I come back to this every couple of years and it is a wonderful cleanser. This film could be accused of being bloated, and yet the precision with which it sketches these individuals makes it feel just right. It also manages its many characters quite well – NJ is clearly the driving force behind the film, but all characters get their moments and the point of view is respected. It sounds simple, but it is something most ensemble pieces struggle with, even those of the greats like Altman. If the gods are nice we will get a copy of the restored Brighter Summer Days soon.