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HK Film Archive's "Restored Treasures" to screen Jean Renoir's masterpiece "The Rules of the Game"

     French film master Jean Renoir's "The Rules of the Game" (1939) is one of those fabled works of art that was ruthlessly denounced when it first appeared, only to receive deserved recognition years later. The film has been acclaimed by movie magazines as one of the greatest films in cinema history. The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s "Restored Treasures" series will screen this masterpiece in December.  

     "The Rules of the Game" will be shown on December 4 (Sunday) at 2.30pm at the Cinema of the HKFA. The latest restored version, made in 2006, will be screened. The screening will also be the world premiere of the restored print outside the United States. A post-screening talk in Cantonese will be hosted by the programmer of the HKFA, Mr Sam Ho.   

     Set in Paris in the 1930s, the film follows a group of Parisian aristocrats spending a seemingly idyllic weekend on a country estate. Romantic intrigue includes an aviator who tries to win the affection of a rich man's wife and a maid's extra-marital relationship with a domestic servant. Through the acid dialogue and romantic entanglements of rich and poor, the infidelity, suspicion and hypocrisy of humanity is vividly unveiled. 

     Jean Renoir brilliantly animates the story using scenography and perfectly orchestrated camera work. However, when it was first screened in 1939, the film was booed by audiences and derided by critics. Renoir was forced to re-edit the film and 15 minutes of footage was cut. He departed France for Hollywood after its disastrous release. 

     The film was later banned by the French government. The complete version was presumed lost forever after the original negatives were destroyed during World War II, until two devoted French cineastes managed to rediscover much of the missing film in 1959 and, working with Renoir, meticulously reconstituted the film to its near-original length. The film then enjoyed a resuscitation in reputation. It is applauded by many renowned directors, including Pedro Almodóvar and Éric Rohmer, and is now ranked alongside Orson Welles's masterpiece "Citizen Kane" (1941) as one of the greatest films ever made.

     The film is in French with English and Chinese subtitles.

     Tickets priced at $50 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at

     Detailed programme information can be found in the ProFolio 60 booklet distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900, or browse the webpage:

Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2011


A film still from "The Rules of the Game" (1939).


A film still from "The Rules of the Game" (1939).


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