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离奇美式中国菜左宗棠鸡的渊源

来源:可可英语 编辑:shaun   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

The top-billed star of “The Search for General Tso” gets its close-up in the opening scene: the staging of that namesake chicken dish for a menu photo shoot. But like so many “in search of” documentary journeys before it, Ian Cheney’s roundabout talking-heads film has bigger quarry in mind; it looks at Chinese-American assimilation, the useful adaptability of cuisine and the complicated cultivation of heritage.

《寻找左宗棠》(The Search for General Tso)的头号明星在影片一开始便得到一个特写镜头:为了给菜单拍摄照片,人们把这道以左宗棠命名的鸡肉菜端上来。不过,和之前的很多“寻找”类纪录片一样,伊恩·切尼的这部迂回曲折、采访了大量人物的纪录片有着更宏大的目标;它审视了华裔美国人如何融入美国、异国烹饪法的有益适应性以及文化传承复杂的形成过程。

Mr. Cheney does get around to explaining the origins of General Tso’s chicken, but what’s more rewarding than the spoon-fed history — which covers the gold rush, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Nixon in China — is the film’s glimpses of history as lived. Shot around the United States, with surprising stops in New Orleans and elsewhere, the story benefits from the reminiscences of restaurateurs, who are often interviewed in multigenerational pairs. How to cook chicken seems at once a minor detail against backdrops of racism and economic struggle, and a key to finding a foothold among strangers.

切尼用很大篇幅解释了左宗棠鸡的起源,片中的历史回顾有点像灌输——包括淘金热、1882年排华法案以及尼克松访华——更有意义的还要算是活生生的人们讲述的历史。该片在美国各地拍摄,包括对新奥尔良等地的意外探访,故事从餐馆老板们的回忆中获益良多,他们通常是好几代夫妇共同接受采访。在种族主义和经济斗争的背景映衬之下,鸡肉烹饪方法似乎一度成为次要细节,成了在陌生人中找到落脚点的一个方法。
General Tso’s namesake museum back in China also gets an amusing visit, as does Peng Chang-kuei, a nonagenarian chef with a strong claim to having invented a certain recipe. But Mr. Cheney’s movie, while teasing at times, does its celebrating and debunking in mild-mannered fashion, making points without seeming to try to score them. It also lacks any of the zest or cinematic skill of, say, a Les Blank jaunt involving food, but this easily digestible format proves an apt vessel for the mystery dish at its center.
该片也饶有兴致地探访了中国的左宗棠博物馆,还采访了彭长贵——这位九十多岁的大厨坚定地声称是自己发明了这道菜。不过,切尼的电影虽然时而戏谑,但总是用温和的方式进行赞美和批判——它提出观点,但似乎不想评判。它还缺乏莱斯·布兰克(Les Blank)的美食旅行纪录片中的热情或电影拍摄技巧,但是这种易于理解的形式被证明是盛放这道神秘主菜的合适器皿。
Opens on Friday
周五上映
Directed by Ian Cheney
伊恩·切尼(Ian Cheney)导演
1 hour 13 minutes; not rated
1小时13分;未分级

重点单词   查看全部解释    
adaptability [ə,dæptə'biləti]

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n. 适应性;可变性;适合性

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chef [ʃef]

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n. 厨师,主厨

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digestible [dai'dʒestəbl]

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adj. 易消化的,可吸收的,较易理解的

 
score [skɔ:]

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n. 得分,刻痕,二十,乐谱
vt. 记分,刻

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minor ['mainə]

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adj. 较小的,较少的,次要的
n. 未成年

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scene [si:n]

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n. 场,景,情景

 
claim [kleim]

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n. 要求,要求权;主张,断言,声称;要求物

 
documentary [.dɔkju'mentəri]

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adj. 文献的
n. 纪录片

 
teasing ['ti:ziŋ]

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n. 戏弄

 
minutes ['minits]

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n. 会议记录,(复数)分钟

 
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