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400 Hong Kong film prints donated to University of Toronto

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
by Brian Thibodeau
Looks like Colin Geddes, an on/off contributor to the HKMDB, relinquished some 400 prints from his personal collection of Chinatown rescues to the University of Toronto back in March. ... cle/793961

I might have to visit UofT to see a full list, assuming they allow non-students to have a peek at such things. :?

The part of the story detailing the discovery of the old prints in the abandoned Golden Princess theater is one of those things that always amazes me. I guess I'm too much the "collector" but I can never understand things like this simply being left behind for dedicated fans and/or scavengers to take ownership of months, if not years, later. To find such a treasure, which I'm sure Colin has more than once, would be truly amazing, but it goes to show you how worthless these prints were deemed to be by the owners of the theatre during it's Chinese period. "Shipping them back was often costly" sez the article, and I'm sure spending the money to properly store them was equally pointless in the eyes of the owners, let alone wasting the time to haul them out to the dumpster if the demise of the theatre was imminent. Glad to see these finally found a permanent residence after years of entertaining the masses at Geddes' Kung Fu Fridays screenings, but a little heartbroken about the utterly disposable attitudes they were subjected to before they even fell into his hands. And we wonder why we'll never see populist Hong Kong films given the proper representation they deserve on a label like Criterion.

What brought this article to my attention was Colin's "Ultra 8" email dispatch today, which announces that two of the pictures, Ringo Lam's ESPRIT D'AMOUR and Ronny Yu's THE OCCUPANT, will be playing a double feature at a campus theatre this Saturday night, and of course I'll be out of town. :( :(

Details, for anyone in the area: ... entId=9010

EDIT: If nothing else, this event alerted me to the existence of the Robert Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library at UofT. I've been here over 3 years and I still feel like such a noob sometimes. I'll definitely be spending some time in this place in the future, judging by their library: ... orm_simple
Some of these books are also available via the Toronto Public Library, which means one can actually take them home, but many more aren't, and I'm not fond of paying internet prices to get some of the more scholarly volumes.

Re: 400 Hong Kong film prints donated to University of Toron

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:58 am
by KMGor
The one thing to take heart from the forgotten nature of prints like these: there's always hope of a long thought lost film, or a better and more complete copy, seeing the light of day again.

Think of the recent screening of a restored Metropolis, one of those things I figured I'd never have a chance to see. But it's coming to DVD now.

Probably the thing I'd be most interested in seeing come up somewhere would be the missing scenes of Bullet in the Head, but apparently the studio destroyed the negative. Oh well.

Re: 400 Hong Kong film prints donated to University of Toron

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:16 am
by Brian Thibodeau
Well said. I do hope to pop down to UofT and see if there's a complete list of titles, or plans for more screenings. With that many prints, even a monthly screening schedule could last for years. It would be amazing if some of his prints contained footage not presently available on the DVDs. Not that it would make much difference at this point in the game, but still . . .

Re: 400 Hong Kong film prints donated to University of Toron

PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:24 pm
by Gaijin84
I was able to go to the screening of Eastern Condors at the NY Asian Film Festival yesterday afternoon. Grady Hendrix mentioned that the copy we saw (35mm) was from a private owner in Canada (I think he said Toronto) that rescued it from Chinatown theaters. I have to assume this would be one of Geddes' prints, right? It was in really good shape, I have to say. Great film experience.