Long Day's Journey into Night (2018 film)

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Long Day's Journey into Night[a]
Long Day's Journey into Night (2018 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byBi Gan
Produced byShan Zuolong
Written byBi Gan
StarringTang Wei
Huang Jue
Music by
  • Lim Giong
  • Hsu Point
Cinematography
  • Yao Hung-i
  • Dong Jinsong
  • David Chizallet
Edited byQin Yanan
Production
companies
  • Zhejiang Huace Film & TV
  • Dangmai Films
  • Huace Pictures
Distributed byBAC Films (France)
Release date
  • 15 May 2018 (2018-05-15) (Cannes)
  • 31 December 2018 (2018-12-31) (China)
  • 30 January 2019 (2019-01-30) (France)
Running time
110 minutes
Country
  • China
  • France[1]
LanguageMandarin
Box office$41.8 million[2]

Long Day's Journey into Night[a] is a 2018 drama film directed by Bi Gan. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[1][3][4] The film's English language title is unrelated to the 1956 Eugene O'Neill play of the same name.[5] It is notable for its final 59 minutes, which consist of one unbroken long take shot in 3D.[6]

Plot[edit]

The film chronicles the return of Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue) to Kaili, the hometown from which he fled many years before. Back for his father's funeral, Luo recalls the death of an old friend, Wildcat, and searches for lost love Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei), who continues to haunt him.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Director Bi Gan stated that “I liked the idea that the first half would be in 2D, because I wanted it to feel as fragmented as time, with little bits of memory... With the second half, I wanted it to be real-time, and the 3D was the best way to create a spacial experience for that.” The 59-minute unbroken long take 3D sequence that closes the film took two months to prepare, as techniques had to be devised to move a RED 3D camera through the complicated environment of the scene. It took seven attempts at shooting the sequence before Bi was satisfied.[7]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Despite its unusual story structure, the film was marketed and distributed in China as a romantic event film, and an ideal date movie for its New Year's Eve release. It also received a wide theatrical release. The strategy worked; by 25 December, the film had already sold 100 million yuan ($15 million US dollars) in presales tickets.[8] Despite its strong presales, it faded quickly from the box-office charts, having grossed $41 million US during its initial three weeks (most of it from its 31 December premier).[5]

In China, its massive early box office success led to a backlash; the hashtag “can’t understand Long Day’s Journey Into Night” trended on social media, and users of the ticketing platform Maoyan drove its aggregate user rating down.[5]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating based on 59 reviews, with an average score of 8.01/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Long Day's Journey Into Night may flummox viewers looking for an easy-to-follow story, but writer-director Gan Bi's strong visual command and technical risk-taking pay off."[9] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 89 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[10] The film's final 3D sequence, in particular, drew substantial praise at its 2018 Cannes Film Festival debut.[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Recipients Result
55th Golden Horse Awards[11] Best Feature Film Long Day's Journey into Night Nominated
Best Director Bi Gan Nominated
Best Cinematography Yao Hung-i, Dong Jinsong and David Chizallet Won
Best Original Film Score Lim Giong and Point Hsu Won
Best Sound Effects Li Danfeng and Si Zhonglin Won

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b simplified Chinese: 地球最后的夜晚; traditional Chinese: 地球最後的夜晚; pinyin: Di qiu zui hou de ye wang; French: Un grand voyage vers la nuit

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Di Qiu Zui Hou De Ye Wang (2018)". The Numbers. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  4. ^ 李子凡、張哲鳴、陳穎、陳薇安 (12 April 2018). "【坎城影展】賈樟柯5度競逐 張艾嘉《最後夜晚》入「注目」" (in Chinese). 蘋果日報. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Sims, David (11 April 2019). "The Mind-Boggling Art-House Film That Broke China's Box Office". theatlantic.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b Wilkinson, Alissa (19 April 2019). "Long Day's Journey Into Night". vox.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019. It premiered at Cannes in 2018 and drew astounded raves for the nearly hour-long 3D single-shot sequence that makes up the film’s second half.
  7. ^ Kohn, Eric (2 October 2018). "'Long Day's Journey Into Night' Director Had to Film His 59-Minute 3D Long Take Seven Times to Get It Just Right". indiewire.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ Sharf, Zack (26 December 2019). "Bi Gan's Art House Film 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' Wows China With Blockbuster-Level Box Office". indiewire.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019. “Long Day’s Journey” has already earned 100 million yuan (equivalent to $15 million) in presale tickets with six days left before release...
  9. ^ "Long Day's Journey Into Night (Di qiu zui hou de ya wan) (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes (Fandango Media). Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Long Day's Journey Into Night Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  11. ^ ""Shadow" leads the Golden Horse nominations". The Film Experience. Retrieved 20 October 2018.

External links[edit]