Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Norway to send to China classic film thought to be lost


Norway will hand to China a copy of The Cave of the Silken Web, a classic Chinese film that had long thought to be lost, the National Library of Norway said on Monday.

The delivery of the silent film from 1927 was expected to arrive in Beijing yesterday.

Diplomatic relations between both countries have been tense since Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) was in 2010 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, decided by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

After deciding to go through its stock of about 9,000 old films in 2011, the National Library of Norway found a nitrocellulose copy of the film.

It was the first film from the Asian country to be screened in the Scandinavian kingdom.

It seems to be the only existing copy.

The film, inspired in a classic Chinese novel by Wu Chengen (吳承恩) called Journey to the West, was restored before being sent to the China Film Archive.

In the film, a pilgrim monk entrusted by an emperor to find some sacred Buddhist texts ends up trapped in the Cave of the Seven Spiders, who want to eat his flesh to become immortal.

First screened in Oslo in 1929, the copy features subtitles in Chinese and Norwegian.

“The translator took quite a few liberties and added his own comments in brackets when it suited him. This gives the film a comical twist,” said Tina Anckarman, film archivist at the National Library of Norway.

“There are also sequences where the Chinese text is upside down or inverted,” she said.

Chinese authorities put on hold all high level bilateral contacts with their Norwegian counterparts after the Scandinavian country awarded Liu, considered a criminal by China, the Nobel Peace Prize.

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