Jaeger-LeCoultre and the restoration of John Woo's film "A Better Tomorrow"

06.11.14

More than simply a case of safeguarding heritage, the restoration of classic films has a more important significance, that of stimulating public interest in conserving cinematographic masterpieces, and the transmission of cultural heritage. With this in mind, the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre have decided to work in 2015 in conjunction with one another in restoring Ying Xiong Ben Se ("A Better Tomorrow"), the celebrated film directed by John Woo. Through this initiative, they hope to draw the public's attention and invite more people to get involved alongside them in their continuing effort to conserve and sustain the rich heritage of Chinese cinema. 

A true benchmark of Hong Kong cinema, the film Ying Xiong Ben Se ("A Better Tomorrow"), released in 1986, lays the foundations for a style characterised by an aestheticization of violence, archetypal of director John Woo. This film remains a contemporary cinematographic masterpiece due to the precision and flow of the action. "To be given the opportunity to restore this Chinese film classic is quite simply extraordinary. The watchmaker Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre has a long-standing collaboration with the film industry and is always endeavouring to support and promote the seventh art. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the conservation of forgotten Chinese film classics and showcase the heritage of Chinese cinema" Daniel Riedo, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Organising Committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival highlighted that the restoration work and the digitalisation of old films is expensive and time-consuming. The joint commitment between Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Festival to restore Chinese film classics is the first step towards raising public awareness of conservation issues and preserving the heritage of Chinese cinema.

In 2011, the watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre formed a partnership with the Shanghai International Film Festival for a few years, primarily to support the restoration of several Chinese film classics. This is a first step for a private watchmaker in conserving the rich heritage of Chinese cinema, which the Manufacture will not cease to support. Over the past three years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has already helped to restore six landmark Chinese film classics: Parts 1 and 2 of Yi Jiang Chun Shui Xiang Dong Liu ("Tears of the Yang-Tse"), Ba Qian Li Lu Yun He Yue ("Eight Thousand Li of Cloud and Moon"), Shi Zi Jie Tou ("Crossroads"), Wuya Yu Maque ("Crows and Sparrows") and Li Ren Xing ("Women Side by Side").