Repertory Picks

A Taiwanese Coming-of-Age Epic in Washington

On Film / In Theaters — Feb 1, 2018

On Saturday morning at 11, the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington, will turn down the lights and cue up Edward Yang’s 1991 movie A Brighter Summer Day. Providing what Yang himself called “a picture of an age,” this four-hour epic assembles a sprawling cast of characters and vividly conjures its period setting—the Taipei of the early 1960s, the politically and culturally turbulent time and place of the director’s own youth—in unfolding the tragic story of one teenager’s loss of innocence. A masterpiece of the New Taiwan Cinema that was long hard to see, A Brighter Summer Day is now circulating stateside in a restored form that accentuates its arresting play of light and dark. As critic Godfrey Cheshire writes in his liner essay for our edition, “Perhaps the most subtly potent effect of the film’s variegated lighting is the way it allows the director’s gaze to lead ours into the chiaroscuro of a haunted past, whose images come at us with the glancing mystery of dreams.”