Long revered as one of the most important figures in world cinema, Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang (1947–2007) left behind a body of work that is only now becoming more widely available in the West. His swan song, Yi Yi (2000), was his first film to receive distribution in the U.S. and entered the Criterion Collection in 2006. But his 1991 epic A Brighter Summer Day has traveled a much rockier path to international recognition, having been available for decades only in abridged form on low-quality home video.
Our much-anticipated release of A Brighter Summer Day on Blu-ray and DVD this March was the result of an arduous restoration effort. Expanding on the work spearheaded by the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, whose initial 2K restoration in 2009 garnered the film its first stateside theatrical release, we utilized up-to-date technology to scan the original negatives in 4K resolution. After a long saga involving broken scanners, missing reels, and the complicated transfer of materials between Taipei, Bologna, and New York, Yang’s masterpiece is finally ready to be appreciated not just for its intricate narrative and enduring emotional resonance, but for its visual beauty.
The video below takes you behind the scenes of our restoration work, a labor of love that has uncovered the film’s rich colors and expressive compositions in all their original glory.