VenueHoward Gilman Theater
Opens November 25. U.S. Premiere Theatrical Engagement!
Actress Lisa Yang will introduce the 7pm screening on Thursday, December. 1.
November 25 – December 1: 2:00pm & 7:00pm
General Public: $17
Students & Seniors: $13
“A Brighter Summer Day is one of the greatest films of a great filmmaker, who left us far too early.” —Martin Scorsese
A deeply personal epic comparable in scope and impact to the Godfather movies and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, Yang’s extraordinary memory film stretches tautly over four hours of screen time and more than 100 speaking parts. Set in the early1960s (Yang’s own teenage years) and inspired by the true story of Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide case, the film follows rebellious teenager Xiao Si'r (future Happy Together and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Chang Chen) as he comes of age amidst rival street gangs and the “White Terror” witch hunts of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government. Few movies more readily call to mind the great, sprawling novels of the 19th century and their portraits of ordinary individuals caught in the maelstrom of a changing society. Never before released in the United States and unavailable on DVD, A Brighter Summer Day finally comes to audiences in a new restoration by the World Cinema Foundation of Yang’s original director’s cut.
“It is easy to restore a film’s image, but much harder to revive that feeling of seeing a classic for the first time. Eighteen years ago, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day was released, heralding a new talent in world cinema. Each year since has further confirmed its status as a classic, but at the cost of increased wear and tear on the prints. Restoration is usually reserved for relics from decades ago. But sometimes we need to dust off recent memories to remind us how brightly the not too distant past shined. Thanks to the latest digital technology, we can seize these celluloid moments even as they begin to slip irrevocably from our grasp. In June of 2007, when he was only 59 years old, we lost Edward Yang forever. I’m very happy that A Brighter Summer Day has been restored so a new generation of filmgoers can feel the excitement of seeing it for the first time.” —Wong Kar-Wai, May 2009
“It has a novelistic richness of character, setting, and milieu unmatched by any other ‘90s film…What Yang does with objects—a flashlight, a radio, a tape recorder, a Japanese sword—resonates more deeply than what most directors do with characters, because along with an uncommon understanding of and sympathy for teenagers Yang has an exquisite eye for the troubled universe they inhabit. This is a film about alienated identities in a country undergoing a profound existential crisis—a Rebel Without a Cause with much of the same nocturnal lyricism and cosmic despair.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“It achieves an almost Tolstoyan density and gravity and reminds us what an enormous talent was lost when Yang died in 2007 at 59.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times