The Love Eterne

The Love Eterne

Dir/Scr: Li Han-hsiang
Prod Co: Shaw Brothers
Cast: Betty Loh Ti, Ivy Ling Bo, Jen Chieh, Li Kwun, Jing Miao
1963 | Colour | DCP | Mandarin | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 121min

© Licensed by Celestial Pictures Limited. All rights reserved.

This film was acquired locally in 2009.

In its day, Shaw Brothers was the dominant film company in Hong Kong. Its collections are plentiful, and in good condition. Celestial Pictures, which purchased the Shaw Brothers Film Library, has been digitally restoring their collection since 2002, for video discs distribution. In 2009, Celestial transferred over 700 film prints and tens of thousands of artefacts and materials to the Archive for preservation. On that occasion, the Archive held a grand transfer ceremony to acknowledge Celestial's staunch support.

Adapted from the popular folklore Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The Love Eterne is directed by one of Mandarin cinema's greatest, Li Han-hsiang. It is narrated mostly in huangmei diao choruses, with melodic repetitions that endow the film with an alluring lyricism. Progressing in seamless sequence, the musical episodes skillfully assimilate the essences of Sichuan, Shanghai yueju and Cantonese operas, using the sceneries to create sentiments that linger and haunt. Chan Ki-yui's design and art direction also foster a poetic romanticism and pictorial classicism that recall Chinese landscape paintings. The Love Eterne won Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Film Score and Best Film Editing at the Golden Horse Awards, alongside a Best Leading Actress trophy for Betty Loh Ti and a Special Award for Outstanding Performance for her on-screen partner Ivy Ling Po. The film went on to become a sensational hit, creating a wildly enthusiastic huangmei diao craze.

Date Time Venue
25/9/2021 (Sat) # 12:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

# Post-screening talk with Matthew Cheng

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