Celebrating the classics of Asian cinema and beyond, Restored is a regular series showcasing Asian films that have been meticulously preserved and restored by different institutions from across the world. The platform revisits these classics in a new light and allows them to be appreciated by new generations of audiences.
This November, screening for the first time in Singapore is Clara Law’s Floating Life—newly-restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Succinctly documenting the phenomena of emigration that engulfed Hong Kong before the transfer of its sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997, Floating Life captures the experiences of displacement through a poignant and charming portrait of the Chan family dispersed across Germany, Hong Kong, and Australia.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN PREMIERE
Directed by: Clara Law
Runtime: 97 minutes
Language: Cantonese, English, German with subtitles
Rating: R21 (Sexual Scenes)
Locarno Film Festival 1996
It is 1996. As the fate of Hong Kong hangs precariously, the Chan family struggles to find a new place to call home. Mr. and Mrs. Chan, along with their two teenage sons move to a suburb in Australia to join their second daughter, Bing. Bing’s older sister Yen, who lives in Germany with her German husband and daughter, decides to move to Australia to join them. Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong, their elder brother Gar Ming, who has a lucrative job and a relationship with a young Canadian-Chinese woman, is reluctant to follow his parents.
As the first Australian film to examine the Chinese diasporic experience, Clara Law weaves an unprecedented story of transnational migration and the tensions that emerge within this constellation—between young and old, the city and suburbs, and past and present.
Released in 1996, the original print negative was scanned to 4K international archival preservation standards. The scans were sent to Spectrum Films at Fox Studios in Sydney, where the visuals were cleaned, automatically and then manually, and fully restored by their expert colourist.
The restoration process was consulted with the film’s key creatives wherever possible, including producer Bridget Ikin and Academy Award-winning cinematographer, Dion Beebe, to obtain advice on colour and contrast.
The subtitling files were redone by the NFSA graphic designer to closely match the original font that was used in Australian films in the 1990s, but is no longer available.
Audio restoration was completed in-house by the NFSA, including cleaning and elimination of any pops or clicks, and then digitally laid onto the final file by Spectrum Films. Once the digitally restored file was quality controlled, a 2K DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and subsequent HD file were rendered and tested on a cinema screen.
All materials resulting from this digital restoration are now part of the NFSA collection, where they are preserved for future generations.
About the Director
Regarded as a key figure in Hong Kong cinema’s second wave of the 1980s, Clara Law’s substantial body of work as a director and writer include twenty feature films spanning three decades. Starting with her graduation film at the National Film and Television School, United Kingdom, They Say the Moon is Fuller Here (1985), Law’s filmic narratives have explored pan-Asian interconnections and reconfigurations of sexual and cultural identity. Her films such as Autumn Moon (1992), Farewell China (1990) and Temptation of a Monk (1993) have received critical acclaim.
Friday, 29 October 2021, 8pm
Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 8pm
Sunday, 21 November 2021, 2pm
Tickets go on sale Monday, 18 October 2021.
Friends of AFA members may select the “Friends of AFA” option and enter your membership number if you wish to redeem your remaining complimentary tickets.
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