Fri, May 29, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Film Institute to take classic films on tour

JURASSIC CLASSICS:An exhibition is to tour the nation from next month through August, featuring six movies digitized and restored by the institute

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Film Institute yesterday announced it has restored some classic Taiwanese films and they are ready to be shown in theaters across the nation.

The institute is a foundation established by the Ministry of Culture charged with restoring and promoting the nation’s film heritage.

Institute chief executive Lin Wen-chi (林文淇) said that following the 1955 end of a ban on producing movies in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), hundreds of movies in the language were produced every year until the end of the 1960s, when the move to color films undermined the competitiveness of independent Hoklo film producers.

The 1970s saw the emergence of romantic movies and a genre of “new wave” wuxia (martial arts, 武俠) films, which were commercially successful in eastern Asia, he said.

Time has not been kind to the older movies, which are only now beginning to be digitized and restored, Deputy Minister of Culture Joseph Chen (陳永豐) said.

He said that many films have already been lost or irreparably damaged due to poor preservation methods, adding that during Taiwan’s economic rise, discarded movie-film was often used as waterproof lining in the straw hats of factory workers.

He estimated that only 400 Hoklo films have been preserved.

Ten older films in either Holko or Mandarin have been fully digitized and restored by the institute.

The movie exhibition — set to tour the nation from next month through August — features six classic films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Films featured include Dragon Gate Inn (龍門客棧), the wuxia film that marked the beginning of the “new wave” pictures. The restored version was featured at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

The romantic drama The Young Ones (彩雲飛) — based on a novel by famous pulp-romance author Chiung Yao (瓊瑤) — similarly presaged a wave of successful romance films.

The exhibit includes Love in Chilly Spring (春寒), starring singer Feng Fei-fei (鳳飛飛), as well the three older Hoklo films: Back to Anping Harbor (回來安平港), Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (三鳳震武林) and The Fantasy of Deer Warrior (大俠梅花鹿).

All films feature English subtitles.

Showtimes, locations and ticket purchasing information can be found on the Web site of the Taiwan Film Institute: www.tfi.org.tw.

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