The Taiwanese film director Edward Yang died on June 29th 2007 at the age of 59, and at the time of writing my newspaper of choice still hasn't run an official obituary (though their website has a rather touching tribute from former Edinburgh Film Festival boss Shane Danielsen). It's a disgrace, frankly. After all, Yang's last film - Yi Yi, also known as A One And A Two - won him a Best Director award at Cannes, and had a successful arthouse release in the UK. Back then in 2001, he was even considered popular enough for the ICA to programme a season of his earlier films.
And this is where it gets personal: because the ICA's screening of Yang's 1991 film, A Brighter Summer Day, has a special place in the mythology of myself and The Belated Birthday Girl. In comics terms, it was our #0 date movie: the last film we saw as just friends, before realising there were other things we could be doing together. In fact, in between that screening and our first proper date, I visited Hong Kong and brought back a souvenir for The BBG - the Video CD version of the four-hour director's cut of A Brighter Summer Day (the version we saw at the ICA was the three-hour international release). So you can see, it's an important film for both of us.
Fast forward to July 2007: we've been going out for six years, Edward Yang is dead, A Brighter Summer Day appears to be currently unavailable in any video format, and we suddenly realise that we still haven't watched that four hour version. Which means that I'm about to review a film that you probably can't see anywhere right now. But, hopefully, that will change soon.