Ring of Fury | Asian Restored Classics 2017

Ring of Fury 血指环

Synopsis

A humble noodle-seller refuses to pay protection fees to a gang of thugs, resulting in tragedy befalling his family and loved one. To exact revenge, he learns martial arts to deal with the gang led by a mysterious man in an iron mask.

Inspired by the kungfu craze sparked by Bruce Lee in the 1970s, Ring of Fury is Singapore’s first and only martial arts film featuring local karate master, Peter Chong.

 

About the directors

Tony Yeow

Singaporean producer, writer, and director Tony Yeow Park Swee (b.1938) started out in the 1960s as a producer in television and radio broadcasting where he produced commercials, documentaries, and government campaign films. He also worked as the Location Manager for Peter Bogdanovich’s film Saint Jack in 1978.

Yeow venture into filmmaking with Ring of Fury after an encounter with Bruce Lee in Hong Kong. Although the film was banned for three decades, Yeow was undeterred and continued to dabble in film projects such as the comedies, The Two Nuts (1975) and Tiger’s Whip (1998). However, these films never gained any commercial success. Yeow passed away in 2015, leaving behind his wife and son.


Sources:
SINDIE
Ben Slater (TODAY Online) (Sporeana.blogspot.sg)

James Sebastian

Born in 1933, James Sebastian started his career in television supervising a department of cameramen and film editors. He left television to start an independent career as a scriptwriter, a career that spanned nearly thirty years. He wrote over 150 film scripts, 57 of which he also directed and edited. He wrote and co-directed, Ring of Fury.

Sebastian left Singapore and migrated with his family to Australia in 1984, taking a break from film. He started work on a novel, a thousand-page omnibus comprising of eleven novellas, titled The Phoenix Drowned. It earned him a Literature Fellowship from the Australia Council Literature Board.

Now retired in Australia, Sebastian devotes his time entirely to writing.

Source: James Sebastian

 

Film and Restoration

Ring of Fury was made in homage to the late Bruce Lee’s influence on the martial arts genre. It was also an attempt in the early 70s to make a commercial genre film in Singapore. Ring of Fury was a relatively low budget film with amateur actors. A major component of the film is the unscripted and unchoreographed fight scenes. With no budget for special effects, the prolonged fight scenes featured in the film were raw and genuine fights between lead actor Peter Chong and the other stunt members. Ring of Fury was banned for its portrayal of gangsterism and vigilantism at a time when Singapore was aggressively ‘cleaning up’ its national public image. The ban lasted for 32 years before the film made its long overdue debut in 2005 at the Singapore International Film Festival.

Restored in 4K by the Asian Film Archive through Cineric Portugal film laboratory in 2017, the 35mm sole surviving print showed signs of severe deterioration and discolouration. A build-up of mould and faded colours of yellow and cyan made the print images appear magenta in colour. The film also suffered from vinegar syndrome which caused differential shrinkage.

A major work component during the digital restoration was the removal of mould from the images and returning colour levels to as close to their original state. The mould proved to be so challenging that the laboratory specially wrote a new algorithm to target this specific problem. The restored version of the film will make its world premiere at Asian Restored Classics 2017.

Principal Credit

Directors / Screenwriters: Tony Yeow and James Sebastian
Editors: Tony Yeow, Deva Raju
Starring: Peter Chong, Dawn Tsao
Sound: Mohamed Noor
Print Source: Asian Film Archive
Film Laboratory: Cineric Portugal
Special Thanks: Peter Chong

Screening Details

Date:  08 Sep 2017, Friday
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: NMS Gallery Theatre
Runtime: 78 min
Language: Mandarin (With English subtitles)
Rating: PG (Some violence)

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