The convivial feast; The handsome gentleman wearing silk jacket; The beautiful woman wearing beautiful dress and jade hairpin; Soft words exchanging... The classic exquisite beauty is represented through using film restoration technology to restore the elegant scene setting and light and shadow arrangement. In the slow full length shot, the flame of the oil lamp flickering, and the prosperity and styles of Shanghai in the late Qing Dynasty is as clear as yesterday, rendering people a retrospective sentiment.
This morning, the classic movie FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien was premiered at the Shanghai Grand Theatre after being 4K restored by the Shanghai International Film Festival and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Hollywood actor Nicholas Hoult and the Chinese actress Ni Ni appeared together, they discussed on the topic of film restoration techniques and artistic inheritance, paying tribute to the craftsmanship of the behind-the-scenes restoration technicians.
In the past nine years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been devoted to the Chinese classic film restoration project, and successfully repaired 13 representative film works using 4K technology. The film selected crossing different ages, types, subjects and regions, leaving precious time memories and historical information for the Chinese film industry.
At the premiere of the morning, when talking about the film that he was looking forward to restore, Nicholas Holt expressed the hope to restore the family video taken by his parents in their age. "This is a time memory that completely belongs to me." Ni Ni, who herself has a film complex, looks forward to seeing more literary classic movies like FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI being restored and re-screened.
In order to help the audience better understand the plot and characters, tonight, the Shanghai International Film Festival also specially arranged a special viewing guiding activity before the screening of the 4K restoration version of FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI. Producer of FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI, Shozo Ichiyama, producer from Shochiku Co., Ltd. of Japan, Ichiro Saburo, director of the Italian Bologna Film Restoration Institute, David Pozzi were invited to the stage to exchange film making experience and behind-the-scenes stories about the restoration after 20 years, with the audience. Famous Shanghai writer Jin Yucheng, Tongji University professor Tang Weijie, and film critic Wu Libing of IRIS also exchanged views with the audience as view guiding guests.
David Pozzi revealed that in order to accurately restore the full picture quality of the indoor film at the time, they invited director Hou Hsiao-hsien and photographer Li Pingbin to personally take charge of the later color modulation guidance. In addition to paying attention to "appearance", "accent" has also been treated meticulously. For the screening, the Shanghai International Film Festival also specially invited Shanghai native film critics to revise the "Shanghai dialect" subtitles in the film to ensure that each line is authentic Shanghai flavor.
Though Director Hou Hsiao-hsien did not visit the viewing guide site, he sent a message to the fans of the Shanghai International Film Festival. "The original is a Suzhou dialect. The language in the film is old, new, just-learned and variously accented Shanghai dialect; it may well be the specific meaning of FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI being screened in Shanghai."
Speaking of "Shanghai Memory" conveyed in FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI, writer Jin Yucheng said with emotion: "Whether it is literature or film, artists are using their own methods to record, restore and preserve the life scenes of their respective eras. The FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI preserves the memory of Shanghai in the past, which involves people's emotions. Hou Xiaoxian's full length shots preserved the feast and life scenes of that period of time. If there were no novel or movie, this part of Shanghai life would have had no chance to be restored."
Writer Jin Yucheng
As a film critic who personally interviewed Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wu Libing specially reminded the audience to pay attention to the spatial scheduling in the film. "Although they are all shots of indoor scenes, director Hou used the top spatial scheduling skills to depict character personalities of different roles, including the use of depth space and applying of color tone, it is unparalleled."