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Stray Dogs

Jiao You

Taiwan | 2013 | 138 minutes | Tsai Ming-Liang

Tsai Ming-Liang (The Wayward CloudVive L'Amour) spins a compassionate, elegant, minimalist and visually powerful yarn about a poverty-stricken alcoholic and his family living on the margins of Taipei society.

May 21, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
9:00 PM Date has passed
May 26, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
2:00 PM Date has passed
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When Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs premiered at the Venice Film Festival, there were intimations that it would be the director’s final feature. The anguished reaction was muted by overwhelming agreement, capped with the awarding of the festival’s Grand Special Jury Prize, that if one of cinema’s masters must retire he at least was leaving in sublime fashion, gracing us with another towering achievement. Tsai mainstay Lee Kang-sheng stars as an alcoholic on the margins of Taipei society, collecting what little he can earn as a human billboard and turning it over to his two children before he drinks it away. The young boy and girl (played by Lee’s own niece and nephew, and Tsai’s godchildren) spend their days wandering and cadging food from supermarket samples. Weaving in and out of their lives are three women whose relationship to the father is impossible to determine, but whose protective tenderness toward the children is clear. Rumors of Tsai's retirement were thankfully premature, making this merely his latest masterpiece, not his last; a miracle of empathic filmmaking, with Tsai’s masterfully composed shots holding their length past novelty or hypnotic fascination, till we’re submerged in nearly psychic communion with the lives glowing on his screen.

Director Biography

After moving to Taipei, Malaysian-born film director Tsai Ming-Liang graduated from the Chinese Culture University and then began his filmmaking career with television movies in 1989. He became a member of the Berlin Film Festival jury in 1995, and continued to make widely acclaimed films in his unique observational and slow-paced style. UK newspaper The Guardian voted Malaysian-born film director Tsai Ming-Liang as one of the top 40 living directors.

Sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan), Delta Air Lines

Director: Tsai Ming-Liang
Principal Cast: Lee Kang Sheng, Lee Yi Cheng, Lee Yi Chieh, Lu Yi Ching, Chen Shiang Chyi
Country: Taiwan, France
Year: 2013
Running Time: 138 minutes
Producer: Vincent Wang
Screenplay: Tsai Ming-Liang, Tung Chen-Yu, Peng Fei
Cinematographers: Liao Pen-Jung, Sung Wen-Zhong
Editors: Lei Chen-Ching
Awards: Venice Film Festival 2013 (Grand Special Jury Prize, Golden Mouse-Special Mention), Tallin Black Nights Film Festival (Special Jury Prize), Taipei Film Festival 2013 (Best Director, Actor)
Filmography: Face (2009); I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006); The Wayward Cloud (2005); Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003); The Skywalk Is Gone (2002); What Time Is It There? (2001); The Hole (1998); The River (1997); Vive l’Amour (1994); Rebels of the Neon God (1992)
Language: Mandarin
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
US Distributor: The Cinema Guild
International Sales: Urban Distribution International
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