“A Bright Summer’s Day” Film by Edward Yang at the BAM Theatre

By Tatiana Ho

Edward Yang’s “A Bright Summer’s Day”, made in 1991 and finally coming to America, follows the lives of Asian Youth during the 1960’s. The film, inspired by Elvis Presley song “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, centers around lead singer of a Rock band who tries to break down the hidden meaning of the song for his friend’s English major sister. While the song is clearly and American pop music classic, the film shows the the meaning of music can relate to multiple people throughout various regions in the world. The song “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” develops into a representation of the frustrations in the life of Yang’s characters as they experience life for themselves.

Although filmed in 1991, the movie has finally gained recognition due to the restoration of the film by the Lincoln Center recently. While it is a presentation of Mr. Yang’s views of the world, the film morphs into the perspectives of many other viewers. The four hour long film is filled with detailed interest in all of his characters and their dramatic situations. For example, Xiao Si’r, the main character of the film who use to sing in a Rock Band, is thrown into chaos of a street gang. The uncertainty of the lives of Yang’s characters show the uncertainty that is all too familiar in real life situations; part of the reason why the film has become so relatable.


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