本台内部消息 – internal information – English

  
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Guo Xizhi’s 2009 documentary “Mouthpiece” would seem to be a sort of repayment of a debt. Guo turned his lens on an organization in which he himself had worked — Shenzhen TV. We see modern, gleaming glass towers and wide, brightly-lit corridors, public spaces where people meet up and go their separate ways, and in particular Guo’s state media colleagues who put together the Shenzhen TV news program “First Spot”, from station executives to front-line reporters.

 

Apart from the show’s presenters, these men and women work behind the scenes, and normally do not seek to appear before the viewers. But every day, they direct their cameras at people of all walks of life in the community, and thereby obtain the material for their program. It’s only reasonable to expect that, once in a while, they would be willing to allow someone else to come and film them as they go about their work. If they didn’t agree to an outsider setting up a camera to record their activities, how could they justify doing that themselves to others? On a daily basis, they intrude into other people’s lives. They could hardly complain if occasionally someone were to intrude in theirs.

 

 

Although Guo constantly buzzes around the Shenzhen TV staff like some persistent fly, they show no inclination to shoo him away, and it was probably a wise move on their part to decide to cooperate with him. If the Shenzhen TV news crews behave like paparazzi, then by the same token you could say that Guo himself is a paparazzo’s paparazzo. In this case, the rationale of the observer and the observed is the same. No doubt, considerations of this sort played a part in the decision to agree to Guo’s project. It worked in Guo’s favour that the film-maker and his subjects are kindred spirits.

 

 

Bearing this in mind, there is no need to ask why these smartly-dressed individuals perpetually look so dispirited and run-down, or why, during meetings, they all stagger about as if half-asleep. In the presence of someone as familiar to them as Guo, it just isn’t possible to maintain a facade of professional composure. Even the presenter having her makeup done before going live does not escape Guo’s lens. But when these people open their mouths to speak, they make cutting remarks, ridicule each other, and make shocking pronouncements. In idle moments, we see them leaning by a window making a few remarks, or waiting in a corridor for a job interview. These scenes have a strange vibe, as if they were part of the development of some big plot. It reminds one of a television drama.

 

 

Emotions are raised to a fever pitch, only to become subdued just as quickly. Stories start off this way: “Looks like a hot lead — let’s go!” Facing an angry crowd accusing local government officers of unlawful confiscation, they listen patiently; with striking workers who are standing up to their detestable Japanese factory manager by setting up a picket line, they sympathize. In another scene, they make their way through a condemned building in a back alley in an old part of town. The people there have had their water and electricity cut off. Both the news team and the local people alike grow anxious when they find themselves completely surrounded by a contingent of security officers. But often enough the story ends with the words “We can’t put this to air.” Again and again, partly-formed news stories are aborted, so that the audience gets the feeling that they have walked into a “family planning office” for news reports.

 

 

他们自然需要更多地把自己的感情掩藏起来,形成那种一脸的讥讽,一身的嘲弄。然而,在某些情况下,他们也会流露出真情的“惊鸿一瞥”。那位提摄像机的大哥,在公安局里拍摄一位十七岁的少女,她刚刚因为爱情游戏撒谎报警面临处罚。他循循善诱的采访,一方面是严厉的教育,另一方面让人感到这是在公安人员面前替她求情。一位叫做汪洋的年轻记者,在饭桌上与领导顶撞之后,站在走廊里对同事们说:“不能自我阉割,否则得不到尊重。”所有在场的人们,眼圈都热了。

 

 

原先的制片人离开,他们念叨此人的好处在于“给我扛压力”,并希望新来的替补者也能做到这一点,“接着抗”。一位不到天年的女同事去世,大伙儿在殡仪馆哭得泪人儿似的,除了悼念的含义,还有兔死狐悲的意思。当然,事情过后,他们又恢复到原来的状态,再次将自己隐藏起来。玩笑也不能开得太过分。此前有一位叫做大宝的老兄,因为写“保先”材料时说了一句玩话,结果被停职了。

 

 

头儿开会是这样要求他们的:“不要把自己看作是社会事件的记录者。其实你是搞政治工作的。搞政治肯定有对和错,左与右,(有)这方面判断是非的标准。如果这件事情对党的事业不利,对群众生活不利,最好要不要去碰。”在场一些年轻的记者编辑,他们的脸上显出一种似懂非懂的表情。“党的喉舌”,对他们来说,是一门需要单独掌握的专业课题。

 

 

片子长达180分钟。有人认为需要再精炼一些。但是我恰恰认为这正是这部纪录片的优点。郭熙志放进去了许多看似无关的细节,那些远离主题的碎片,不停地游历出去,又不停地找补回来,庞杂而丰富。就像人们在收听广播时,同时听到了某个频道周围出现的许多杂音和噪音。只有包含了更多碎片的混杂叙事,才能释放我们尚没有被完全理解的生活本身。

 

 

比如在被拆迁的老村深巷里,两个天真孩子被摄入了镜头,他们像小动物被母亲关在了屋里。不安气氛中一小段的插播,透出一丝人类生命坚韧的底色和阳光。

 

 

实际上,拍完这部片子之后,郭熙志便离开了深圳电视台,现为深圳大学传媒学院教授。他1990年上海华东师范大学毕业,从安徽的电视台辗转到了深圳。他的另外一部纪录片《渡口》,陆陆续续已经拍了十余年,不断有新内容添加进来,有关他的家乡安徽铜陵市的大通镇,一个在历史上发达富庶的地方,如今面目全非。他自己称“这是一部值得花更长的时间甚至一生去折腾的事”。

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About julien.leyre

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact julien@marcopoloproject.org