A Brighter Summer Day is one of the best films I've ever seen. Yang's film is a rare one that achieves an uncommon and unique synthesis of theme, mise en scene, politics, plot, & character that's thought out at every level; resulting in an epic of a bildungsroman with a monstrous purview of a society about to experience an act that plunge a community, a nation, & a family into tragedy, death, & woe. Unforgettable.
10 - I would have to rewatch "The Terrorizers" (a gorgeous, magnificent film that is fully deserving of a 4K restoration *hinthint*) again to be sure I prefer this, though my doing so or not has no impact on this monolith's status. Yang created a warm synecdoche for an entire nation's identity crisis out of that nation's own flesh and blood, and he just let it play out in long, dazzling, yet somehow discreet takes.
A Brighter Summer Day is a film of a unique formal complexity - that becomes simplicity - and of such graceful detail and structure. With this film, Edward Yang crafted a genuine, pure masterpiece about a time, a country and its politics, about Taiwanese people, about family bonds and about a certain generation. And yet it is "just" a brutal coming-of-age tale, about Si'r's search for integrity and first love.
A sprawling epic that examines the adolescent search for belonging in a society with its own fractured and evolving identity. Edward Yang has an incredible ability to capture multiple people in the same frame, as if to breathe depth and collective agency into the characters' delinquency and emotions. Cat is my favorite.