Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries. NJ is morose: his brother owes him money, his mother is in a coma, his ... See full summary »
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
Jun arrives in Hong Kong from mainland China, hoping to be able to earn enough money to marry his girlfriend back home. He meets the streetwise Qiao and they become friends. As friendship ... See full summary »
When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme... See full summary »
A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »
Edward Yang's massive four hour epic "A Brighter Summer Day" is one of the true masterpieces of the 1990s and of the "New Taiwan cinema." It's ostensibly the story of a few rival street gangs in '60s Taiwan, but the film is about a single young man's rites of passage in an era in which his country was experiencing a major upheaval. The film is so meticulous in its construction and its feeling of community (its preparation, filming and post-production took several years) that at the same time its length automatically gives it an epic quality it is a remarkably intimate film that is about as far from an epic in the traditional (Hollywood) sense as possible. There are over a hundred speaking parts in the film and it is necessary to stay focused in order to keep track of what's going on and to whom, which is a good trick to make sure your audience is always paying attention. This is the type of film that is not simply watched but EXPERIENCED - the director demands nothing less from his audience. "A Brighter Summer Day" is a very personal vision that recalls both Yang's own childhood and an actual street murder that shook the nation. The film itself slowly and almost hypnotically builds towards this singular act of violence and at the end when it finally arrives it is both shocking and inevitable. "A Brighter Summer Day" keeps with the trend among the finest films to emerge from Taiwan in that it is very pared down - the cast are all nonactors and there is no non-diagetic music. It is beautifully shot, moving from the interiors of houses, schools, and cheap dance clubs to the open fields of the countryside in summertime. Alternating between violence and serenity, the film is a rhythmic and poetic evocation of a particular era. Its ironic title (in that there is no "brighter summer day" for these characters) is taken from an Elvis song that one of the kids sings at a nightclub. It is a truly exemplary modern masterpiece that got no distribution in the West but deserves to be hunted out at all costs by those who love and cherish the film art.
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