Set in Taipei, in 1960, the film revolves around a true incident that took place during Edward Yang’s adolescence and focuses on a generation facing the limitations of the Taiwanese traditional cultural identity as well as social and political constraints.
14-year old Xiao Si’r attends a Junior High night school as he struggles with academic failure. His father is a hard-working civil servant who, among millions of Mainland Chinese, fled to Taipei in the wake of 1949’s civil war. In response to their repressive milieu, Xiao Si’r and his best friends Cat and Airplane get involved with the local ‘Little Park’ gang. Xiao Si’r falls in love for Ming, a girl who’s attached to Honey, an exiled gang leader. When Honey returns, the rivalry between the ‘271’ gang and the Little Park gang reaches its peak during a rock ‘n’ roll concert that culminates in Honey’s death. –Cannes Film Festival
Though largely unknown in the West, Edward Yang emerged, over the course of two decades, as one of international cinema’s most distinctive voices and, along with Hou Hsiao Hsien, one of Taiwan’s finest filmmakers. Born in Shanghai in 1947, Yang fled with his family to Taiwan during the tumult of the Chinese Civil War. At a young age, he found creative inspiration in Japanese comic books and soon began writing his own works. In 1974, having received an advanced degree in Computer Science at Florida State University, he went on to study film at the University of Southern California. He quickly grew disillusioned with the program’s commercial emphasis, however, and withdrew after only one semester. He remained in America, working as a computer expert for several years. During this time, he kindled his passion for cinema by writing a script and aiding the production of the Hong Kong television movie Winter of 1905 (1981). Upon his return to Taiwan, he directed a number of television shows… read more
Once again a seamless imitation of life - of Yang’s own life, that is, drawing from teen recollections set against the formative years of separatist Taiwan. Yet its visage of cultural snapshot merely complements its simply being an epic, sprawling coming-of-age tale, slowly shedding a destructive adolescent humanity. An engaging saga, that never really does feel like a four hour one.
According to the Passiondex™, the real winner this year was made 20 years ago.
Yang’s creative ethos is summed up by two of his lesser known films: A Confucian Confusion and Mahjong .
This complete retrospective features the US theatrical premiere of the restored A Brighter Summer Day.
We at MUBI think that celebrating the films of 2010 should be a celebration of film viewing in 2010. Since all film and video is "old" one
"As befits a film both set in and titled after a city where five million hopeful pilgrims journey every year, Jessica Hausner's Lourdes revolves
Watching this again in all its restored glory on the big screen, my appreciation of the film has increased exponentially. With its massive ensemble of characters, the film has the richness of an epic… read review
There is a certain feeling that one feels when watching an Edward Yang film. It’s a mixture of both sadness and joy. The sadness stems from knowing Yang’s short lived career has only given us eight… read review
I finally saw this film last years as part of Cinematheque Ontario’s Edward Yang complete retrospective and it was one of the greatest film experiences I’ve had. For a film of this length I was completely… read review