Memory can be a fickle thing, especially in old age.
Filmmaker Maegan Houang’s latest short, In Full Bloom, highlights the cruelty of age-related memory loss through a surreal story with no dialogue. The film centers on Cecile (played by Vietnamese-American actress Kiều Chinh), an elderly woman confined to her house by anxiety after the death of her husband.
Maegan Houang 的最新短片电影，《In Full Bloom》（《在盛开时》），通过一个没有对话的超现实故事，呈现了随年岁增长而记忆渐失的残酷。影片以 Cecile（越南裔美籍女演员 Kiều Chinh 饰）为主角。丈夫去世后，她因有广场恐惧症（agoraphobic）而被困在家里。
The agoraphobic protagonist continues to practice her favorite pastime, gardening, even if it’s just tending to potted plants in her poorly lit home. Hoping to grow a rare flower, she orders special worms advertised to help with the soil. But overnight, the worms—brought to life by stop-motion artist Jason Whetzell—escape the pot and burrow a hole under her couch. The ominous hole serves as a metaphor for dementia and the erosion of Cecile’s mental faculties, and as it grows larger and larger over the course of the film, it vacuums up everything she holds dear.
Cecile 为缓解焦虑，一直在学习园艺作为消遣，哪怕只是在昏暗的家里种下盆栽。为了种植稀有花卉，她订购了广告里说是帮助耕种土壤的特殊蚯蚓。但一夜之间，那些蚯蚓——由定格动画艺术家 Jason Whetzell 制作并“复活”的蠕虫——逃离了花盆，并且在她的沙发下挖了一个洞。这个不祥的洞，象征着阿尔茨海默症以及 Cecile 的智力衰退，它在短片电影中日长夜大，吸走了她所珍爱的一切。
Alone and frightened, Cecile considers packing up her things and leaving, but reaching the front door, she finds herself unable to overcome her fears of being outside. She’s stuck at home, she’s forced to face the ravenous chasm by herself.
Cecile secures what remains of her furniture and belongings with rope and retreats to her bedroom. But during the night, the unforgiving void continues swallowing her things at an even more violent rate, eventually taking one of her most precious possessions: a photo of her late husband.
The film’s sense of dread and helplessness encapsulates the feelings experienced by Alzheimer’s patients who watch helplessly as the disease robs them of everything. These emotions are all too familiar to Houang, who saw first-hand the effects of Alzheimer’s with her grandfather. In the later stages of the disease, he even forgot his wife had passed away.
受惊后的 Cecile 想收拾好东西离开，但到了前门，她发现自己无法克服出门在外的恐惧。她被困在家里，被迫独自面对那个贪婪的深洞。
Just like the stories of many Alzheimer’s patients and their families, Houang’s film doesn’t end on a happy note. In the morning, Cecile emerges to a completely barren home, save for the single flower that’s spawned the whole mess. The hole, now larger than ever, almost seems to taunt her. In the final scene, she approaches it, eases herself onto the edge, and lets herself slip in, disappearing into the darkness.
就像许多阿尔茨海默症患者和他们的家人的故事一样，Maegan 的电影并没有画上一个圆满的句号。早上，Cecile 从卧室出来发现，家里只剩下一朵孤伶伶的花。而那个洞此刻已经比以往任何时候都大，大到几乎像是在嘲弄她。最后一个场景里，Cecile 慢慢接近了黑洞，在它边缘平静地坐下，再之后就纵身滑进黑洞，从此消失在黑暗里。
Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Chen Yuan