(Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian, Taiwan/1991) by Edward Yang
Written by Edward Yang, Yan Hangya, Yang Shunqing, Lai Mingtang. Editing: Chen Bowen. Director of Photography: Zhang Huigong, Li Longyu. Set Designer: Yu Weiyan, Edward Yang. Production Company: Yang and His Gang Filmmakers. Starring: Zhang Zhen (Xiao Si’r), Lisa Yang (Ming), Zhang Guozhu (Zhang Ju), Elaine Jin (Mrs Zhang), Wang Juan (Elder Sister), Ke Yulun (Airplane), Tan Zhigang (Ma). Running time: 237’. Colour. Language: Mandarin and Taiwanese with French/ English subtitles. From: Central Motion Picture Corporation, Taipei.
Restored in 2009 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, Central Motion Pictures Corporation and Digimax laboratory in Taipei.
It is easy to restore a film’s image, but much harder to revive that feeling of seeing a classic for the first time. Fifteen years ago, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day was released, heralding a new talent in world cinema. Each year since has further confirmed its status as a classic, but at the cost of increased wear and tear on the prints. Restoration is usually reserved for relics from decades ago. But sometimes we need to dust off recent memories to remind us how brightly the not too distant past shined. Thanks to the latest digital technology, we can seize these celluloid moments even as they begin to slip irrevocably from our grasp. In June of 2007 when he was only 59 years old, we lost Edward Yang forever. I’m very happy that A Brighter Summer Day has been restored so a new generation of filmgoers can feel the excitement of seeing it for the first time.
(Wong Kar-Wai, May 2009)
Notes on the Restoration
The restoration of the uncut version of A Brighter Summer Day used the original 35mm camera and sound negatives provided by the Edward Yang Estate and preserved at the Central Motion Pictures Corporation in Taipei. Due to the deterioration of the original camera negative an intermediate of the film printed at the time was also used. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.