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A Brighter Summer Day

Gulingjie shaonian sharen shijian
dir. Edward Yang
Taiwan 1991, 237’
subtitles: Polish and English

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Theatrical Screenings
Fr 18 Nov, 17:45
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
Su 20 Nov, 10:30
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
Online Availability
16 Nov, 10:00 – 4 Dec
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Toronto IFF 1991 Golden Horse FF 1991 - Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay Faro Island FF 1991 - Best Film, FIPRESCI Prize Asia-Pacific FF 1991 - Best Film Nantes Three Continents FF 1991 - Best Director Tokyo IFF 1991 - FIPRESCI Prize, Special Jury Prize Singapore IFF 1992 - Best Director (Asian Feature Film) Kinema Junpo Award 1993 - Best Foreign Language Film Director
Taiwan 1991
Duration: 237’
director: Edward Yang
screenplay: Hung Hung, Lai Mingtang, Alex Yang, Edward Yang
cinematography: Chang Hui-Kung, Zhang Longyu
editing: Chen Po-Wen
music: Zhang Hongda
sound: Tu Duu-Chih, Yang Ching-an
cast: Chang Chen, Lisa Yang, Chang Kuo-Chu, Elaine Jin
producer: Yu Wei-Yen
executive producer: Jan Hung-Tze
production: Yang & His Gang Filmmakers, Jane Balfour Films
language: Hokkien, Mandarin, Shanghai
colouration: colour

Film description

Taipei, early 1960s. Because of his poor academic record, Xiao Si is transferred to a night school. As the shy fourth son of an intelligentsia family, he is staying away from the youth gang wars playing out on the streets of the city. One day he meets Xiao Ming – the girlfriend of the leader of one of the groups, hiding somewhere on the southern end of the island. Xiao Si is getting emotionally involved in their relationship, but he cannot change Xiao Ming’s character or the reality they both live in.

The inspiration for the script of A Brighter Summer Day was the case of Mao Wu – a student of the elite Jianguo high school in Taipei who killed his girlfriend in a fit of jealousy. The incident took place in 1961, while Yang attended the same high school. The director’s intention was to meticulously reconstruct the reality of Taipei of the 1960s through a careful choice of props, costumes and locations, and the visual style characteristic of the era. The space of the film takes the form of a corridor, creating vision tunnels and deepening our immersion in the world depicted on the screen. This four-hour screening truly is a journey through space and time.

Maja Korbecka

Edward Yang

Born in 1947 in Shanghai. His father came from a southern province Guangdong, his mother from Hebei in the north of China. Born as the children of impoverished intelligentsia, they both worked as office clerks in the nationalist government structures. Two years after Yang was born, the communist party took over the reins in China, and the family moved to Taipei. Despite his fascination with literature and film, Yang chose to study engineering. After graduating, he moved to the US to continue his education in digital design. He spent seven years working as a coder in Seattle and then decided to return to Taiwan to pursue a career in film. In 1983, after creating his short film Desires, a part of an anthology film In Our Time, the founding oeuvre of the Taiwanese New Wave, Yang directed his almost three-hour-long debut That Day, on the Beach. Over the three decades of his career, Yang made a wide variety of films. His third feature, a postmodern tragicomedy Terrorizers, was a big box office success and a hit among the critics, bringing Yang the 1987 Silver Leopard at the festival in Locarno, and the title of the Best Film at the Golden Horse Film Awards. Yang’s later films – the award-winning, epic reconstruction of Taipei of the 1960s, A Brighter Summer Day, the comedy A Confucian Confusion, and the gangster film Mahjong – turned out to be box office flops. Yang’s last film, the Japanese co-production A One, and a Two, brought him the Best Director award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. After the Cannes win, Yang started working on several different projects – the animation The Wind, a website with auteur comic books Miluku.com, and the script for the adaptation of Lust, Caution, but did not finish any of them. Yang died of colon cancer in California in 2007.

Selected filmography:

1982 W naszym czasie / Guangyin de gushi / In Our Time (segment Oczekiwanie / Zhiwang / Expectation)

1983 Tego dnia na plaży / Haitan de yi tian / That Day, on the Beach

1985 Historia z Tajpej / Qingmei zhuma / Taipei Story

1986 Terroryści / Kongbu fenzi / Terrorizers

1991 Jasny dzień lata / Gulingjie shaonian sharen shijian / A Brighter Summer Day

1994 Konfucjańska konsternacja / Duli shidai / A Confucian Confusion

2000 I raz, i dwa / Yi Yi / A One and a Two

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