According to Tokyo Shinbun, NFC (National Film Center) in Tokyo announced the plan to restore Yosujiro Ozu’s four color films, such as AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON and LATE AUTUMN, using the state-of-art digital technology. These films are already showing some decay and fading. To restore the color of these films, it is necessary to collect the knowledge of the people who were involved in Ozu’s production directly. Archivists are alarmed of the loss of such knowledge, since these ex-staffs are becoming too old.
This program is the part of 110th anniversary of Ozu, and these restored versions of the four films will be shown in the retrospective in November this year.
Takashi Kawamata (87), the chief assistant cinematographer in Ozu’s later works, recollects how Ozu worked with color films: “Ozu-san preferred “half-asleep” AGFA film stock to KODAK, since the latter made the sky too blue. He was so obsessed with red, and spent many hours to decide where to put the red pot in AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON.”
The films are digitally restored to Fujifilm’s ETERNA film stocks, which are said to last more than 500 years. This is the first time the product is used for the feature-length film restoration.