Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Leste Chen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Eternal Summer follows the lifelong friendship of quiet, A-student Jonathan (Bryant Chang) and class rebel Shane (Joseph Chang). They first meet as kids, when their teacher pairs them together, hoping Jonathan's academic a... more »
A Love Triangle As Fragile and Lovely As Any Ever Filmed
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ETERNAL SUMMER (Sheng xia guang nian) is a delicate, quiet, understated and eloquent study of youthful interpersonal relationships form Taiwanese director Leste Chen from a screenplay by Cheng-Ping Hsu based on the novel by the same name by Chi-yao Wang. The style of the film allows a wide audience to appreciate the sexual challenges of teenagers and understand the need for finding love and acceptance in a world at times too busy to care.
The story begins in grade school where Jonathan Kang (Bryant Chang) is a gifted student asked to 'supervise' another young boy in his class, Shane Yu (the dazzlingly gifted young actor Joseph Chang) who has an apparent learning disorder/attention deficit. Shane is rambunctious and athletically gifted while Jonathan is the quiet, reserved, brilliant student. The boys bond as children and grow up together into young men facing the exams for university entrance. A young girl Carrie (Kate Yeung) meets the two boys: first she challenges the studious Jonathan to take a trip to Taipei (ditching school) where she hopes to have a physical encounter. The hotel room is a disaster and Jonathan feels isolated from both Carrie's desires and from deserting his duties at school - and with Shane, who Jonathan loves far more than merely a best friend. Shane gradually moves into Jonathan's position as Carrie's physical companion and the resulting triangle results in confessions and incidents that allow each of the three involved young people to grow and understand the spectrum of love.
The story is captured with exceptionally beautiful cinematic effects by cinematographer Charlie Lam and the atmosphere of play and passion is enhanced by the musical score by Jeffrey Cheng. Yet it is the sensitive direction by Leste Chen that encourages the three superb young actors to become immersed in their roles. Chen knows when to say enough (the sex scenes are sensual and suggestive without even approaching an R rating) and when to allow scenes of quiet and eye contact to carry the drama. This is a very fine film that deserves a wide audience, both young and old. Highly recommended. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Grady Harp, December 07
Sweet, beautiful story of unrequitted love, leaves one wanti
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 11/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plot of "Sheng xia guang nian" ("Eternal Summer") (2006) is a common and simple one: a case of unrequitted love, of a shy, studious young man for his more popular, athletic best friend. The difference, in this film from Taiwan, is in the telling, in the hands of a skilled director working with a cast of talented young actors. It essentially forcuses in on the blurred line between "best friends" and "love" between two young men from childhood through their university days.
It is a teacher who first brings them together, with a plan that Jonathan's study habits and obedient nature will rub off on class troublemaker Shane. The two develop a close working relationship, which carries them through their teen years, where it becomes obvious to the camera that Jonathan has a crush on Shane, who is the star of their high school basketball team. As they make the transition to the university, a new girl in school comes between them. First interested attracted to Jonathan, but guessing that he isn't interested in a sexual relationship with any girl, she pursues and begins an affair with Shane, which they keep from Jonathan so as to not "distract" him from his studies. Not surprisingly, the later revelation of their secret drives the two friends apart, despite Shane's perhaps-drunken attentions to Jonathan to smooth things over.
Beautifully photographed, well-acted and generally realistic in the character portrayals, I only had two problems with the film. The first, relatively minor, is the music, which I found to be overly dramatic and really not fitting the mood of the scenes. I also didn't like the end of the film, which left unresolved the basic question posed at the end of my first paragraph above. I would have liked to hear the characters open up with their feelings a lot more than they did. Other than that, this is a great film, one of the best gay Asian films I have seen. Film is in Mandarin, with subtitles. Unrated, but likely would be an R for gay content, partial nudity and simulated sexual activity. DVD has director and actors' commentaries, deleted scenes and both the US and Taiwan trailers. I'd rate it four stars out of five."
Real Friends CAN tell eachother ANYTHING, and is willing to
Angelo | 06/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Gay and lesbian themed film that I have seen that not one of the characters get Aids, gay bashed, raped, or molested when they were a child, but then again I have to keep in mind that this isn't an American made film :-). I love this movie so much I saw it three times then bought it. Some people may feel that this movie drags a little but that's a good thing being that you develop a connection with the characters and understand there relationship better. I love how this movie ended!!!!!!!!!!! I don't care what anyone says it was the perfect ending for such a good movie."
Hsiao-chuan Chang Should Be A Star---Sexy & Subtle! Dynamite
Tom O'Leary | Los Angeles, California | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a perfect world actor Hsiao-chuan Chang would be a star. He is the most subtle and sexiest actor I have seen in decades. His face is a knockout---especially his perfect lips. But the innocence he brings to his character is heart stopping.
Eternal Summer is a subtle and sexy Taiwanese movie that is beautifully directed and written by Leste Chen. Every scene and camera shot is perfection.
I found myself going back and watching scenes over and over again---especially, of course, the highly erotic love scene between male actors Bryant Chang and Hsiao-chuan Chang.
Gorgeous. Sexy. Subtle. True.