50000 Films Found?
tetsuwan at comcast.net
tetsuwan at comcast.net
Fri Feb 11 16:34:49 EST 2005
Wonder how long before the public gets to view any of these?
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> A colleague has pointed this fantastic news out to me (it is in
> This has also been reported on the Masters of Cinema website and here
> is their summary:
> February 11, 2005
> [50,000 OLD ASIAN FILMS FOUND]
> Mainichi Shimbun newspaper today reports the death of a legendary
> Japanese film collector, Yoshishige Abe, aged 81. His father was a
> police doctor who worked for the Korean Consulate, and together they
> both collected fifty-thousand films both pre and post war at their
> storehouse. They had previously refused all investigations by scholars,
> and it is not clear just how many of the films are still viewable.
> The article focuses mostly on Na Unkyu's debut Arirang (1926), one of
> the most influential films of early Korean cinema, and long thought
> lost. North and South Korea apparently each sent representatives to
> reclaim the film but Abe refused. Thinking of it as an anti-Japan movie
> he said he would be willing to give the film rolls to both nations only
> if Korea united.
> Abe has no heir, so after the lawful procedures, National Film Center
> [Tokyo] will investigate the films. The catalogue contains Daichi wa
> Hohoemu [The Earth Smiles] (Mizoguchi, 1925) amongst its many
> treasures. Thanks to Kimitoshi Sato for sending us this incredible
> news. -N.W.
> It's ironic that with the Korean boom in Japan these days, the Arirang
> news is played up (important news though it is), even though it is much
> more likely that the grand majority of these films are Japanese.
> I've heard rumors about this guy for a while, but I only hope these
> films are in good condition. There are a number of private collectors
> out there who are hoarding their films, even when they are made of
> explosive nitrate stock. Let's pray that there are some great films in
> this collection and that they will be viewable.
> Aaron Gerow
> KineJapan owner
> Assistant Professor
> Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
> Yale University
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