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纽约时报双语:《后翼弃兵》:国际象棋也可以很“性感”

《后翼弃兵》:国际象棋也可以很“性感”
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Tries a Risky Play: Betting Chess Can Be Good TV
ALEXIS SOLOSKI
2021年1月18日
纽约时报双语:《后翼弃兵》:国际象棋也可以很“性感”

Garry Kasparov, one of history’s greatest chess players, doesn’t think much of most onscreen chess scenes. “You can see that chess is being used unprofessionally,” Kasparov said, speaking on a fuzzy telephone line from Croatia. “Very often, the positions are not making much sense.”

作为史上最伟大的国际象棋选手之一,加里·卡斯帕罗夫(Garry Kasparov)对银幕上大多数的国际象棋场景都不怎么满意。“你可以看出来,是非职业人士在下棋,”卡斯帕罗夫在克罗地亚一通信号不佳的电话中说。“通常情况下,摆出的棋位都毫无道理可言。”

Chess, a sport in which two people, usually men, sit opposite each other and barely speak or move, sometimes for hours, seems an unlikely screen star. But chess has fascinated film since the silent era, infiltrating thrillers, romances, comedies, biofilms, documentaries, classy literary adaptations and cartoons. Few other pastimes have inspired both Ingmar Bergman (“The Seventh Seal”) and Pixar (“Geri’s Game”). On television, chess has guest-starred on “Columbo,” “Star Trek,” even “Friends.”

国际象棋是一项两个人(通常为男性)面对面坐着,几乎不说话或移动的运动,有时一坐就是几小时,这一题材似乎不太可能成为银幕宠儿。但从默片时代开始,国际象棋就对电影充满吸引力,出现在了惊悚片、爱情片、喜剧、传记片、纪录片、经典文学改编作品和卡通片里。很少有消遣活动能同时为英格玛·伯格曼(Ingmar Bergman,《第七封印》[The Seventh Seal])和皮克斯(《棋逢敌手》[Geri’s Game])带来灵感。在小银幕上,国际象棋也在《神探可伦坡》(Columbo)、《星际迷航》(Star Trek)甚至是《老友记》(Friends)中有过客串。

Which makes “The Queen’s Gambit,” a seven-episode limited series that premieres on Netflix Oct. 23, both familiar and unusual. A glamorous and wrenching view of chess, set in the 1950s and ’60s, it centers on the fictional character Beth Harmon (first Isla Johnston, then Anya Taylor-Joy), a child prodigy who discovers the game in a Kentucky orphanage. Despite punishing addictions to alcohol and tranquilizers, Beth, clad in Gabriele Binder’s elegant period costumes, plays and trains obsessively, rising through the rankings until she faces the world’s best. Which makes her something like the thinking woman’s Rocky.

这使得于去年10月23日在Netflix首播的七集限定剧《后翼弃兵》(The Queen’s Gambit)既熟悉又不寻常。这部剧描绘了国际象棋的魅力和痛苦,它的背景设置在20世纪50年代和60年代,主角是虚构人物贝丝·哈蒙(Beth Harmon,最初由伊斯拉·约翰斯顿[Isla Johnston]饰演,后来换成安雅·泰勒-乔伊[Anya Taylor-Joy]),她是一名神童,在肯塔基州的一家孤儿院学会了这种运动项目。尽管沉迷于酒精和镇静剂,身穿由加布里埃尔·宾德(Gabriele Binder)设计的优雅年代服饰的贝丝,痴迷于下棋和训练,排名不断上升,直到她要面对世界上最强的选手。这让她有点像会思考的女版洛奇(Rocky)。

With its troubled protagonists and climactic matches, “The Queen’s Gambit” resembles other chess dramas. Its focus on a woman has precedent, chiefly Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe,” which Kasparov recommends. But when it comes to chess positions — the particular arrangement of pieces on the board — no other work rivals this one in terms of both number and painstaking accuracy.

有了麻烦缠身的主角和高潮迭起的比赛,《后翼弃兵》与其他国际象棋戏剧就有了相似之处。将重点放在女性身上已有先例,首当其冲就是米拉·奈尔(Mira Nair)执导的《卡推女王》(Queen of Katwe),卡斯帕罗夫也力荐这部作品。但要论棋位——即棋盘上棋子的特殊排列方法——没有作品能在数量和精细度上与这部剧匹敌。

“It is as close as possible to the authentic atmosphere of chess tournaments,” said Kasparov, who consulted on the series.

“它尽可能还原了国际象棋赛事的真实氛围,”担任该剧顾问的卡斯帕罗夫说。

It’s also exceedingly faithful to its source material, a slender 1983 novel written by Walter Tevis, an author with a knack for books that Hollywood wanted: “The Hustler,” “The Color of Money,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” Tevis, a respectable club player, could delight even non-players with chess’s rhythms and language: the Sicilian Defense the Semi-Slav Variation, the Falkbeer Counter Gambit, the Ruy Lopez. The book borrows its name from an opening move in play since the 15th century.

它也非常忠实于原作,这是沃尔特·特维斯(Walter Tevis)在1983年创作的一部篇幅不大的小说,这位作家深受好莱坞的喜爱:《江湖浪子》(The Hustler)、《金钱本色》(The Color of Money)、《天外来客》(The Man Who Fell to Earth)都是他的作品。特维斯是一位备受尊重的俱乐部棋手,他的下棋节奏和文风甚至能让门外汉都兴趣盎然:西西里防御、半斯拉夫防御、佛克比尔反弃兵、西班牙开局。这本书的名字取自15世纪起就在使用的一种开局方式。

In the early 1990s, the screenwriter Allan Scott (“Don’t Look Now”) acquired the rights to the novel and wrote a film script. The director Michael Apted expressed interest, as did Bernardo Bertolucci. Molly Ringwald was likely to star. In 2008, Heath Ledger, a chess enthusiast, signed on to direct, with Ellen Page as Beth.

20世纪90年代初,编剧阿兰·斯科特(Allan Scott,《威尼斯疑魂》[Don’t Look Now])获得了这部小说的版权,并撰写了电影剧本。迈克尔·艾普特(Michael Apted)和贝纳多·贝托鲁奇(Bernardo Bertolucci)导演都表达过兴趣。莫莉·林沃德(Molly Ringwald)可能会出演。2008年,国际象棋爱好者希斯·莱杰(Heath Ledger)已经签约执导,定由艾伦·佩吉(Ellen Page)饰演贝丝。

Then Ledger died of a prescription drug overdose before preproduction began. The project stalled.

后来莱杰在开拍前死于处方药使用过量。项目就停滞了。

“It was a very tough movie to get made,” William Horberg, a producer long involved with the property, said.

“这部片很难拍,”长期参与该项目的制片人威廉·霍伯格(William Horberg)说。

But it didn’t have to be a movie. A few years ago, the writer and director Scott Frank, who had read the book in the ’90s, took an interest. Having written and directed “Godless,” a feature script that evolved into an Emmy-winning limited series for Netflix, Frank thought that “The Queen’s Gambit” could be redeveloped in a similar fashion. Netflix agreed.

但不一定非得是一部电影。几年前,曾在90年代读过这本书的作家兼导演斯科特·弗兰克(Scott Frank)对它产生了兴趣。弗兰克曾编剧并执导《无神》(Godless),这一故事片剧本后来被Netflix拍成了一部拿下了艾美奖的限定剧,他认为《后翼弃兵》可以用类似的方式重新编写。Netflix同意了。

Which may have been a risk. The novel is brief. Dialogue is spare and the action beyond the gameboard minimal. But Frank, who created the series with Scott, wanted the space to fill in histories and themes that the novel elided.

这可能会是一次冒险。小说本身很短。对话很少,棋盘之外的动作也少之又少。但与斯科特一起创作该剧的弗兰克希望用小说所省略的历史和主题填补其中的空白。

“If you did it as a movie, it becomes a sports movie: ‘Is she going to beat the Russian guy?’” Frank said. “And that’s not what the book is about. For me, it’s about the pain and cost of being so gifted.”

“如果你把它拍成电影,那就会变成一部体育片:《她会打败那个俄罗斯人吗?》”弗兰克说。“而那不是这本书的主题。对我而言,主题就是拥有如此天赋带来的痛苦和代价。”

He wrote six episodes, then realized he needed seven. Why? “Chess takes time,” he said.

他写了六集剧本,然后发现需要第七集。为什么?“下棋很耗时间,”他说。

It certainly can. In 2018, the first game of the championship match at the world chess championship lasted as long as the series. (It ended in a draw.) So that became Scott’s challenge: how much chess to show, how much time to give it. Too much time spent on the games and you risked alienating non-players. Too little and you lost the sports underdog story that gives the series its shape. “The Queen’s Gambit” may be more than just a sports story — with extremely chic uniforms — but that remains its deep structure.

的确。2018年,世界国际象棋锦标赛的第一场比赛的时长与这部剧相当。(结果是平局。)于是,这就成了斯科特的难题:要展示多少下棋戏份,给其分配多少时间。描述比赛的时间太长,可能会让门外汉敬而远之。时间太短,又会把握不住塑造这部剧的体育逆境故事。《后翼弃兵》或许不只是一个有着极其时髦服式的体育故事,但这仍是这部剧的精髓所在。

Before production began, Frank hosted what he called a “chess summit.” In Berlin, where Frank would shoot the series, he and the editor Michelle Tesoro met with chess experts to try and learn as much as they could about the look and feel and even the smell of chess tournaments. They quizzed experts on the style of the pieces, the thickness of the board, the arrangement of tables and audience.

开拍前,弗兰克主持了一场他所谓的“国际象棋峰会”。在这部剧的拍摄地柏林,弗兰克与剪辑师米歇尔·特索罗(Michelle Tesoro)与国际象棋专家会面,试图尽可能多地了解国际象棋比赛的场面、感觉,甚至是气味。他们向专家了解棋子风格、棋盘厚度、桌子的布置和观众的安排。

The celebrated chess coach Bruce Pandolfini, who had advised Tevis on the novel, created a bible of games and positions for the series, signifying key moments in Harmon’s play. He tried for moves with symbolic heft, like an exchange of pawns or a queen sacrifice. Kasparov inspected these positions and also designed the moves for the most significant games.

曾为特维斯小说创作提供建议的著名国际象棋教练布鲁斯·潘多菲尼(Bruce Pandolfini)为这部剧打造出一本比赛和棋位的“圣经”,标出了哈蒙下棋中的关键时刻。他尝试了一些具有象征意义的走法,比如交换卒子或弃后。卡斯帕罗夫检查了这些棋位,并为一些重要比赛设计了走法。

Kasparov also gave the production some tips about tournament play, even as he doubted that any series could reflect the real atmosphere of a chess competition with complete accuracy.

卡斯帕罗夫也为制作团队提供了一些关于锦标赛的建议,尽管他认为,任何剧集都无法精准还原出国际象棋比赛的真实气氛。

“But trust me,” he said. “This is as close as one can have it.”

“但相信我,”他说。“这是能拍出的最接近的效果了。”

Very few of the actors were chess enthusiasts. So Pandolfini coached them on how to look like players — how to hold the pieces, when to hit the chess clock. Even viewers who didn’t know chess might pick up on false gestures, Pandolfini reasoned.

很少有演员是国际象棋爱好者。于是,潘多菲尼就教他们如何看起来像个棋手——如何握住棋子,什么时候该拍下棋钟。潘多菲尼认为,即使是不懂国际象棋的观众,也可能会注意到错误的手势。

Actors had to learn move after move in sequence, so Pandolfini developed mnemonics and visual cues to help them. “When it came to the actual chess sequences, my background as a dancer really helped,” Taylor-Joy said. “It’s basically just choreography with your fingers.”

演员必须按顺序学习各个动作,潘多菲尼因此开发了助记符和视觉提示来帮助他们。“面对国际象棋的实际布阵,我的舞蹈背景帮上了大忙,”泰勒-乔伊说。“那基本就是用你的手指编舞。”

Conveying Beth’s complicated inner life while sliding a queen’s pawn forward wasn’t a problem for her. “Her deep passion for chess is the passion that I have for my art,” Taylor-Joy said. “It felt easy to transfer the emotion.”

在诠释贝丝复杂的内心世界的同时,把皇后的一个卒子向前推,对她来说不是问题。“她对国际象棋的热情就像我对艺术的热情一样,”泰勒-乔伊说。“这样的移情不难做到。”

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