A Morning in Taipei, produced in 1964, was Bai Jingrui’s first work after his return to Taiwan following two years’ training in film in Italy. Bai’s original plan was to work on the soundtrack before release, but, for some reasons which will be discussed in the paper, this was not supported by the Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC), and unfortunately, the short film was buried in the warehouse of the CMPC for decades. The main purpose of this paper is to fill in the gap in the history of Taiwan cinema by examining the historico-cultural conditions which made the final completion of the film an undesirable, if not impossible, task. Here I investigate A Morning in Taipei mainly in light of the struggle between two opposite forces, i.e., the director’s intention and the cinematic function. I argue how Bai’s plan to restrict his work to merely focus on the ideal aspects of reality is counterbalanced by the non-human capacity of the camera, which opens up a reality beyond the human intention. Though the city of Taipei in the film is consciously invested by the director with the ideologies of progress, prosperity, modernity, etc, we can still detect the emergence of a different Taipei, one that is fluid rather than fixed, virtual rather than actual. The “morning,” moreover, does not refer to an already passed length of time but to a virtual morning created out of cinematic technology. Likewise, “Taipei” is not an actual city, but a city of the future or the virtual. It is probably the film’s unusually keen sense of time that may explain the audience’s contradictory experiences of viewing the film. Though feeling perplexed and disoriented while watching it, they are most often simultaneously attracted and moved by the silent images on screen, which, to say the least, are images with an unnamable intensity.
KEYWORDS: experimental film, Healthy Realism, realism, time-image
《台北之晨》是白景瑞 1964 年甫自義大利留學研究電 影,歸國後所拍攝的一段富有實驗特質的影片。影片在拍 攝剪輯完成後,白景瑞本來打算將它配上環境音效,但最 終不知為何始終未能完成。本論文試圖從攝影機功能與導 演意圖這兩種力量的拉扯來解釋《台北之晨》的矛盾與難 解。本文認為,雖然在意識層次上,白景瑞意圖將攝影機 的紀實功能限制在特定生活的呈現,但他的藝術家直覺卻 又讓他遵守攝影機的寫實功能。攝影機的本質不是拍攝固 定、人為排演的真實,而是捕捉生活周遭事物的意外與偶 發性。雖然導演希冀呈現一個擁有固定形象的「臺北」,甚 至傳遞出進步、繁榮、富裕的臺灣社會等意識形態訊息, 但電影技術卻同時創造了一個流動的「臺北」。《台北之晨》 裡的「臺北」不是慣常感官經驗的「臺北」,而是一座「未 然」(virtual)的「臺北」。而「晨」也並非指涉某個早晨, 而指的是電影技術在吸納了「過去」的時間的同時,所開展 出的「未然」、恆常不變的時間。或許是這種對於時間的敏 銳觀察讓我們得以在影片呈現的尋常事物裡感受到非比尋 常的強度,以及那謎團般、難以解釋的吸引力。