Film: Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-Liang, 2013)


“A father and his two children wander the margins of modern day Taipei, from the woods and rivers of the outskirts to the rain streaked streets of the city. By day the father scrapes out a meager income as a human billboard for luxury apartments, while his young son and daughter roam the supermarkets and malls surviving off free food samples. Each night the family takes shelter in an abandoned building. The father is strangely affected by a hypnotic mural adorning the wall of this makeshift home. On the day of the father’s birthday the family is joined by a woman – might she be the key to unlocking the buried emotions that linger from the past?” (Urban Distribution) “Every shot feels perfectly composed, while often surprising, and every time Tsai makes a cut, you can’t see how it could have been done any other way. While their sheer duration might test some’s patience, the cabbage scene proves to be a wryly funny highlight of the film, and while the penultimate scene does seem to go forever, when the payoff comes, it turns out to be deeply, deeply moving (…).” (Indiewire, by Oliver Lyttelton). Grand Jury Award Venice Film Festival 2013.

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