Monday, July 17, 2017

A Brighter Summer Day (Yang, 1991): Mini-Film Review

Edward Yang's epic work A Brighter Summer Day records more insightfully than any film in its class, a singular moment in Taiwan in the early 1960s. The nearly four hour film, which took three years to make, based on a script with more than 100 characters who deliver their own distinct lines of dialogue, documents a teenage boy's psychological descent in an era of transition generationally, politically, and culturally.

It is without a doubt a masterwork. So when I find myself hesitating to recommend the movie to those who are not familiar with the turmoil in Taiwan during the time period depicted, or reluctant to recommend A Brighter Summer Day because it is primarily dialogue driven, I return to Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016), who describes how films like this are made--namely, perfectly. (See Kiarostami clip, below).

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