J.sharp j.sharp
Fri Feb 11 14:27:07 EST 2005

Just forwarding something I spotted on the excellent Masters of Cinema
(http://www.mastersofcinema.org/) website.

50,000 films! I wonder what other rare treasures are amongst this pile?

Jasper Sharp

"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. "

Midnight Eye: The Latest and Best in Japanese Cinema


Out Now from Stone Bridge Press:
The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp
Foreword by Hideo Nakata

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