Stray Dogs

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Poster for the movie "Stray Dogs"

Stray Dogs (2014)

138 min - Drama - 21 February 2014
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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?

Director:  Tsai Ming-liang
Writers:  Peng Fei Song, Tsai Ming-liang, Chen Yu Tung

Photos

Storyline

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?


Collections: Tsai Ming-liang

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Taiwan France
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  21 February 2014

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies:  Homegreen Films, JBA Production

Technical Specs

Runtime:  2 h 18 min

Imbued with mystery, sly humour and an enormous heart, the latest film from visionary director Tsai Ming-liang links together a series of sumptuously composed scenes that tell the story of a broken family living on the margins of Taipei society.

Stray Dogs (Chinese: ˈ郊遊, French: Les Chiens errants) is a 2013 Taiwanese-French drama film. The Chinese title of the film is Jiaoyou, which means “Excursion.”

Stray dogs movie trailer

Plot

A man and his two young children, a boy and a girl, are homeless in Taipei. During the day, the father has a job holding up a sign advertising real estate along a busy thoroughfare. The children spend their time wandering around stores and the landscape, which appears to be mostly depopulated. The family meets at night to wash in public bathrooms and sleep in abandoned buildings. Only occasional casual conversations are overheard. Long wordless sequences pass of the man performing daily activities: eating, drinking, sleeping, smoking, urinating, defecating, sometimes weeping. Obviously depressed, he violently assaults, then eats, an anthropomorphic cabbage that his daughter has kept as a toy. A woman, the kids’ mother or at least a mother-like figure, stealthily observes the family. She “rescues” them from the rainstorm-drenched punt where the father has stowed them, and later joins the family in an abandoned building assuming her maternal role.

Background

Stray Dogs was the 10th feature film directed by Tsai. The film was written by Tsai, Peng Fei, and Tung Cheng Yu, and it was produced by Vincent Wang. It starred Tsai’s regular lead actor, Lee Kang-sheng, as the father. The two siblings in the film were played by actual siblings, who are Lee’s nephew and niece and Tsai’s godchildren.

Themes

Stray Dogs is similar to Tsai’s previous films in some ways. According to J. Hoberman of The New York Times, “Like other films by Mr. Tsai, it has a postapocalyptic feel. Torrential rain is virtually constant, and Taipei feels depopulated — a place where events, mostly concerning food and shelter, may be staged in situ.”

Tony Rayns of Film Comment wrote that, unlike Tsai’s previous films, Stray Dogs “does away almost completely with continuity editing. Most of its scenes are single shots, and there’s no causal link between one and the next. Some shots are so realist that they could have been taken with a hidden camera. Others are so stylized that they might well represent dreams. [Wikipedia]