啊......〕

1 comment:

Yenchin said...

今天下午我正在想為什麼比較古早的片子比較有「感覺」,這篇似乎說出原因來了。

另外推這句:No one involved in the Blade Runner project has ever spoken to me. But that's okay; I haven't spoken to them.

XD

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...