這段等於是獨白的分析，滿是文謅謅的美學評論，跟葛林納威藝術性十足的電影手法一搭一唱，完全不以取悅觀眾為樂。但這毫不親切的獨白，卻也是我近年來看過最精采的獨白ㄓㄧ。它不但巧妙地把繪畫和戲劇串在一起，也使我聯想到傅柯在《詞與物》(Les mots et les choses, 1966)中對於委拉斯蓋茲(Diego Velázquez)畫作〈宮女/宮娥〉(Las Meninas, 1656)令人目眩神馳的分析。傅柯以畫框內外的多重凝視，將〈Las Meninas〉拆解了畫布中層層交疊的權力運作點，我感覺葛林納威想要對《夜巡》進行的工程有異曲同工之處，只是箇中精妙一時之間不知怎麼說得具體。大體上葛林納威想說的是，林布蘭透過這幅畫中反叛繪畫與美學傳統，嘲諷當時荷蘭新政府的虛偽，也開啟繪畫中一個新的空間，一個劇場式的空間。而這幅畫就十七世紀的當代繪畫、特別是肖像畫戰爭繪畫來說可稱是徹底失敗之作，但是其強烈的政治諷刺意味使得它脫離戰爭畫作的範疇，更因林布蘭的獨特手法，讓作者自己在畫布上顯形，讓畫中人物變成演員，最後使得畫本身成為一個劇場。
Rembrandt, you have curiously attempted to be real. Now we know that that isn’t possible. You have made a frozen moment of theatre. You have stopped a costume play in action. They wanted the costume, we know that, but you encouraged them. And that was to be certain that we all knew that we were at the theatre. And at the theatre, all things are possible, even dying of love. If you think about it for one minute…the tradition of militia paintings that you so carefully broke was a true and honest tradition, where the participants can say, “Look, we are being painted. Look, we understand that we are being watched, and we are looking straight at you, into your eyes, at you, to prove it. We are not real, we are in a painting.” That is what they understood and that is what they wanted. You have spoilt all that for them, Rembrandt. You have tried to pretend that these are real people. They didn’t want that, didn’t want it at all. In your painting, they hustle and bustle about doing real things, loading muskets, giving commands, drum, run and bark, when all they wanted was to stand still and be looked at. “Here is me. Here I am in my splendid uniform, as an important member of this important club. I look at you and you look at me. I am watching you, and you are watching me.”
But you have pretended that the people in your painting are not being watched, which is the definition of an actor. An actor is a person who has been trained to pretend he is not being watched. So all the people in your paintings are all actors, not real people at all. Yet you have got them to do things which are real except, of course, because you knew what you were doing, of your little portrait of yourself, you knew you were being watched. And you look at us within the old tradition of these sorts of paintings with admirable self-consciousness. You’re giving yourself an old-fashioned position and responsibility in a new-fashioned painting, which tries to deny that position and responsibility. Your painting, Rembrandt, is a pretence, a fakery, a cheat, a dishonesty, full of impossible contradictions unworthy of a truly intelligent man. They, of course, knew that they were being painted, and you knew that they were being painted, but what do you acknowledge? Neither. Why pretend? Apart from all the other infelicities that demonstrate you did not fulfill the task asked of you, your painting, Rembrandt, is dishonest. So much so that this is not a painting at all. By its very nature, it denies being a painting. It is a work of the theatre!
PS: 〈Las Meninas〉在《夜巡》推出後近十五年也問世了，加上荷蘭當時的新政府乃是從西班牙王國統治下獨立出來的共和國，其中彼此交疊的歷史契機實在耐人尋味。