ALMOST a quarter of a century has passed since the director Philip Kaufman last worked with the film editor Walter Murch. In 1988, when their “Unbearable Lightness of Being” was released, the Soviet Union was still in existence (the film memorably depicts the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague) and Pauline Kael was still the film critic at The New Yorker, where she gave it a rave review.
离他们上一次合作距今已经差不多有四分之一个世纪了，导演菲利普·考夫曼(Philip Kaufman)和电影剪辑师沃尔特·默奇(Walter Murch)再次相遇，创作了电视电影《海明威与盖尔霍恩》(Hemingway & Gellhorn)。1988年，当他们的电影《生命中不能承受之轻》（Unbearable Lightness of Being）上映时，苏联尚在——该片纪念性地描绘了1968年前苏联对布拉格的侵略；宝琳·凯尔（Pauline Kael）也还仍是《纽约客》杂志的影评人，她在杂志上对该片给予了高度评价。
In all that time, though, it has not become easier to make historically dense, sexually candid films like “Unbearable Lightness.”
“These have always been tough sells,” Mr. Kaufman said recently by phone from San Francisco. “I guess the word ‘adult’ enters into the conversation somewhere here. Too often nowadays, a love story is a man and a woman saying: ‘Look out, here they come! Are you O.K.?’ ‘I’m fine.’ And then there’s six lines of fancy dialogue as they run from whatever they’re running from.”
Perhaps that is why it has taken so long for Mr. Kaufman, 75, and Mr. Murch, 68, to resume their collaboration, with “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” being shown Monday on HBO. Though it wound up being a television project, a first for each, their roots are deep in film. They met in the early ’70s at Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope complex in San Francisco, when Mr. Murch was editing “The Conversation” and Mr. Kaufman was working on “The White Dawn.”
也许这正是75岁的考夫曼和68岁的默奇过了那么多年才再度合作的原因，俩人此次联手为大家奉上了5月底在HBO播出的影片《海明威与盖尔霍恩》。它最终成了一部电视电影，这对根基都深植于电影的他俩而言是第一次。他俩第一次见面是70年代初，在弗朗西斯·福特·科波拉(Francis Ford Coppola)位于旧金山的“美国活动画片工作室”里。当时默奇正在剪辑《窃听大阴谋》(The Conversation)，考夫曼正在拍摄《白色黎明》(The White Dawn)。
As Mr. Kaufman remembered it: “In a room — it was early in the morning — there was a guy just waking up from working all night with his head on the KEM editing machine.” And introductions were made.
考夫曼记得：“一大清早，一个缩在房间里对着KEM剪辑机(KEM editing machine)剪了一夜片子的家伙，刚刚醒过来。”他们就互相做了自我介绍。
“With sprocket holes on my forehead!” Mr. Murch said, in the same call.
A friendship was born between the two longtime Bay Area residents, one the director of seminal ’70s films like “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” the other a three-time Academy Award winner as an editor and sound designer whose credits include “Apocalypse Now,” and “The English Patient.” But they weren’t to work together for several years.
两个都在湾区住了很久的人成为了朋友。他们一个导演了70年代具有开创性意义的电影《血洒北城》(The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid)和《天外夺命花》(Invasion of the Body Snatchers )，另一个作为剪辑和音效师三次荣膺奥斯卡奖，参与的影片包括《现代启示录》(Apocalypse Now )和《英国病人》(The English Patient)。他们认识后好几年，才开始真正合作。
When Mr. Kaufman developed “The Right Stuff,” his 1983 film about the space program, he enlisted Mr. Murch to edit, but a directing opportunity (“Return to Oz”) got in the way. The main evidence of that abortive collaboration is a “special thanks” credit for Mr. Murch’s preliminary work, which included accumulating real footage eventually interwoven into that film.
1983年，考夫曼拍摄关于太空计划的电影《太空英雄》(The Right Stuff)时，邀请默奇来剪辑，但默奇因为导演《回到绿野》(Return to Oz )而未能加盟。默奇为《太空英雄》做了初步的工作，一些他剪辑积累起来的真实史料素材最终被编进电影，在影片演职员名单中，专门对他提出了“特别致谢”，这是此次中途夭折合作的主要证据。
The chance to collaborate finally came with “Unbearable Lightness,” which, Mr. Murch said, was a good example of the way Mr. Kaufman fuses “the deeply personal” with “a historical sweep of events.” He added, “That combination really appeals to me because it’s super-cinematic.”
After that film, neither thought it would take so long to reunite. Mr. Kaufman said that he was “not interested in making the same type of movie over and over.” But “Hemingway & Gellhorn” feels of a piece with their past work.
He described “Unbearable Lightness” as “an intimate epic,” and that also suits this film, his first in eight years, which tells the story of Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and his third wife, the war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman), set against the tide of history.
This is not the first time that Mr. Kaufman has taken iconic authors for his leading characters. His earlier films centered on Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin (“Henry & June”) and the Marquis de Sade (“Quills”). “I guess the saying is, ‘I read therefore I want to make movies about people who write,’ ” Mr. Kaufman said, adding that writers were “unsung as action figures.”
As he developed the new project with the screenwriters Barbara Turner and Jerry Stahl, Mr. Kaufman said, he became captivated by the lesser-known Gellhorn and hoped the film would rekindle memories of her. (Coincidentally, the Mint Theater Company is staging “Love Goes to Press,” a play Gellhorn wrote with Virginia Cowles about journalists on the front lines.)
当他跟编剧芭芭拉·特纳(Barbara Turner)和杰瑞·斯塔尔(Jerry Stahl)开始这个新计划时，考夫曼被较少为人所知的盖尔霍恩迷住了，他希望电影重新唤起人们对她的记忆。恰巧，薄荷戏剧公司(Mint Theater Company)也正在排演《广而告之的爱》(Love Goes Press)，这是盖尔霍尔和弗吉尼亚·考利斯（Virginia Cowles）一起写的一出戏，讲的是记者在前线的故事。
“This bears witness to the fact that, as we say at the beginning of ‘The Right Stuff,’ when the test pilots die, they came to the high desert and nobody knew their names,” Mr. Kaufman said. “And that rings true for war correspondents, particularly women war correspondents.”
As depicted here, Hemingway and Gellhorn have something else in common with the pilots of “The Right Stuff”: a taste for adventure. In this case, it takes them to the Spanish Civil War and other hot spots in the ’30s and ’40s. Previous Kaufman films intercut archival and stock footage with staged scenes. In “The Right Stuff,” for example, shots of real NASA launchings were paired with shots of the actors playing the Mercury 7 astronauts. In “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” Mr. Murch (aided by green screens and the visual effects supervisor Chris Morley) increases the verisimilitude by placing the actors within the footage.
Appropriate for a tale of creative partnership, there is an intuitive, unconscious quality to the way Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Murch work together. Until it was brought to their attention, neither realized that the image of a woman lighting a cigarette opens both “Unbearable Lightness” and “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”
Mr. Murch reached back to “The Godfather,” on which he was a post-production consultant, to explain the coincidence:
“It’s like somebody pointed out to Francis, after shooting ‘The Godfather,’ that every time death lingered there were oranges. This was long after the film was shot and Francis said just what Phil said. ‘Oh, yeah? I didn’t know that.’ So when he came to make ‘Godfather II,’ he put it in, but he made it conscious. These are wonderful things that happen almost by their own DNA. They have their own volition almost.”
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” comes on the heels of a kind of Philip Kaufman season. The first book-length study of his career, written by the Columbia University film professor Annette Insdorf, was published in March, and in April he was the subject of a film series at the Museum of Modern Art.
Ms. Insdorf said in an e-mail that the new film “builds on Murch’s visual achievements in ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ seamlessly inserting characters into archival footage, and juxtaposing ‘authentic’ images with newly shot ones.”
Mr. Kaufman said that the film was “authenticated” through the liberal use of this footage, meaning “sets, costumes, even body language and motion” had to mesh with the old images. “We are going to nest our people into the grit and grain of the past,” he added.
If “Hemingway & Gellhorn’s” technical ambition suggests a theatrical feature, perhaps it is because it was planned as one. The project was brought to what was then the theatrical division of HBO, Picturehouse, by James Gandolfini, the star of the channel’s series “The Sopranos,” who was toying with the idea of playing Hemingway. But after Picturehouse went out of business, Mr. Kaufman said, HBO expressed interest and Mr. Gandolfini stayed on board as an executive producer.
如果说《海明威与盖尔霍恩》技术方面的野心显示了一种戏剧特质，那么这也许是因为对它的设计初衷就是这样的。最初是HBO剧集《黑道家族》(The Sopranos)里的明星詹姆斯·甘多费尼(James Gandolfini)将这个拍摄项目介绍给当时还是频道旗下戏剧分部的“影屋”电影公司的，甘多费尼本人有意扮演海明威。考夫曼介绍说，后来电影室公司歇业，HBO对此有兴趣，甘多费尼则作为执行制片人继续参与工作。
For Mr. Murch, the transition from film to television wasn’t too surprising. “The only difference,” he said, “was we did it all in seven months instead of a year, so everything was hop, hop.” He added, “Which just meant pre-planning and knowing where you were going.”
“It also meant Walter didn’t sleep,” Mr. Kaufman interjected.
“Right,” Mr. Murch said. “No sleep.”
“Which is the way I found him in the first place!”