A Brighter Summer Day Reviews

  • Apr 02, 2020

    Immersive setting and a plot that evolves far more organically than most, completely changing course halfway through. Set at a politically charged and historically underexplored intersection of Chinese and American culture, A Brighter Summer Day is a fascinating compound of conventional social themes (adolesence, authority, and power) and multilayered settings (the conventional family structure placed within the nascent, unsure Taiwan). While the runtime may be intimidating, that shouldn't deter potential viewers from taking in this most unique epic that conveys a unique intimacy for its scope.

    Immersive setting and a plot that evolves far more organically than most, completely changing course halfway through. Set at a politically charged and historically underexplored intersection of Chinese and American culture, A Brighter Summer Day is a fascinating compound of conventional social themes (adolesence, authority, and power) and multilayered settings (the conventional family structure placed within the nascent, unsure Taiwan). While the runtime may be intimidating, that shouldn't deter potential viewers from taking in this most unique epic that conveys a unique intimacy for its scope.

  • Mar 01, 2020

    it's a great movie! so well done. Ther character well presented, totally formed.. You know each character (well it's a long movie). Nice shots. Awesome!

    it's a great movie! so well done. Ther character well presented, totally formed.. You know each character (well it's a long movie). Nice shots. Awesome!

  • Dec 03, 2019

    Good movie, but too long.

    Good movie, but too long.

  • Jun 03, 2019

    Absolute masterpiece.

    Absolute masterpiece.

  • Jul 30, 2017

    Melancholically observed and richly detailed, Edward Yang's 4-hour long sprawling Taiwanese family saga set in the tumultuous era of the sixties, defined by Elvis mania, street gang rivalries, confusion of identity and a loss of security felt by children of parents fleeing from the Communist revolution, culminates in a shocking scene of cold-blooded juvenile murder that gives the film the Chinese title - The Homicide Incident of the Youth on Guling Street.

    Melancholically observed and richly detailed, Edward Yang's 4-hour long sprawling Taiwanese family saga set in the tumultuous era of the sixties, defined by Elvis mania, street gang rivalries, confusion of identity and a loss of security felt by children of parents fleeing from the Communist revolution, culminates in a shocking scene of cold-blooded juvenile murder that gives the film the Chinese title - The Homicide Incident of the Youth on Guling Street.

  • Oct 25, 2016

    A sense of justice can be misplaced.

    A sense of justice can be misplaced.

  • Apr 23, 2016

    Funny how 4 hours can feel so fleeting. The visual and audial achievement cannot be understated. The sets, designed by Edward Yang, act as essential catalysts to mood and behavior. And, like so many films from the Taiwanese New Wave, the central character is loneliness. The street gang set pieces are compelling. But this is without a doubt a tragedy. The sad mask to Yi Yi's more life-affirming one. Yang truly was a master and I believe his work's impact will only grow stronger over time.

    Funny how 4 hours can feel so fleeting. The visual and audial achievement cannot be understated. The sets, designed by Edward Yang, act as essential catalysts to mood and behavior. And, like so many films from the Taiwanese New Wave, the central character is loneliness. The street gang set pieces are compelling. But this is without a doubt a tragedy. The sad mask to Yi Yi's more life-affirming one. Yang truly was a master and I believe his work's impact will only grow stronger over time.

  • Mar 25, 2016

    An amazing four hours epic coming-of-age Taiwanese 1960s-period teenage gangster drama.

    An amazing four hours epic coming-of-age Taiwanese 1960s-period teenage gangster drama.

  • Mar 25, 2016

    I realize the big picture in the backdrop plus its significance in Taiwan Cinema (history). It's simultaneously a vast jumble however.

    I realize the big picture in the backdrop plus its significance in Taiwan Cinema (history). It's simultaneously a vast jumble however.

  • Jul 07, 2015

    A very, very long film, but worth every damn minute it is. Watching the film without any doing any "pre-view research" in Wikipedia (how lucky I am!), the film's ending almost made me chocked from disbelief. The title, the young and bright faces of those naive and beautiful characters (no wonder why Chang Chen still retain his statue-like handsomeness after all those years, his facial shape and shining eyes were already damn perfect in this film at the age of 15), the youthful and calm flow of stories (yes, despite all the political turmoil and gang conflicts, the film is pretty much "a brighter summer day" for most of its length), all those things made me feel deeply at ease enjoying some reminiscence about my own youth. And suddenly the ending, the heart-breaking ending that torn down all the calmness at the surface, to show the audience all the turbulent flows of adolescent craziness, all the stupidity inside those naive minds that cherish love, first love, first stirring moment of those inexperienced hearts, than anything else in the world. Yes, those young boys could easily sacrifice themselves for friendship, but they can also turn their back to each other "just because of a girl" (which is in fact their own vanity, the shallow vanity that everyone has at such young age). But the most heart-breaking thing is, no one can blame those boys, those girls for their stupidity, for their reckless behaviours, no one, as the only thing these coming-of-age "children" can follow at this stage of life is their own heart. And they suffer, even perish due to such innocent naivety. Really, the film is too beautiful, the characters are too beautiful that I really expected no harm coming upon them, but life is never that easy, especially when you are so fragile, so sensible as we often are, at such age. Emotions aside, "A Brighter Summer Day" is also technically magnificent, with very good pacing, stunning acting from the surely amateur cast, and an apparent flavour of Ozu, through Edward Yang's style of "still" frame, leaving important details out of the audience's view, and a strange calmness from the characters even in their most difficult moments, which only enhances the linkage between the audience and the strong flow of emotions underneath of those characters. Maybe not "a brighter summer day", but a beautiful, and sad, day of their youth, our youth, nonetheless.

    A very, very long film, but worth every damn minute it is. Watching the film without any doing any "pre-view research" in Wikipedia (how lucky I am!), the film's ending almost made me chocked from disbelief. The title, the young and bright faces of those naive and beautiful characters (no wonder why Chang Chen still retain his statue-like handsomeness after all those years, his facial shape and shining eyes were already damn perfect in this film at the age of 15), the youthful and calm flow of stories (yes, despite all the political turmoil and gang conflicts, the film is pretty much "a brighter summer day" for most of its length), all those things made me feel deeply at ease enjoying some reminiscence about my own youth. And suddenly the ending, the heart-breaking ending that torn down all the calmness at the surface, to show the audience all the turbulent flows of adolescent craziness, all the stupidity inside those naive minds that cherish love, first love, first stirring moment of those inexperienced hearts, than anything else in the world. Yes, those young boys could easily sacrifice themselves for friendship, but they can also turn their back to each other "just because of a girl" (which is in fact their own vanity, the shallow vanity that everyone has at such young age). But the most heart-breaking thing is, no one can blame those boys, those girls for their stupidity, for their reckless behaviours, no one, as the only thing these coming-of-age "children" can follow at this stage of life is their own heart. And they suffer, even perish due to such innocent naivety. Really, the film is too beautiful, the characters are too beautiful that I really expected no harm coming upon them, but life is never that easy, especially when you are so fragile, so sensible as we often are, at such age. Emotions aside, "A Brighter Summer Day" is also technically magnificent, with very good pacing, stunning acting from the surely amateur cast, and an apparent flavour of Ozu, through Edward Yang's style of "still" frame, leaving important details out of the audience's view, and a strange calmness from the characters even in their most difficult moments, which only enhances the linkage between the audience and the strong flow of emotions underneath of those characters. Maybe not "a brighter summer day", but a beautiful, and sad, day of their youth, our youth, nonetheless.