The Liminal Iconography : part 2

The Liminal Iconography (若隱若現的身影:中篇)
by Christina Lane

12)What becomes evident about Foster's star persona is that it is able to simultaneously embody traits of masculine and feminine. The screenwriter of Little Man Tate sums up this split, saying, "She seems so small and sad; you want to protect her. Then you find out she's a pretty and intelligent woman who knows kick- boxing" (Corliss 72). Such a characterization illustrates how Foster projects a certain contradiction-- of weak and strong, feminine and masculine, protected and protector. Perhaps her popularity stems from the ways she personifies the interconnectedness and complexity of such apparent oppositions. And this projection gets played out intricately in portrayals of Foster's personal life, in her acting roles, and in the press in numerous ways.

很明顯地,福斯特的銀幕形象能夠同時包融陰陽剛柔.<Little Man Tate 我的天才寶貝(1991) >的編劇便提到這種性格分裂:「她看起來很憂鬱弱小;讓人想要保護她.接著你發現 她既美麗又聰穎,而且還會打拳擊.」上述描述勾勒出福斯特性格上的矛盾:懦弱與堅強、陰柔與陽剛、被保護者與保護者.或許她受歡迎的原因,是她如何將這些相異特質的關聯性與複雜度,內化成自己形象的方式.福斯特藉由私生活、演出的角色、媒體宣傳等不同方式,複雜地演繹出來.

13) Another related dualism that Foster throws into question is that of victim/heroine. In Taxi Driver, the young prostitute played by Foster is a victim of circumstances -- a runaway who seems forced into prostitution for survival. Similarly, in The Accused, Foster plays a working-class woman who is gang raped and then consequently blamed for her "loose" behavior. These characters look like typical victims on the surface, however, they usually persevere past the violence and trauma they experience, revealing a heroic quality.

福斯特雙重性格中最被探討的是:受害者與英雄.在<Taxi Driver 計程車司機(1976)>福斯特扮演的雛妓是環境的受害者:逃家在外,似乎是被迫接客維生.同樣地,在<The Accused 控訴(1988) >福斯特扮演勞工階級,受到集體性侵,還被歸咎於自己行為不檢點.這些角色表面上看起來是典型的受害者,但她們都能經歷肉體與心理的創傷而堅忍不拔,呈現英雄式的特質.

14) An image of Foster's personal life as constructed through mass culture reflects the same kind of split persona. In 1980, she was seen as a victim of John Hinkley Jr.'s obsession when he used his admiration for her as his excuse for shooting President Ronald Reagan. To tell her side of the story, Foster even wrote an account of her experience for Esquire magazine entitled "Why Me?" -- a definite tag of "victim" status. However, even though she was just starting out as a freshman at Yale University at the time of the shooting, she organized her own press conferences and publicity rose above the experience (Miller 29). Also putting her at odds with a victim image is her current reputation in Hollywood as a powerful icon and two-time Academy Award winner. In fact, it is rare to find Hollywood so unwaveringly in love with any screen actress. In her article entitled "Never a Victim," B. Ruby Rich comments on Foster's refusal to conform to Hollywood's equation of "woman equals victim." Rich proposes:

經由大眾媒體傳達出福斯特的私生活也是呈現分裂的性格.在1980年,她被視為辛克里事件的受害者.此人迷戀她,藉口表達對她的崇拜而槍擊美國霤根總統.為了表達這個事件,她這一方的說法,福斯特甚至為Esquire君子雜誌提筆寫文Why Me?(為何是我?)--十足的受害者身段.槍擊事件發生時,她只是剛上耶魯大學的新鮮人,卻能自己處理記者會和相關的公眾活動.後來她得到二次奧斯卡獎項成為好萊塢實力人物更與她之前受害者形象相反.事實上,很少見到好萊塢業界會那麼喜愛一個幕前的女演員.B. Ruby Rich在她的文章Never a Victim (不再是受害者),評論福斯特拒絕接受好萊塢的偏見:「女人等於受害者」,Rich女士提到:

15) In her case, though, Hollywood functioned as its own immunization: [Foster] became resistant to the artifices of glamour and the siren song of artificial femininity. She became her own woman, instead of theirs, with the unexpected result that the audience finally got to see on screen someone whose guts showed on her face. (57)


16) In other words, Foster's long history in Hollywood aids her in constructing a public/filmic image that suggests self-ownership, self-authorship, and, not least, heroic self-confidence.


17) Perhaps it is Foster's mobility as an icon -- her ability to slide up and down the registers of masculine and feminine -- that encourages Hollywood's love affair with her. Of course, gender transgression does not necessarily correspond with mobility across lines of sexuality (i.e., when Foster appears masculine, she is not necessarily identifying herself as "butch").However, it is certainly Foster's mobile quality that positions her as a liminal figure in today's popular culture. Foster embodies a refusal to polarize binary oppositions.


18) In fact, in some representations of Foster, her image denies easy categorization to the point of appearing neither masculine nor feminine, but androgynous. Her androgyny has been commented on in the popular press, both in her younger days and more recently. One article in American Film described childhood persona as "limp-haired, pre-pubescent
androgyny" (Miller 27). Several years later, in the same magazine, Julia Cameron had this to say:

事實上,福斯特表現出的形象不易歸類為陽性還是陰性,而是雌雄同體的.不論在她年輕時還是最近幾年,通俗的媒體一直討論過她雌雄同體的樣貌.American Film 美國電影曾描述她童年的銀幕形象是「頭髮鬆垮、青春期前的雌雄同體」.數年後,Julia Cameron 在同一本雜誌再度提到:

19) "Attribute it to whatever you want, but the fact remains, there is an androgyny to Foster's effect. Her bearing more closely resembles the crown prince than some spoiled princess. She's more Robin Hood than Maid Marian.... No one is calling her a sex symbol, but clearly she is a symbol of something." (48)


20) What is Foster a symbol of Whereas some admirers would say it is androgyny, others label it within the purview of a related, yet less specific term- ambiguity. Jodie Foster has been discussed in relation to a predecessor of Hollywood successes, the 1930 film director Dorothy Arzner. In Judith Mayne's article, "Lesbian Looks", she talks about androgynous-looking Arzner, who was "outed" in the 1970s, in terms of what was/is often missing in discussions about her-- her "erotic connections with women" (106).

有些人說福斯特是雌雄同體,有些人則說雌雄莫辨福斯特曾被拿來各1930年代的電影前輩女導演Dorothy Arzner相提並論.在Judith Mayne的論文Lesbian Looks(女同樣貌),她提到這位同樣雌雄莫辨的Arzner(在70年代被發掘同志身份),她有同性性關係的事實常被略而不提.

21) Mayne highlights the way that Arzner was often portrayed through divided representations in publicity photos. On the one hand, she would be seen with machines associated with filmmaking and thus characterized as "the director," a masculine role. On the other hand, Arzner would be positioned with Hollywood actresses, implying her ability to relate to women and be one of them. In both instances, importantly, many visual cues would be readily available for spectators to read her lesbianism into the representation. However, these codes would always be shrouded in silence and invisibility. Hence, Arzner's ambiguity-- her unreadableness-- is what defined her. In Mayne's forthcoming book on Arzner, she highlights a parallel situation in which we have Jodie Foster, who, now that she is a director as well as an actress, often finds herself in multivariant representations (172-3).


22) In fact, Foster's image often gets polarized in the media, as though she cannot be represented as an actress and a director at the same time. In an issue of Vogue she appears to be a famous star - her tousled hair looped into a bun at top of her head, and a bright smile planted on her face (11). However, the cover of Time magazine portrays her above the headline "A Director is Born" as very serious and critical (Corliss). In one frame, she is vulnerable to the scrutinizing "male gaze"; in another, she is the one doing the scrutinizing. Foster also dichotomizes the two images to reporters, saying that acting tends to be more "experience-oriented" and "free of structure," while directing requires "analysis" and "detached observation" (Corliss 72). She insists that she is involved in the constant effort of reconciling her heart and her head.

事實上,福斯特在媒體上的形象常常兩極化,彷彿演員與導演身份不能同時並存.她在Vogue某一期以明星姿態出現,將散髮高束髮髻,臉上笑容燦爛.但是在Time時代雜誌的封面,用標題"A Director is Born" (一個導演誕生了)呈現嚴肅的、批判的的形象.她在某個畫面中,是被動供男性凝視,但在另一個畫面中,她則是主動凝視的人.福斯特也同時不斷將這兩個形象在訪問中加以兩極化,表示表演傾向於經驗導向及自由發揮,而導演則須研究及分析觀察.她堅稱她常常要努力統整自己的感性與理性.



2 意見:

匿名 提到...

Orange, 文章選的好, 也翻譯的真好, 謝謝!

一直沒有認真想過為何Jodie吸引我, 讀了本文才恍然大悟. 的確, 她銀幕上的角色兼具迷惘與堅毅, 溫柔又剛強. 常常可以看到她顫抖著強忍心中的迷惘不安, 卻又做出男人也沒有勇氣做出的行動. 雌雄兩種特性並存卻又不會互相衝突, 似乎展現了一個真正完整的個體.

這種雌雄並存的特性更吸引我的是她展現出來的一種自由自主的意志. 她可以身著嫵媚迷人的晚禮服, 也可以足蹬帥氣男裝. 可以是個女人味十足的母親, 也可以是個強硬的事業人. 雖說每個人基本上都有著某個程度的雌雄同體, 但能如此發揮的淋漓盡致的仍屬少見.

Orange 提到...


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