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The New Yorker, 2004
From the New York Times, 2002:
Hua Yang De Nian Hua
''I wasn't just looking for instances of decayed film,'' Morrison recalls of his two-year excavation. ''Rather, I was seeking out instances of decay set against a narrative backdrop, for example, of valiant struggle, or thwarted love, or birth, or submersion, or rescue, or one of the other themes I was trying to interweave. And never complete decay: I was always seeking out instances where the image was still putting up a struggle, fighting off the inexorability of its demise but not yet having succumbed. And things could get very frustrating. Sometimes I'd come upon instances of spectacular decay but the underlying image was of no particular interest. Worse was when there was a great evocative image but no decay.''
Hua Yang De Nian Hua is a 2000 short film by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai that was shown at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival.
It consists of a 2m 28s montage of scenes from vintage Chinese films, most of which were considered lost until some nitrate prints were discovered in a California warehouse during the 1990s, set to a song from the soundtrack of Wong's In the Mood for Love (2000). It is available on the Criterion Collection DVD release of In the Mood for Love as an extra, as well as various bootlegged VCD releases of Wong's features.
From Senses of Cinema:
Rose Hobart consists almost entirely of footage taken from East of Borneo, a 1931 jungle B-film starring the nearly forgotten actress Rose Hobart. Cornell condensed the 77-minute feature into a 20-minute short, removing virtually every shot that didn't feature Hobart, as well as all of the action sequences. In so doing, he utterly transforms the images, stripping away the awkward construction and stilted drama of the original to reveal the wonderful sense of mystery that saturates the greatest early genre films.
An except is on Youtube: