Celestial draws line to Blu-ray


Celestial Pictures will release its first Blu-ray Disc title in April, the classic Leslie Cheung romantic comedy "Behind the Yellow Line," to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death, the company announced Monday.

It marks Celestial's first Shaw Brothers release on the Blu-ray Disc high-definition home entertainment format. As with previous Shaw Brothers releases on DVD, the film has been remastered. HD DVD editions of more than half of the released titles have been available since 2006.

"Line," made in 1984, revolves around a series of hide-and-seek games played in Hong Kong's then-new subway system. It features a galaxy of up-and-coming stars that would go on to become the most celebrated entertainers in the region, including Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui and Maggie Cheung.

One of the biggest Asian superstars of the 1980s and 1990s, Cheung achieved international fame with his performance in Chen Kaige's "Farewell My Concubine" (1992). He committed suicide on April 1, 2003, aged 46. His friend and frequent collaborator Mui, who also starred with Cheung in Stanley Kwan's "Rouge" (1987), died of cancer the same year at the age of 40. Their deaths shocked the Asian community and their popularity persists to this day.

The company plans to release more Shaw Brothers classics on Blu-ray Disc to satisfy increased demand for high-definition content, but has not specified titles or a timetable.

Celestial Pictures, a subsidiary of Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks, owns the 760-title Shaw Brothers film library.