2017年8月3日 星期四


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2017/08/04 第181期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Christopher Nolan's Latest Time-Bending Feat? 'Dunkirk'諾蘭時間倒錯新作 敦克爾克大行動
How the Wealthy Talk to Their Children About Money避而不談近乎失職 富爸媽如何跟子女談財產?
Christopher Nolan's Latest Time-Bending Feat? 'Dunkirk'諾蘭時間倒錯新作 敦克爾克大行動
文/Cara Buckley

It is a little surprising that World War II would grab the cinematic fancy of Christopher Nolan, given the dystopias, demimondes and dreamscapes that have sprung from his fertile mind.

He has conjured underworlds peopled by tattooed amnesiacs and broody superheroes; he has plunged audiences into Escherian dreams within dreams within dreams; he has tested their grasp of wormholes and gravitational singularity. The yoke of reality never seemed to be his thing.



But with his new movie, "Dunkirk," , Nolan ventures into the harsh world of a real war, which outwardly seems like well-worn terrain, except that he has never tackled anything like it before.

"It's the first time I've taken on any kind of real subject matter, any kind of historical truth, and that was very daunting," Nolan said in an interview at his sun-dappled offices on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. "I don't want to sound too precious about it at all, but, you know, I wanted to do something that frightened me a bit."



Nolan's film is about the astounding rescue of 338,000 Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in 1940. Hemmed in by German forces, the Allies were trapped as German aircraft strafed and bombed the sands, with the only way out across the English Channel. Shallow waters prevented British destroyers from coming close to the beaches, so the call went out to private boat owners in England to help ferry the soldiers to safety.

A flotilla of hundreds of pleasure boats, barges, yachts, ferries and fishing boats set out, many piloted by civilians, and, under bombardment from the Luftwaffe, helped pull the rescue off. Had they not, the war could have taken a much different course.



"If Britain had surrendered, it effectively would have left Europe Nazified," said Joshua Levine, a historian and author who worked closely with Nolan on the script. "Barbarism and intolerance would have become the natural order of things."

The term "Dunkirk spirit" is carved into the British psyche and evokes people coming together in tough times. Yet as pivotal as the event itself was, it is often not well known in the United States, which did not enter the war until late 1941. Of the dozens of feature films made in recent decades about the war, none focused on Dunkirk (a British feature film about it was released in 1958).






「蝙蝠俠黑暗騎士三部曲」故事的發生地「高譚市」(Gotham City)是典型的dystopia。源自法文的demimonde字面意義是半個世界(half-world),尤其是下層社會或高級娼妓;諾蘭1998年的處女作「跟蹤」(Following)藉由描繪鼠竊狗盜之輩勾勒出倫敦的陰暗面。Dreamscape當指夢中有夢的「全面啟動」(Inception)。

導言後的第一段,作者連用三個現在完成式而非簡單過去式的句子介紹諾蘭的作品,凸顯其成就,但還是不寫出片名,重申現實題材(real subject matter)不是導演的菜。

作者用venture into和tackle形容導演接拍新片的挑戰,前者指大膽去做某項刺激甚至危險的事物,tackle是對待、處理,通常是困難的問題或工作。


How the Wealthy Talk to Their Children About Money避而不談近乎失職 富爸媽如何跟子女談財產?
文/Paul Sullivan

Ron Weiner remembers sitting his two girls down to discuss the amount of money they stood to inherit. One was in college and the other in high school at the time, and they wanted nothing to do with the conversation.

"They didn't want to hear about it," said Mr. Weiner, chairman and president of Perelson Weiner, a certified public accounting firm. "They weren't prepared to receive that information at those ages — it wasn't in their sense of what was relevant to them."


身為Perelson Weiner會計師事務所董事長暨總裁的韋納說:「他們連聽都懶得聽。他們沒有準備好在那個年紀接受這些資訊──他們並不覺得那是跟自己有關的事。」

That was 20 years ago. He and his wife, Vicki, who owned an investor relations firm and now runs a nonprofit that lends money to women, have persisted each year in trying to educate their daughters about the wealth that they will inherit. But it has been a slow process.

"We're getting closer," said Mr. Weiner, 71. "The thought of being left all of this money is outside of their frame of reference. You can't force-feed it."



Even so, Mr. and Mrs. Weiner are doing something that many affluent people find very difficult to undertake: talking to their heirs about the millions they will have to manage after their parents are gone.

Two-thirds of the 57 people polled by Wilmington Trust, a bank founded by the du Pont family in the early 20th century and now owned by M&T Bank, said they were "apprehensive about sharing inheritance details." All participants had a net worth of more than $20 million, and only a tenth of them said they had given complete information about inheritance to their heirs — apparently for fear of dampening their work ethic.



Their rationale did not seem unreasonable, at least on the face of it. But they were also concerned with heirs being too young to grasp what would come to them — and with their children deciding to pause their lives as they waited for wealth that might not appear.

To be fair, talking about money with anyone is a famously difficult task.Old money, historically, has been stereotyped as having a Brahmin disdain for such a gauche topic. And then there is the secrecy shrouding what people earn, particularly among colleagues.



But the scale of wealth that some children stand to inherit is life changing. Not talking about it borders on parental negligence.

And yet, there is reticence, even though children — and their friends — can go online and determine the value of their family's homes, cars and vacation destinations.




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