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Stray Dogs(郊遊)

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Taiwan, France · 2014
2h 18m
Director Tsai Ming-liang
Starring Lee Kang-Sheng, Lu Yi-Ching, Chen Shiang-Chyi, Chao-rong Chen
Genre Drama

A father and his two children wander the margins of Taipei. 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 taking shelter in an abandoned building.

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Stray Dogs pushes Tsai’s cinema of laissez-faire long takes, performative observation and pangs of regret and loss to their extreme.


Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.


Village Voice by Danny King

An extreme, compassionate magnification of the minutiae of second-to-second existence (brushing teeth, counting money).


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The director’s austere minimalism has always been suspended between the mesmerizing and the distancing, and in his latest feature, the concentration on elliptical observation, mood and texture signals an almost complete rejection of narrative.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Tsai here seems to be stripping his ornately eccentric style down to formal fundamentals. A certain pictorial grace remains; his sense of humor, sadly, appears to have been largely tossed out with the bathwater.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

The lengthy final two shots (each running more than ten minutes) rank among the best work this inimitable artist has ever done.


The Playlist by Oliver Lyttelton

The filmmaking here is almost impossibly well-realized, right down to the evocative sound design, adding up to an fairly unforgettable experience.


CineVue by Patrick Gamble

Tsai's Stray Dogs is a masterpiece of social-realism, a distinctive and beguiling study of society's displaced and marginalised that plays to the beat of its own drum and refuses to conform to cinema's own commodification.


The Dissolve by Scott Tobias

Stray Dogs evokes the whole of Tsai’s filmography, but also pays off his collaboration with Lee, who shows a side of himself that’s been hidden away for all these years.

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