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シネマ365日

2011年10月21日

ニノチカ(1939年) Ninotchka (1939)

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監督:エルンスト・リビッチ/Director: Ernest Lubitsch
出演 グレタ・ガルボ/Starring: Greta Garbo

神聖ガルボ帝国

 ガルボの転機は17歳のとき訪れた。家が貧しく小学生で理髪店の髭剃り、それからデパートの売り子、広告のモデルをやって家計を支えた。デパートのCFにちょっと顔をだしたのがきっかけで映画に出る。それが17歳▼しっかり勉強せねばと(根が真面目だった)スエーデン王立演劇アカデミーに学ぶ。監督のマウリッツ・スティッレルがハリウッドに招かれたときガルボも随伴し、MGMと契約した。太っていて不細工だとクソミソにいわれたのに、カメラを通してみたときの神秘的な美貌に関係者らはノックアウト…とあるが、ガルボ伝説をひきたたせるための、後年の誇張だろう▼MGMは永遠の女性のエッセンスとして、神秘な過去をもつ女、シリアスな役をガルボに与えた。「アンナ・カレーニナ」「肉体の悪魔」とか、いままでスクリーンでニコリともしなかった彼女が、呵呵大笑したのが「ニノチカ」で、だからこの映画のキャッチコピーは「ガルボ笑う」になった▼「ニノチカ」はガルボの主演作で初のコメディなのだ。なるほど、脚本に名を連ねているのはビリー・ワイルダーではないか。ここまでの映画人生、比較的順調にきたものの、ガルボは明らかにマンネリに陥っていた。ビリー・ワイルダーともっと強いかかわりができていたら、わずか2年後、彼女は自分の可能性に見切りをつけて、引退するようなことはしなかったかもしれないのだ▼「ニノチカ」はロシア革命で貴族から没収した宝石を、財政悪化のため売りさばきにパリにでた三人の官僚から始まる。ロシア大后妃とその愛人は、自分のものだった宝石を取り返すべく三人を懐柔するが、業務遅延に業を煮やした本国はすご腕官僚を送り込む。それがニノチカ(グレタ・ガルボ)である。ところが彼女は太后妃の愛人と恋愛にはまるのだ▼彼女の声が意外だった。低いのである。沈潜とした容貌とハスキーな声。「ガルボさん? そこのお好み焼きで一杯やってたわ」という雰囲気の人でないことは確かだが、すべてのかかわりを完全シャットアウトした理由はなんだろう。84歳まで生きたということは、それが本人にとって無理のない環境だったからだと思える。穏やかな生活だったのだろう。いやなものならいつでも解消できたはずだ。きっといい人がいたのかも…という、今さらどうでもいいことを、あれこれミーハーさせるところが「神聖ガルボ帝国」なのよ。

The Holy Empire of Garbo

Garbo’s turning point came when she was 17 years old. She was of a poor family‚ and to support the household she worked at a barbershop‚ then as a salesgirl at a department store‚ and as an advertising model. By putting her face out there in commercial films‚ she then appeared in movies; that was when she was seventeen.
She had to properly study (she had diligent roots) and learned at The Royal Dramatic Theatre’s Acting School in Sweden. When she was invited to Hollywood by director Mauritz Stiller‚ she accompanied him and signed a contract at MGM. Although she was severely criticised as being fat and ugly‚ through the camera she had an enigmatic beauty that knocked out everyone involved. Even so‚ to accentuate her legend would be the exaggeration of later years.
As a permanent woman of MGM‚ one with a mysterious past; they gave Garbo serious roles. Until then she appeared on screen without ever laughing in films like Anna Karenina and Flesh and the Devil. It was in Ninotchka that she roared with laughter which is why the tagline of the movie became “Garbo laughs”.
Garbo is the lead in Ninotchka‚ and it was her first comedy. That makes sense- isn’t that Billy Wilder’s name in the script credits? In her film life up to this point‚ although she acted comparatively well‚ it is clear that Garbo had become stale. Had Billy Wilder been more strongly involved with her‚ she may not have given up on her own possibilities and retired a mere two years later.
Ninotchka’s plot: during the Russian Revolution‚ because of a worsening administration‚ the jewellery that was confiscated from the aristocracy is taken to Paris by three bureacrats to be sold off. The Russian Grand Duchess and her lover win over the three to retain their jewels‚ but because of delays in business‚ the irritated Soviet Union send in another super bureaucrat. That is Ninotchka (Greta Garbo). However‚ she becomes infatuated with the Grand Duchess’ lover.
Her voice is quite surprising; it is low. A deep beauty and husky voice. It is certain that she didn’t have an air about her like “Miss Garbo? She had some okonomiyaki at that shop”‚ so I wonder why it was that she completely shut out everything. Living until 84 years old can be said to be because she lived in a reasonable environment. It was probably a peaceful life. If there was anything she disliked‚ she could have removed it anytime. She might have had someone? But that doesn’t matter now‚ being flippant about things is the “Holy Empire of Garbo”.

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