When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a ... See full summary »
Tsai Ming-liang returns with this latest entry in his Walker series, in which his monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his ... See full summary »
The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »
Highs: What an incredibly devastating journey I've just had with Stray Dogs, directed by Ming-liang Tsai. It is filled with powerful symbolisms, being a very contemplative film. The story is not entirely tragic as we notice that even though these people live in extremely poor conditions, they comfort and support each other. It was very uplifting to see the children who are still capable of preserving their innocence and imagination despite living in such a miserable situation. Stray Dogs is mostly a really sad film though, with a spellbinding performance by Kang-Sheng Lee. His portrayal of the father who is an alcoholic, being constantly hopeless and in a state of total despair was absolutely heartbreaking. This movie is also beautifully shot, having an amazing sense of realism in every single frame.
Lows: Similarly to Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky, Stray Dogs is quite demanding and requires patience from the viewer. It contains plenty of really long continuous takes that show the characters daily activities and how they struggle to survive every day. Sometimes I felt Tsai went too far with some scenes, making them excessively extended for no reason. As a result, it was tough to endure these moments, which made me lose interest in the story on occasion.
Verdict: Stray Dogs is a meditative and touching film that can be very rewarding but also exhausting.
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