COVER STAR

魏德聖 | Formosa Wonderland For Taiwan

豐盛之城  致台灣這片土地

身為一個導演,他不是為了創造電影奇蹟所以拍了《海角七號》,他也不是為了名揚國際所以拍《賽德克・巴萊》。一直以來,魏德聖只想做一個把故事說好的人。在魏德聖最新的電影與造城計劃裡,藏有他對台灣的最深情溫暖的感情,這次,他想說出關於所有台灣人的故事,而且他想好好的,說好這個故事。

As a director, as a director, he didn’t shoot Cape No. 7 for the sake of the cinematic miracle, and he didn’t shoot Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale for the international fame. All along, Wei Te-Sheng just wanted to be a man who told the stories well. In his latest film and city-building project, he has the most affectionate warm feelings about Taiwan. This time he wants to tell a story about all the Taiwanese and he wants to tell the story well.

關於魏德聖導演,似乎大家都對他很熟悉,但也似乎不太熟悉,這次《Enya》雜誌邀請到魏德聖擔任封面人物,拍攝地點選在了萬華的新富町文化市場,在這個日據時代便已存在的古蹟裡,聽他說著他眼中看到的台灣的過去,以及他如何迫切想將台灣歷史最美好的一面分享給世代台灣人的心情。從小看電影長大的魏德聖導演,究竟在電影世界裡追求的是什麼?曾經迷戀導演這個位置,也曾經追逐所謂的導演夢,原來在追求的過程中,魏德聖發現自己一直在追求的,並不是導演這個角色,而是追求一個可以藉由電影這個集合聲、光、影效果的強勢媒介,讓他好好說出來的好故事。國片曾經面臨過相當委靡不景氣的年代,即便是現在,經費始終是一部電影最難克服的關卡,許多導演在製作經費不足的現實條件下,常常沒辦法好好地將所想傳遞的故事完整呈現,但魏德聖說他從不考慮這些,對他來說預算不足就找。外界的人會誤以為魏德聖是超出預算在拍電影,他慢條斯理地解釋:「我所花費的預算始終都與預估相同,只是仍不免被要求再節省開支,但拍電影就是會有一定的費用」,要作到什麼程度需要什麼樣的經費,都早在他的考量與計劃裡,與其犧牲電影故事的呈現而節省預算,那不如去找,去找更多資金來投入電影拍攝。一如《海角七號》超過5000萬製作費、《賽德克・巴萊》高達7億的製作費用,魏德聖從不讓預算成為他把故事說好的阻礙。

在魏德聖的電影世界裡,為了把故事說好,他幾乎是從不妥協,這也是魏德聖導演的片子好看的原因, 所以我們才會在《海角七號》裡獲得共鳴,在《太陽旗》與《彩虹橋》中對人性與人在那樣一個時代下的無奈感慨激昂。這次魏德聖想說的「台灣三部曲」故事架構更龐大、時代更遙遠、內容更多元複雜,要把這個故事說好,難度大大的提高。因為不容易,所以即便這個概念20多年前就在魏德聖心中醞釀,十多年前劇本便已寫成,魏德聖卻沒有付諸行動,而是靜靜的等待,直到賽德克・巴萊與卡農的成功,他知道,是時候拍「台灣三部曲」了。

「台灣三部曲」故事闡述的是400年前大航海時代發生在台灣這片土地上族群衝撞與生存的故事,他分別從原住民、漢人、荷蘭人三個觀點去敘述同一個故事,從「逃」這個起點開始出發,描繪人如何為了生存,選擇逃或選擇抵抗,這些衝撞都是為了延續生命,而這就是歷史,也像是台灣的命運。

魏德聖談起為什麼他想說「台灣三部曲」的故事,緣起於王家祥的原著小說《倒風內海》,他看完這本小說後,對於台灣這片土地有相當深刻的感悟,他開始思索:台灣真的曾經經歷過這麼美麗的時代?台灣曾經有這麼多的荷蘭人、黑奴、馬來人、日本人與漢人在這片土地匯集,這些古代的人民是如何生活?經歷過什麼?已經消失的台江內海,曾經這麼平和且美好,就像母親的子宮孕育出台灣最早的文明,這段歷史讓他心中充滿問號,也開始好奇自己的出身,進而去探索屬於台灣自己的歷史與文化。他感性地說道:「我看完這本書以後所發現的世界,就像是看到自己在還沒出生前在媽媽子宮裡的照片一樣充滿震撼且深受感動,我想讓更多台灣人看到台灣剛出生的時候是什麼樣貌,我想讓世界上更多的人知道,台灣曾經如何的純真美麗。我覺得那是一個很棒的時代,讓我迫不及待的想要讓更多的台灣人知道,我們曾經這麼漂亮的活著過。」

要將台灣曾經的美麗與輝煌帶到大眾面前,除了故事性本身,魏德聖知道想把這個故事說好說完整,勢必要重建出400年前台灣府城的樣貌,包括繁榮活絡的台江內海、歷盡滄桑的熱蘭遮城以及那個年代的市鎮樣貌。有了《賽德克·巴萊》與《KANO》的經驗,重建這樣的歷史佈景並不困難,但搭建後的場景留不住,讓他開始思索,除了電影本身,電影拍完後的場景是不是能留下來,繼續讓每一代的人都能有機會認識年輕時的台灣。因此魏德聖決定在「台灣三部曲」電影拍攝外,保存片中打造出來的歷史現場,並將其發展為「豐盛之城」歷史文化體驗園區。

「豐盛之城」歷史文化體驗園區的想法比魏德聖過去任何一部電影的規模視野都要宏大,不僅執行困難度拉高許多,預算更是高出拍攝電影預算的好幾百倍。為什麼要這麼做?魏德聖說:「不是因為我自認使命有多大,我也不是為了得到什麼,而是我們在這片土地出生、長大,也會在這裡面對死亡、埋葬,不管我們是什麼族群背景,我們一代又一代在這裡生存,有衝突、有和解、有喜怒哀樂,但這個撫育我們一代又一代的土地已經老了、不青春了,為什麼沒有人願意為了這個撫育我們幾世代的土地建立一座紀念她的園區呢?我們取之於這片土地,踏在這片土地上生活,我想藉由「豐盛之城」去紀念台灣這片一直以來默默付出不求回報的土地。我們每個人都是台灣的孩子,我希望大家能一起完成實現這個計劃,當作送給台灣這位母親一個可以紀念、感謝她的禮物。」

11月1日魏德聖正式與台南市簽訂合約,「豐盛之城」的計劃也總算是真正啟動,電影也確定要在2021年正式開拍,魏德聖表示,雖然電影是站在歷史的背景裡面的虛構故事,但那個時代的氛圍、美學與生活環境是真實的,如果大家進來看這部電影受到感動,不是因為電影讓人感動,而是因為在這部電影裡我們可以看到自己的出生。魏德聖希望藉由這樣一個故事,讓台灣人可以好好審視自己的過去,在尋根過程中得到價值認同,最後他說:「當我們知道自己從何而來,就會產生安心的力量且堅定知道自己該往何處去。」在述說這些話時,他的眼神清澈明亮且堅定,如果不是深愛這片土地,他又怎麼會有這股傻勁要義無反顧地去重現台灣曾經輝煌的「豐盛之城」,這個目前仍有重重難關要面對的計劃,仍需要大量經費的挹注才能實現,魏德聖籌募的不是造自己的夢,而是為台灣人鋪上一條開始尋根的道路。

As for director Wei Te-Sheng, everyone seems to be familiar with him, but also seems not so familiar. Enya magazine invited Wei Te-Sheng for its cover, the shooting location selected was in Wanhua’s U-mkt We were in the historical site that existed from the Period of Japanese colonial rule, listened to him about what he saw from Taiwan’s past and shared with his eager mood to show the best of Taiwan’s history to the next generations.

What exactly does director Wei Te-Sheng seek for in the film world as a growing-up man by watching movies? Once he obsessed with the position of director and also chased the so-called director dream; however, Wei Te-Sheng finally found that in the pursuit of the process, he has been pursuing not the director’s role, but the pursuit of film as a strong medium which lets him tell good stories through this collection of sound, light and image effects.

Our domestic films had faced a very difficult era, and even now, funding is always the most difficult stage of the film to overcome. Because of insufficient funding for production, many directors often cannot properly deliver their stories with the full picture, but Wei Te-Sheng never allowed this to hamper him. For him, if there is a budget shortage, he makes an effort to resolve it. Outsiders would misunderstand him for over budgeting for a movie, and he explained: ”I’ve always spent the same budget as my estimation, but I’m still being asked to save money again. But making a movie is going to have a certain cost.” To what extent would I need what kind of money was as early as his considerations and planning would allow; he would find more funding to invest in filming rather than sacrifice the presentation of the film story just to save on the budget. Even if Cape No. 7 costs more than $50 million to produce and Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale costs $700 million, but he never lets the budget be an obstacle to his films.

In his film kingdom, in order to tell the story well, he almost never compromises, which is the reason why director Wei Te-Sheng’s films are always watchable. Therefore, the audience will get the resonance in Cape No. 7 and get the helpless feelings of human nature in ”The Japanese Flag” and Rainbow Bridge. This time Wei Te-Sheng wants to tell the Taiwan Trilogy story structure in a larger scope, the times being more distant and the content being more complex. It is very difficult to tell this story well. As it is not easy, even this concept percolates in Wei Te-Sheng’s consciousness more than 20 years ago. More than a decade after the script was written, he did not put it into action, but quietly waited until the success of Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale and KANO; he knew that it then was time to make the Taiwan Trilogy.

The story of the Taiwan Trilogy tells the story of the collision and survival of ethnic groups in this part of Taiwan 400 years ago during the Age of Discovery, and he tells the same story from three points of views of the aboriginals, the Han and the Dutch, and from the Escape as a beginning by depicting what people did in order to survive, they chose to escape or chose to resist; these collisions are meant to continue life, and this is history, like the fate of  Taiwan.

Wei Te-Sheng talked about why he wanted to tell the story of the Taiwan Trilogy, which originated from Jiaxiang Wang’s original novel The Wind in the Inner Sea. After reading this novel, he had a profound understanding of Taiwan, and he began to think: Has Taiwan really experienced such a beautiful era? Taiwan once had so many waves of migration to this land, such as the Dutch, black slaves, Malays, Japanese and Han Chinese and how did these ancient people live? What have they been through? The disappearance of the Taijiang Inner Sea, once so peaceful and beautiful, is like the mother’s womb giving birth to Taiwan’s earliest civilization, and this history left him with a heart full of question marks. Meanwhile, he also began to be curious about their origin, and then explored Taiwan’s own history and culture. ”The world I found after reading this book was shocking and moving as seen by myself as being in my mother’s womb before I was born. I wanted more Taiwanese to see what it looked like when Taiwan was born. I wanted more people in the world to know how pure and beautiful Taiwan had been,” he said emotionally. “I think it’s a great time for me to want more Taiwanese to know what we’ve lived through so beautifully.”

To bring the beauty and glory of Taiwan to the public, in addition to the story itself, Wei Te-Sheng knew that he wanted to tell the story well and completely, and it was bound to rebuild the 400-year-old Taiwan’s capital city, including the prosperous Taijiang Inner Sea, the city of Theranan and the towns of that era. With the experience of  Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale and KANO,  it was not difficult to rebuild such a historical scene, but the scene after the construction cannot be left out, which lets him begin to think that, in addition to the film itself, can he keep the scene without destroying it after the filming, and continue to let every generation of people have the opportunity to know the young Taiwan. So Wei Te-Sheng decided to preserve the historical site created in the film and develop it into a Formosa Wonderland historical and cultural experience park, after the filming of the  Taiwan Trilogy.

The idea of a Formosa Wonderland of historical and cultural experience park is larger than any film in the past, and not only is the difficulty of execution much higher, but the budget is hundreds of times higher than for filming. Why would you do that? He replied that: ”I don’t think that my mission is heavy. I’m not here to get anything, but because we were born and raised in this land, and we will face death and burial here, no matter what ethnic background we are, and our new generation is born again. At the time when the ancient generations lived here, there were conflicts, reconciliation, joy and sorrow, but Taiwan has nurtured us from generation to generation through the ages. Then why wouldn’t anyone want to build a park in memory for this land, which has nurtured us for generations? We gain the resources from this land and live on it; I want to use the Formosa Wonderland to commemorate Taiwan, which has been quietly paid for without asking for anything in return. Each of us is a child of Taiwan, and I hope that together you can complete this plan as a gift to Mother Taiwan that can be remembered and be thankful for.”

On November 1st, Wei Te-Sheng officially signed a contract with Tainan City, the Formosa Wonderland finally ready to launch. The film is also determined to be officially filming in 2021. Wei Te-Sheng said, although the film is with the fictional story based on the background of history, but the atmosphere, aesthetics and living environment of that era are real. If everyone who watches this movie is touched, it’s not because the film is touching but because in this movie we can see our own origins. He hopes that through such a story, Taiwanese can see clearly at our past and find our value recognition in the process. Finally he said, ”When we know where we are coming from, we will create the strength of peace in mind and firmly know where we should go.” While saying these words, his eyes were clear, bright and firm. If he has not loved the land, how could he have this foolish energy to recreate Taiwan’s once glorious past as the Formosa Wonderland, which still has many difficulties to face and still needs a lot of money to achieve. Wei Te-Sheng doesn’t make a film only to create his own dreams, but also for the Taiwanese pave a path to start finding our roots.

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