The restoration of Chinese cinema classics meets great success
14 June 2014, Shanghai. As an official partner of the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre is hosting a press conference and organizing an auction gala and reception at the Shanghai Film Museum on the opening night of the festival to benefit the continued growth of the Chinese film industry. Gracing the red carpet at the festival and wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre’s luxurious jewellery and complication watches will be the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand ambassador Zhao Wei, the world renowned French film director Jean-Jacques Annaud, the action film master John Woo, notable mainland Chinese actors Feng Shaofeng, Shawn Dou, Guo Tao, Gao Yunxiang, actresses Dong Xuan, Liu Tao, director Wang Yuelun, Hong Kong actresses Michelle Ye, Annie Liu, Taiwanese actresses Ady An, actors Joe Cheng, Kai Ko. More than 200 members of the domestic and international press and more than 300 esteemed guests will attend the Jaeger-LeCoultre evening gala.
Four Years of Generous Contributions
The close partnership between Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Shanghai International Film Festival began in 2011. At the start of their partnership, Jaeger-LeCoultre announced that the most significant project in the years to follow would be the restoration of Chinese cinema classics as part of its efforts to save China’s rich cinematographic heritage. In doing so, Jaeger-LeCoultre became the first private company to participate in such film restoration work in China. At present, Jaeger-LeCoultre has contributed to the restoration of nine Chinese cinema classics that include both parts of Yi Jiang Chun Shui Xiang Dong Liu (The Spring River Flows East), Ba Qian Li Lu Yun He Yue (Eight Thousand Li of Cloud and Moon), Shi Zi Jie Tou (Crossroads), Wu Ya Yu Ma Que (Crows and Sparrows), Li Ren Xing (Three Girls), Wan Jia Teng Huo (The Thousand Lights), Wo Zhe Yi Bei Zi (My This Lifetime) and Wu Tai Jie Mei (Two Stage Sisters).
The recently completed restoration of Wu Tai Jie Mei (Stage Sisters) is Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Shanghai International Film Festival’s first restoration of a colour movie. Wu Tai Jie Mei, directed by renowned filmmaker Xie Jin in 1964, is considered one of his masterpieces. To better preserve this classic Chinese film for future generations, Jaeger-LeCoultre partnered with the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Cineteca di Bologna’s film restoration laboratory, acclaimed as “the high temple of film restoration,” to complete a full colour restoration of this iconic production using the latest 4K technology. The work required the painstaking effort of more than six months of collaboration among the two teams’ 80 members based in Shanghai and Bologna. 2014 marks the 90th anniversary of director Xie Jin’s birthday and the fully restored digital edition of this film will be shown to the public for the first time as the opening feature of the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival to pay homage to the great filmmaker.
Besides rescuing, preserving and restoring classic films, what matters even more is promoting the protection of cinematographic heritage and transmitting that cultural legacy to the next generation. The Shanghai International Film Festival committee and Jaeger-LeCoultre have jointly decided to restore John Woo’s magnum opus Ying Xiong Ben Se (A Better Tomorrow) in 2015 to encourage greater social awareness of the process and purpose of restoring classic films and will pour their efforts into protecting China’s cinematographic heritage. In addition, because their partnership has been so productive, Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Shanghai International Film Festival have signed a three-year cooperative agreement and hope that in the next three years, they can continue to promote the development of Chinese cinema.
In spite of their differences, filmmaking and watchmaking share similar values. As an active proponent of cinematographic art and culture, the Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre’s mission aligns with that of the world of film: to capture and eternalize moments. Jaeger-LeCoultre has maintained a close bond with the film industry and has strengthened it as the years have gone by, offering its wholehearted support and promoting the development and transmission of cinematographic art and culture. In the past decade, Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed close partnerships with many of the world’s most revered film festivals : the Venice International Film Festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain, the New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, Jaeger- LeCoultre has been enthusiastic in supporting each of these celebrations of cinema.