Classic Hitchcock silent films to make Asian debut
By Xu Wei
THE restored versions of nine early silent films by famous British master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock will have their Asian debut screening during the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival, which runs from June 15-23.
The nine silent films to be shown this year were shot by Hitchcock in the UK and offer a glimpse into the classic suspense style he developed to perfection at the peak of his career.
The nine films include Hitchcock's directorial debut, "The Pleasure Garden." The others are "The Lodger," "The Ring," "Downhill," "The Farmer's Wife," "Easy Virtue," "Champagne," "The Manxman" and "Blackmail." All were completed between 1925 -1929 and have been rarely exhibited.
"Blackmail" was later re-shot by the director to include some snippets of dialogue, and was the first sound film screened in the UK.
The movies will be shown at the festival's "Tribute to Masters" section that celebrates the classic works of master directors and actors from film history.
According to the film festival organizing committee, they have been closely monitoring the British Film Institute's restoration work on the nine silent films since last year. They decided, with the support of the British Embassy and British Film Institute, to include them in this year's festival for their premiere screening in Asia.
In addition, a special screening of "Blackmail" will also be held at Shanghai Film Museum, which will open in June. A contemporary music band will provide musical backing during the screening.
Apart from the Hitchcock silent film series, the Tribute to Masters section will include Leslie Cheung and Tang Xiaodan film retrospectives and tributes to Yasujiro Ozu and Oliver Stone.