A boy experiences first love, friendships and injustices growing up in 1960s Taiwan.
A boy experiences first love, friendships and injustices growing up in 1960s Taiwan.
Chang Chen Lisa Yang Chang Kuo-Chu Elaine Jin Chuan Wang Chang Han Chiang Hsiu-Chiung Stephanie Lai Wang Chi-tsan Lawrence Ko Tan Chih-Kang Chang Ming-Hsin Jung Chun-Lung Hui-Kuo Chou Hsiao-Tsui Tang Hung-Ming Lin Wang Bosen Hung-Yu Chen Hsu Ming Cho Ming Chen Shiang-Chyi Weiming Wang Chin Tsai Yi-Wen Chen Tang Ru-Yun Li-Mei Chen Ye-Ming Wang Lang Tsu-Yun
Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian, The Guling Street Youngster Murder Incident, 고령가 소년 살인 사건, Um Dia Quente de Verão
In one of the many expository "dream sequences" in Christopher Nolan's Inception, Leonardo DeCaprio's Cobb explains to Elliot Page's Ariadne that "Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." It's not only an accurate statement but one that applies just as beautifully to the world of the cinema. The lights go down, the audience tunes in, and the world painted across the silver screen is our everything. When the final shot cuts or fades and the credits start scrolling, the trance dissipates like a shock to the system. A truly great film allows every aspect of reality to reorganize while we're away, and when the real world…
This review contains various thematic spoilers but only vague allusions to plot spoilers. Read at your discretion.
A Brighter Summer Day is a truth epic, a four hour journey into the abyss of teenage disillusionment. It's about the reality of growing up and the consequences of an aimless life. It's a quiet movie, of people kissing in the dark, with conversations happening between people offscreen, of themes muted in favour of shapeless ideas. It's paced like life itself, with threads weaving gradually into the story, some exit before the end, others remain forever. This is a tale of music, love, injustice. A brick to the face, a desk in an empty room, a beating watched through a window. The cinematography…
"If a person apologizes for wrongs they didn't commit, then they are capable of anything terrible."
"Natural? You can't even tell real from fake."
If it's slowly becoming a cliche to call this film 'novelistic,' it is simply because it is true, as much as I would like to perversely dis-spell that notion (a truly self-destructive act!). Over 100 characters with speaking roles, this creates a density of details and interrelationships which serve as both a portrait of a culture (and/or diminishing culture with the beginnings of a new one) as well as a process of depersonalization borne from the desire for cultural identity. Xiao S'ir is at once a fully realized, developing character himself and a walking metaphor…
It's truly a shame that A Brighter Summer isn't better known because it's truly one of the greatest landmarks in modern cinema. It's about a lot of things at once, but Yang beautifully balances everything out. It's as intimate as a love story, but at the same time also as expansive as a historical film. Set in 1960s Taipei, the film is said to be based on a real incident that the director remembers from his school days when he was 13. It's a violent incident, which the film places in the context of the political environment in Taiwan at that time.
A Brighter Summer Day is nearly four hours long but it doesn't take it's lengthy running time for…
“Are you lonesome tonight?”
Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day is a film where everything and nothing happens all at once. An unrivalled artistic achievement in its magnitude and scope, the film encompasses adolescence, ideals, love, and anguish in a tender portrait of Taiwan's search for a collective identity. The film chronicles the exploits of the young and disillusioned Si’r, who is forced to attend night school after failing one of his classes; his family grows worried he will be influenced by the delinquents who also attend the school.
But the world of A Brighter Summer Day extends far beyond this almost superfluous plot description. Yang's 1960s Taiwan is vibrant and textured while losing none of its authenticity and realism.…
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But I'd rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won't come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Second viewing, last seen 30 January 2000. (According to my log, I also saw High School that day. It's one of the shortest Wiseman films, but still, that's a whole lotta adolescent rebellion.) Wish I had a stronger case to make for my contrarian opinion, but the film's ostensible greatness is simply lost on me—what I saw, again, was four solid hours of maddeningly shapeless quasi-memoir, centered around a protagonist who never quite comes into focus and a mundane turf war between rival youth gangs. Chang Chen's appeal has always escaped me, even in movies I otherwise quite like (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Red Cliff); here, in his screen debut, he's such an empty vessel that Si'r's final act…
The western title for Yang’s most universally and all-embracing giant mammoth of a film is inspired by western culture: A Brighter Summer Day is taken from the lyrics of Elvis Presley's Are You Lonesome Tonight?. The original title is literally translated as Youngster Homicide Incident at Guling Street. Naturally, I would opt for referring to this film with its original language title, but the universal thematic content of this colossus ironically leads us to conclude that both titles/sides are irreparably coexistent. Both titles are relevant, one from the angle of the loss of cultural identity and the latter from the social perspective.
Youngster Homicide Incident at Guling Street justifies its length for its enormous array of socially concerning topics, and…
A slice-of-life drama that involves murders, this film combines elements of a paranoid thriller, a high school flick, a small town drama, a family drama, a gang crime story, and more into its languid runtime, depicting the complicated web of consequences, motivations, and relationships that fuels any community amplified by historical events (in this case, an influx of population). Yang uses both major historical events (said influx) and minor (memories from his past) to heighten this tale, and the heavy drama feels less sensational and more real because of it--that, and the down-to-earth performances. The murders, especially, are portrayed in a manner that does not separate them from any other scene, almost nonchalantly directed, so to speak, and that makes the film feel rooted in the humanity depicted rather than the Events.
this movie is like its poster, at first you find it pretty but then you look closer and is that blood on the shirt?
“No, we have all the time in the world.”
Wow. For a film that’s four hours long that flew by. I’m glad I made the time to watch it in one sitting.
I didn’t expect the ending. I was literally just destroyed by that ending shot. The ending shot is perfect. The way they callback to those first few shots was amazing.
I made time for this film today and I’m glad I did.
This is one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.
This is cinema.
The direction by Yang is just insanely good.
The opening shots of Si’r just sitting alone looked beautiful.
All the shots of the concerts looked amazing.
All the shots at the pool table looked amazing.
The shots of Xi’r and Ming just…
My Saturday Matinee series continues with A Brighter Summer Day, allegedly the 8th longest movie I've seen (I thought it had been a long time since I'd seen a 4-hour stunner, but I am reminded that I just watched the Snyder Cut this year, along with At Berkeley, City Hall, La Belle Noiseuse, and Until the End of the World just last year. I guess it hasn't been that long!). I blind bought the Criterion DVD, oh, probably 4 or 5 years ago, and I'm finally getting around to it now (truth be told, I watched through Criterion Channel because it was better quality than the DVD. Ah well!).
I don't think I can say much that others have not…
Entertainment Value: A-
What a monster of a movie to get through. It took me a few sittings, but I finally made it through this film nearly 2 years after Paul Dano recommended it on the Criterion Closet video.
While long and slow, Yang’s movies never cease to amaze me. The depiction of daily life is a staple of both this and the other film I watched from him Yi Yi. This movie just does such a brilliant job putting show above tell. It shows the culture and the tension as life on this small island shifts away from the values of mainland China following the Civil War while giving reason as to why society has developed into…
yiyi is better ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
Unfortunately ak gagal utk bisa mencintai keindahan yg dihidangkan oleh Edward Yang di film ini. Entah krn durasinya yg panjang atau aku yg memang tak bisa konek dgn karakter/ceritanya. But i still appreciate ABSD impact on taiwanese cinema.
"Não deixe o passado desanima-lo, sim?"
É difícil fazer isso quando o passado te assombra tanto quanto ou até mais que o futuro, mesmo com um futuro tão conturbado quanto o daquelas pessoas.
Da mesma forma que é difícil pensar que sempre teremos um dia quente de verão, porque a cada momento bom, vem uma sequência de momentos ruins e te destrói: a resposta do ídolo que vira lixo quando você tenta conta-la para seu amigo, o amor correspondido que na real era passageiro, uma vida familiar em paz destruída por noites assustadoras passadas fora de casa, um futuro em um lugar após a faculdade destruído pelas obrigações.
A vida que se torna uma prisão, real e mental, torna difícil ver o que o futuro poderia ter sido e no final, tudo é, nada mais, nada menos, que sua culpa e assim, suas memórias se perdem, em um dia quente de verão.
"A lively soul is never stifled by a fart, right?"
o filme mais longo que já assisti na minha vida, levei o dia todo para terminar, mas valeu a pena..
I urge you to give this your time... your patience, your undivided attention. It’s 4 hours. Every minute is worth it. Don’t look away. Don’t get bored although I struggle to see how you would be bored by this magnificent achievement of cinema.
It’s already due a rewatch but I don’t know when I’ll have a spare 4 hours! Many long films are due a rewatch. This is what happens when some of the greatest films ever are super long and I have to repeatedly watch them!
I’ll come back to you with hopefully a 5 star review? Upon a rewatch amongst other works of brilliant cinema.
To be honest, my mind wandered a lot while watching this. It's a combination of the deeply disturbing news cycle of the past couple of days as well as some stuff that's going on in my personal life. It's a shame because I know how beloved this film is, especially among the Leterboxd community. I'm sure I'll return to it some day and give it the four hours of undivided attention it deserves.
Even through my half-assed viewing, though, I was for one able to appreciate how damn beautiful this film is. Clearly an "every frame a painting" movie in every sense of the phrase. I don't quite have the capacity to explain it, but the cinematography felt like it was out of the 1950s. Also, the sporadically placed acts of violence that occur throughout the film are shot and put together incredibly well. Every time they achieve exactly the desired effect.
if i could show that this should be higher than my other 5 star ratings i would,,, it’s on a whole different level tbh
Tender, like the simplest, softest bond formed among people... Tender, like a freshly cut wound—crimson red staining the flesh.
This is how you write a coming-of-age story—not by showing characters “surpassing innocence and finding out that the world is fucked up” but by them already knowing that the world is fucked up yet still trying hard to be good in spite of it.
And by understanding that sometimes, trying is exhausting. And sometimes, they’d fail at doing it.
I don’t know what else to say. A Brighter Summer Day is a terrifyingly beautiful depiction of growing up in a sick, sad universe.
And as we should all know by now, it is just plainly impossible to grow up sane in a mad, mad world.
“you grow so much you hold your breath. remind me to let it out for you tonight”
this is not what i was expecting at all. it felt excruciatingly long at points, and other times i couldn’t pull my eyes from the screen. each character has their own evils and their own virtues, and i really didn’t feel like the movie wasted any time, despite the length of it. it did take me a few days to get through it, but it really was SO worth it. the very last frame is going to stick with me forever, for sure.
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