While never-ending rain and a strange disease spread by cockroaches ravage Taiwan, a plumber makes a hole between two apartments and the inhabitants of each form a unique connection, enacted in musical numbers.
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.
As I sat and watched "Stray Dog", I felt very annoyed. Again and again and again, scenes where nothing particular is happening, the camera remained there for a VERY long time. In each case, the film could have been edited and you would have had roughly the same effect...without boring the audience. So, when you show two men in ponchos in the rain holding signs, you don't NEED to show this scene for a full minute and then return to do the same thing again-- especially when the men aren't doing anything other than holding signs!! The same goes for the introduction, as you see a lady staring at her kids as they sleep...for the longest time!! In addition, showing a guy taking a leak is another sign that this is a self-indulgent sort of film from director Ming-liang Tsai. Editing and pacing are important to most directors, but not apparently in this case! As a result, a decent story is marred unnecessarily by the direction that tends to bore and annoy many viewers. I know I sure felt both. What SHOULD have been an important film about a homeless family on the fringes instead is an interminable bore. We get it that the folks are depressed and that's why they do nothing...but think about the audience having to watch this.
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