Themed Playlist: Restored Classics from Asia
Dina Iordanova has been busy putting together a dossier on the subject of Asian archives, film restoration, and transnational collaboration for the latest issue of Frames Cinema Journal (no. 17). In the process of preparing the materials, she learned that some of the key films mentioned in the essays, were available for viewing online. And with that knowledge, she has compiled a playlist of four of those films as accompaniment to the dossier, listed in chronological order.
Restored Classics from Asia: A Frames Cinema Journal Special
The Cave of the Silken Web (Pan Si Dong, 1926, dir Dan Du Yu)
This Chinese silent film was discovered at a provincial archive in Norway and returned to China after restoration. The copy does not have English intertitles, but there is very little dialogue in this film, one of the early examples of the fantasy genre and oneiric sequences. The film is currently available to view on YouTube.
Zamboanga (1937, Eduardo De Castro)
In his interview for the dossier, Filipino scholar Nick Deocampo describes the enthusiasm of discovering this lost classic at The Library of Congress. The film is currently available to view on YouTube.
Santi Vina (1954, dir. Marut)
In another contribution to the dossier, Sanchai Chotirosseranee of the Thai Film Archive in Bangkok describes the riveting story of the transnational collaboration leading to the discovery and restoration Thai classic Santi Vina (1954, dir. Marut) which was believed to be irretrievably lost. The archive have made the restored version of the film available on their YouTube channel. The full URL is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsDCxfSDgds
Ring of Fury (1973, dir. Tony Yeow and James Sebastian)
The Asian Film Archive have made available on their YouTube channel the restored version of the Singaporean gongfu classic Ring of Fury (1973, dir. Tony Yeow and James Sebastian). In the dossier, Karen Chan, the director of the Asian Film Archive, gives an account of the collaborative effort in restoring the film. The full URL is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8QOPmIk8tQ
And a final film:
The Life and Deeds of the Immortal Leader Karađorđe/ Život i dela besmrtnog vožda Karađorđa (1911, dir. Ilija Stanojević)
Although not from Asia, the Serbian feature The Life and Deeds of the Immortal Leader Karađorđe/ Život i dela besmrtnog vožda Karađorđa, the earliest feature film from the Balkan region, makes an appearance in my introduction to the dossier as an illustration of the importance of transnational archive collaborations (in this case between Serbian, Croation, and Austrian researchers). It is available at the moment to view on YouTube: