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.
An Indonesian Classic in a New Light: A Conversation on the Landmark Restoration of After the Curfew
Two key figures in the pathbreaking project, Lisabona Rahman and Lintang Gitomartoyo, discuss its significance for Indonesian cinema, the challenges they faced while working on it, and the legacy of the film’s director, Usmar Ismail.
Remembering Giuseppe Rotunno, a Gentle Maestro
Criterion’s technical director pays tribute to the late, great cinematographer, who worked in both Italy and the U.S., and whose brilliant eye and warm personality were well known in the film world.
The Lady Eve’s Long Road to High Definition
Preston Sturges’s screwball masterpiece is one of the most beloved Hollywood comedies of all time, but a lack of good film materials held up our recently released Blu-ray upgrade for years.
The Final-Hour Preservation of Dance, Girl, Dance in Nitrate
Our plans to release Dorothy Arzner’s feminist classic set in motion a restoration process that led Warner Bros. to discover a nitrate negative that had begun to deteriorate in storage.
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