New Trailer for 4K Restoration of 'Center Stage' with Maggie Cheung
"People can sometimes be very weak. But we hope to see strong people." Film Movement has released a new trailer for the 4K restoration of the beloved Hong Kong film Center Stage, made by filmmaker Stanley Kwan. It originally debuted in 1991, but didn't play at film festivals until 1992 when it showed at the Berlin Film Festival (where Cheung won Best Actress); it didn't even open in the US until 1994. The film is a biopic telling the story of 1930's Chinese actress Lingyu Ruan, played by the very talented Maggie Cheung. As The Film Stage explains: "Lingyu, who committed suicide at the age of 24 in 1935 after a tumultuous private life that was frequent fodder for the vicious Shanghai tabloids—and began to mirror the melodramas that brought her fame." The film's cast includes Han Chin, Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Waise Lee, Lily Li, Lawrence Ng, and Cecilia Yip. As always, discovering these films when they've been restored is the best way to finally see them. This was updated into 4K quality from the original negative. And it looks gorgeous.
International superstar Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love) embodies tragic screen siren Ruan Lingyu, known as the "Greta Garbo of China," in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan. Praised for her moving and emotive onscreen presence, Ruan’s private life, which was frequent fodder for the vicious Shanghai tabloids, began to mirror the melodramas which brought her fame, culminating in her suicide at age 24. Kwan and Cheung paint a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the ill-fated actress, deftly blending lush period drama, archival footage, and metatextual documentary sequences of Cheung reflecting on Ruan's legacy. The result is, much like the [real] films of Ruan Lingyu themselves, "tender, vivid and almost overwhelmingly moving" (Time Out). Center Stage was directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Stanley Kwan, making his fifth feature film at the time after Women, Love Unto Waste, Rouge, and Full Moon in New York. The film was first released in Taiwan in 1991, then premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 1992 followed by the Chicago Film Festival. Film Movement will re-release the Center Stage restoration starting March 12th in the Metrograph's Virtual Cinema. Want to watch this one?