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.
Um Dia Quente de Verão, 고령가 소년 살인 사건, Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian, The Guling Street Youngster Murder Incident
In one of the many expository "dream sequences" in Christopher Nolan's Inception, Leonardo DeCaprio's Cobb explains to Ellen 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.
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…
For the first hour or so I wasn't entirely engrossed in this film - though I was never bored. But slowly I became more and more involved in it and enraptured by it, small things suddenly mattered, felt personal and hit me hard, and by the end I was just at a loss for words and close to tears. I think I'll be thinking about this for weeks to come. An absolutely astounding piece of cinema and an instant fave. The runtime may seem daunting, but every damn minute is worth it by the end. Also, Elvis!
I'm a huge fan of stylized gangster films, this film on the other hand didn't sensationalize the gangster lifestyle instead it opted for a more realistic approach one that truly reflected the tragic and senselessness of its existence as well as the psychological carnage it leaves behind in its wake! Disillusioned children cannabalizing other children in turf wars are the progeny of parents whose psyches have been crushed and defeated by the politics of their time that forced them to flee their homeland!
The children have no sense of self, their parents and country are no longer in any moral position to continue to define whom they are! Children left to their own devices have transformed into nothing more than…
Set in the early 1960s, A Brighter Summer Day narratively chronicles Taiwanese teenagers disconcertingly scrabbling for individual and collective identity through affiliation with street gangs which director Edward Yang operates to address much wider-ranging topics and concerns centralised by a country coming to terms with a politically unpredictable future. The film at no time feels like the runtime of almost four hours is unnecessary, with each shot crowded with curious and extraordinary detail, and it'll take several rewatches to attempt to soak them all in.
A considerable amount of the generational turmoil is expressed in the manner of adolescent boastfulness and amplified masculinity, but they progressively advance into brutal clashes which are provided with an elevatedness by primarily occurring suddenly…
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.
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…
One of the most beautiful films I've watched. Definitely ambitious in every way considering it has a four hour run time.
one i will have to rewatch.
“You can’t even tell real from fake. How can you make movies?”
It's so easy to fill yourself with resentment and anger and to choose the wrong path. The lines between good and evil are so blurry and faded sometimes. In the right (or wrong) circumstances most people just need a push to make the jump from naive, good and innocent to terribly evil. I think the main achievement of this movie is to perfectly portray that because most movies create a caricatured version of evil exaggerating non existing characteristics creating a distorted view of it when real evil is actually much subtle than that.
Also for moments this felt like the asian version of that Mario Vargas Llosa's novel called "La Ciudad y los Perros".
"what if i don't change to suit your ideas?"
so much to say and yet it's hard to find the words. i don't know if i can articulate the ways in which this navigates cultural/national identity along individual and familial lines, weaving them together not as a metaphor really but as a faithful rendering of both in conversation, a dialectic of selfhood and collectivity that feels completely natural. there's a fairly simplistic way to read the brutal ending, as the betrayal and ongoing violence of a militarized democracy proving to be "just like all the others," the latest in a long line of disappointments and whiplash, and the resulting alienation is suffocating.
"is life in Taipei really that hard?"
"Want to skip class?"
"No, we have all the time in the world"
Edward Yang GOAT
After the movie ended I just thought that I really wouldn’t want to die tonight because I’d just seen this movie and would like to know what to do next.
I usually don't sit through the credits. I did on this one. Shockingly beautiful and of epic scale.
I may have a new favorite film?
você pisca os olhos e 4 horas se passaram e aí você pisca de novo e chora descontroladamente
Holy Crap how can a movie be 237 mins long and not for a single minute does it drag or feel like any time is being wasted. I was so engaged I didnt even eat a single flaming hot cheeto. This is one of the greatest movie ive ever seen!
WTF this is like, the best film ever
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