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  Looking for a feel-good film as its opener -- amid the recovery from last year's economic slump -- the Singapore International Film Festival reached out and plucked a happy-ending fairy tale: the story of a boy born in the rural poverty of Great Leap Forward China who at age 18 finds himself training with a leading American ballet company, on his way to international ballet stardom.
在全球从去年的经济低迷中恢复之际,为了寻找一部温馨感人的电 影作为开幕影片,新加坡国际电影节(Singapore International Film Festival)四处搜寻,选中了一部结局幸福的童话故事般的影片:一个出生在大跃进时代贫困农村的男孩,18岁时参加了一个顶尖美国芭蕾舞团的训练, 最后成为国际芭蕾舞巨星。

  The unlikeliest element: It's true.

  'Mao's Last Dancer,' directed by Australian Bruce Beresford, is based on Li Cunxin's 2003 autobiography. Born in Qingdao in 1961, Mr. Li was an 11-year-old schoolboy when representatives of Jiang Qing -- Mao Zedong's last wife, the absolute dictator of the arts during China's Cultural Revolution -- selected him to study ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. In 1979, as part of a cultural-exchange program, he was chosen to study at the Houston Ballet Academy in Texas. And two years after that, Mr. Li defected to the West -- creating an international incident between Beijing and Washington that included a standoff at China's consulate in Houston.
该片名为《最后的舞者》(Mao's Last Dancer),由澳大利亚导演布鲁斯•贝雷斯福德(Bruce Beresford)执导,根据李存信2003年的一部自转改编。1961年李存信出生在青岛,在他11岁时,毛泽东最后一任夫人、文革时期艺术界的绝对 独裁者江青的代表选中他到北京舞蹈学院学习芭蕾舞。1979年,作为文化交流项目的一部分,他被选中到美国得克萨斯州休斯顿芭蕾舞学院学习。两年后,李存 信“叛逃”到了西方,这成了北京和华盛顿之间的一起国际事件,甚至导致了中国驻休斯顿领事馆的暂时关闭。

  'He had an astonishing background,' says Mr. Beresford, in Singapore this week for the film's April 15 screening. The director of such celebrated films as 'Breaker Morant,' 'Driving Miss Daisy' and 'Paradise Road,' Mr. Beresford says this project attracted him both with plot ('such an extreme example of the rags-to-riches story') and character (a man with 'relentless determination to succeed as a dancer').
贝雷斯福德本周在新加坡参加4月15日该片的上映时说,李存信有着惊人的背景。贝雷斯福德曾执导过著名影片《烈血焚 城》(Breaker Morant)、《为戴茜小姐开车》(Driving Miss Daisy)和《天堂之路》(Paradise Road)。他说,这部影片的情节(这是一个如此极端的“麻雀变凤凰”的例子)和人物(一个下定决心要成为成功舞蹈家的男人)都很吸引他。

  Mr. Li, who's portrayed at three ages, used his ballet connections to help the filmmakers find actors to play him as a teenager (Chengwu Guo of Mr. Li's own Australian Ballet) and, most importantly, as an adult (Chi Cao of Britain's Birmingham Royal Ballet).
影片描写了李存信三个年龄段 的故事。他利用自己在芭蕾舞界的人脉帮制片人找到了合适的演员扮演少年时期的自己(李存信所在澳大利亚芭蕾舞团的郭承武),最重要的是,成年的自己(英国 伯明翰皇家芭蕾舞团的曹驰)。

  'That was a key role,' says Mr. Beresford. 'We had to get a great Chinese dancer that spoke perfect English and perfect Chinese.' Not to mention, he had to be able to act.
贝雷斯福德说,这是一个关键角色,我们必须找到一个英语和汉语说的都 很流利的出色的华裔舞蹈演员。更不用说他还必须能演戏。

  'If we hadn't gotten him,' the director adds, 'we wouldn't have been able to make the film.'

  'Mao's Last Dancer' also stars Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan -- and Joan Chen, whose own career, like Mr. Li's, traces back to Madame Mao. She saw the teenage Ms. Chen on a rifle range and cast her in a film.
出演《最后的舞者》的还有布鲁斯•格林伍德(Bruce Greenwood)、凯尔•麦克拉兰(Kyle MacLachlan)和陈冲。和李存信一样,陈冲本人的职业生涯也可以追溯到江青时代。江青是在射击场上发现还只有十几岁的陈冲的,并让她在一部影片中 出演了一个角色。

  Mr. Li says that for years he resisted offers from writers and Hollywood to tell his story, finally yielding to the urging of a writer friend. 'He said that I didn't have to write it for myself,' Mr. Li remembers, but 'to give others hope and courage.' Mr. Beresford and screenwriter Jan Sardi, he says, have been true to his story.
李存信说, 很多年来,他都拒绝作家和好莱坞制片公司请他讲述自己故事的邀请,不过最终在一位作家朋友的劝说下,他改变了想法。他回忆说,这个朋友说我写这部书并不是 为了自己,而是为了给别人希望和勇气。他说,贝雷斯福德和编剧简•莎蒂(Jan Sardi)的影片忠于了他的故事。

  That could have become an issue. Because part of the movie was filmed in China, the filmmakers were required to submit the script to authorities prior to shooting.
这本来可能会成为一个问题。因为影片的一部分是在中国拍摄的,制片人被要求在 拍摄之前向有关部门提交剧本。

  'They objected strongly to the depiction of Mao and Madame Mao,' Mr. Beresford recalls. Mao himself appears only in newsreel footage, but his wife is a character, portrayed by an actress. Such depictions are generally taboo. Mr. Beresford says his solution was to go ahead with the script as written and hope for the best. 'I kept thinking the secret police would arrive,' he says, 'but we never heard anything.'
贝雷斯福 德回忆说,他们强烈反对对毛泽东和江青的刻画。在这部影片中,毛泽东本人只出现在新闻影片中,不过他的夫人江青是电影中的一个人物,由一位演员扮演。这样 的刻画通常是个禁忌。贝雷斯福德说,他的解决办法就是剧本怎么写他就怎么拍,从好的方面着想。他说,我老是想,秘密警察会来,不过我们什么也没有听到。

  These days Mr. Li stays in touch with ballet as a member of the board of the Australian Ballet, Australia's national ballet company; he retired as a dancer there in 1999 at age 38.
李存信现为澳大利亚芭蕾舞团的董事会成员,仍与 芭蕾舞界有着联系。1999年他38岁的时候从该团的舞蹈岗位上退下。

  'My interest was always in the finance world, ever since I went to America,' he says, and a couple of years before he left dancing he began pursuing finance as a career; he's now a senior manager for a securities firm, as well as a motivational speaker. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and their three children.
他说,打从我去了美国之后,我的兴趣 一直是在金融界。在他停止舞蹈演出之前几年,他开始追求把金融作为职业。现在,他是一家证券公司的高级经理,也是一个激情的演讲家。他现在和妻子以及三个 孩子住在墨尔本。

  The film, which premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival and was released in Australia, is now being shown in New Zealand and will open in Singapore next week, Canada in May and the U.S. in August. Other festivals screening 'Mao's Last Dancer' this month include the Hawaii International Film Festival, Filmfest DC in Washington and the Riverrun International Film Festival in North Carolina.
《最后的舞者》在去年多伦多国际电影节上首映,并在澳大利亚发行,现在正在新西兰上映,并将于下周在新加坡上映,5月份在 加拿大上映,8月份在美国上映。其他在本月放映《最后的舞者》的电影节包括夏威夷国际电影节、华盛顿Filmfest电影节、北卡罗来纳Riverrun 国际电影节。

  The 23rd Singapore International Film Festival (www.filmfest.org.sg), on until April 24, will screen more than 100 feature and short films, including a Beresford retrospective.

  第23届新 加坡国际电影节将放映100多部故事片和电影短片,包括贝雷斯福德的作品回顾。电影节将于4月24日结束。