Bryant Chang, Joseph Chang and Kate Yeung
Returning for a repeat screening, Eternal Summer initially showed at SIFF 2007 and was described in the program:
"Friends since childhood, the studious Jonathan and athletic Shane must confront their true feelings when a new girl enters their lives, who falls first for one and then the other. An affecting look at young love-both gay and straight-that became an award-winning sensation in its native Taiwan."
As noted, the film was a big deal in Taiwan, where coming out movies are a novelty, but to my cranky, jaded eyes it seemed a bit soppy, the sort of sentimental gush where every emotional scene seems to occur during a downpour and the climax happens on a beach. At first, I thought, "Maybe I'm too old to watch this. It's for kids in their late teens, early 20's, really," but then I realized, when I was that age, I probably would have hated the film even more. So, it wasn't my cup of tea, but as Susie Greene would say on Curb Your Enthusiasm, "Fuck you and fuck your tea."
So, who is this for? Someone who would enjoy watching a 90-minute Abercrombie ad. In fact, one of the characters wears an Abercrombie t-shirt in one of the scenes.
Actually, there is another reason to watch it. As Kathy Fennessy noted in her Stranger review, "The reason to catch Eternal Summer isn't that you've never seen this film before-brainy lad falls for jock best friend-but because it's just as beautiful as the pillow-lipped Mr. Chang."
The film is beautifully photographed by Charlie Lam, in honey golds and mango greens, in a style redolent of Christopher Doyle.
Otherwise, it's a teen melodrama, like an extra special episode of Dawson's Creek and yes, as I type this, I realize I'm totally selling some of you on it.
As for sex, there is a scene or two of that, but if you want to see two Asian guys go at it in a much better film [with a much better soundtrack] rent Happy Together.
Eternal Summer, 2006, Taiwan, 95 min.
Saturday, October 20th, NWFF, 4:30pm