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Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Winner of the Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival, COLOR OF A BRISK AND LEAPING DAY is a boldly atmospheric and subtly complex historical drama from indie auteur Christopher Münch (The Sleepy Time Gal). It tells the story of John Lee, grandson to a Chinese railroad laborer, who holds idealistic visions of saving a Yosemite Valley short-line train from bankruptcy, with help from long-time rail employees (Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Henry Gibson of Magnolia)

Special Features

  • New 16:9 transfer from 35mm original negative
  • Short film: "Yosemite Valley Railroad Revisited"
  • Scenic outtakes
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Filmmaker biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Alexander, Jeri Arredondo, Henry Gibson, Michael Stipe, Jonah Bauer
  • Directors: Christopher Munch
  • Writers: Christopher Munch, Caveh Zahedi
  • Producers: Andrea Sperling, Donald Rosenfeld, Jim Stark, Peter Wentworth, Ruth Charny
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018YCKA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,881 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daufhin Thorndike on August 23, 2007
Format: DVD
This film has been called such things as "boring", "overly pretencious", and "badly acted". I have never understood those labels as applied to this film, and i think they are due mostly to people who view this with a modern- day film mentality and altogether unreal expectations. I am a lifelong film buff- so i know good acting/ bad acting when I see it. The performances here serve the story well. There is really no opportunity in the script for actors to stretch themselves, so i think the criticisms with the acting are by and large a result of that. The characters are all played realistically and quite well in the confines of each character. The Yosemite cinematography is spectacular- as everyone points out, but one of the overlooked aspects is just how wonderful this film captures that period of time right as WW2 is coming to a close. The mood, the settings, and the details are all just right, and that adds alot of romanticism to the story. I liked the subtle soundtrack as well, and the hushed tone to the entire movie that makes me always feel extremely nostalgic everytime I've seen it. I think the story is interesting, especially if you are a train buff like I am, and I thought the lead actor Peter Alexander was very convincing in his role. His endeavor was naive, yes, but noble at the same time, and despite the end result I can appreciate his effort to save the train line. Michael Stipe plays his friend/ employee and is very good as well. I liked the underlying sexual tension between the two characters, and Stipe's not so subtle passes at his employer, and the shame he ultimately feels by his own feelings and the ultimate rejection he faces.Read more ›
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It won the best cinematography award at Sundance - but that is not the only reason to check this out. Chris Munch is a filmmaker's filmmaker, and what he accomplished on a very low budget here is truly a testament to his artistry.
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The only reason that I watched this is because I am a fan of the Yosemite Valley Railroad and live in the area. I had hoped that there would have been more raw footage of this short line. The ending wasn't even shot close to the railway at all. This is Master degree level production, but nothing more. There is some footage of the original train, so that was good. Only watch this if you are a fan of that sweet little train.
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This is one of the most visually ravishing films I've ever seen. The scenery, cinematography, and lead actor are all achingly beautiful. This is a an artsy film so expect the usual: slow pace, meandering plot, dreamlike atmosphere. Lots of story elements are hinted at but left undeveloped: the incestuous nature of the main character's relationship with his sister, the attraction between him and his male coworker, his strained relationship with his father. It sometimes comes across as an impressionistic collage of ideas and images rather than a straightforward narrative. But for me, it has so many elements that I love--trains, gorgeous black and white cinematography, stunning scenery,1940s costumes and cars, a lead actor of rare physical beauty--that I'm glad to surrender to its dreamy spell and just let it carry me along.
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