Film on Confucius Resurfacing
After years of painstaking restoration, the archive premiered a partially reassembled “Confucius” during April’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. Mr. Ho said a more complete version should be ready by early next year. While Fei Mu’s slow-moving, meditative drama is unlikely to outshine a forthcoming lavish biopic about Confucius starring the Hong Kong film idol Chow Yun-Fat, it will give filmgoers a chance to get acquainted with a singular piece of China’s cinematic heritage.
“‘Confucius’ has always been considered a lost film,” Mr. Ho said. “It’s always been a major missing piece in the puzzle of the cinema of Fei, because of the time it was made and his aesthetic development as an artist.”
Though relatively few of his films have survived physically the passage of time, Fei is revered by fans of classic Chinese cinema. His 1948 love story, “Spring in a Small Town,” was voted the greatest Chinese film of all time by Hong Kong’s Film Awards Association in 2005. That film was also remade, in 2002, by the influential director Tian Zhuangzhuang.