Archive of films Stray Dogs / Jiao you

Taiwan / France
2013, 138 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2014

Contemporary Taipei, a city of uncontrollable development – and of suffering and wasted lives: Hsiao Kang, a father of two, makes his living holding an advertising signboard. Time passes, sometimes the mood is lighter, for the most part it decimates with a creeping sorrow. The picture won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice IFF.


Come rain or shine, Hsiao Kang makes his living holding a sign advertising luxury apartments. From time to time he smokes, from time to time he relieves himself. Hsiao Kang and his two children live together in a shelter without electricity or water. They have no permanent place to lay their heads (or their heads of cabbage) for the night. And so the motherless family wanders the city as it sprawls uncontrolled, offering few comforts of home. Although the protagonists seem accustomed to their dismal surroundings, the effect on the viewer is undiminished. Tsai Ming Liang abandoned his fondness for colorful arrangements, replacing them with an austerity that is no less effective. He takes his characters (and viewers) on a captivating tour of the town’s underbelly where numerous conflicts play out, served up so as to maintain distance from the traditionally constructed drama or social commentary. Employing great compositional power, the movie creates a feeling of passing time, allowing the viewer to gradually construct a comprehensive picture that fixes itself in the memory.

About the director

Tsai Ming-liang

Tsai Ming Liang (b. 1957, Kuching, Malaysia) is a leading figure of Taiwanese cinema. He gained a footing with Rebels of the Neon God (1992) before fully establishing himself with Vive l’Amour (1994), recipient of the Golden Lion at Venice. The River (1996) earned a Silver Bear at the Berlinale, while some years later The Wayward Cloud (2005) scored at the same festival. In 2009 he was approached by the Louvre to shoot a movie for their collection; the resulting Face (Visage) went on to compete at Cannes. His work is regularly presented at the world’s most prestigious film festivals, and KV audiences have seen most of his movies; the director visited the festival in 2001. At last year’s Venice IFF Stray Dogs took the Grand Jury Prize. This year’s Berlinale screened his new film, Journey to the West (Xi you), starring Lee Kang Sheng, an actor Tsai has worked with since the early 1990s.


Urban Distribution International
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Fax: +33 149 720 421
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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Screenplay: Tsai Ming Liang, Tung Cheng Yu, Peng Fei
Dir. of Photography: Liao Pen Jung, Sung Wen Zhong
Editor: Lei Chen Ching
Producer: Vincent Wang
Production: Homegreen Films
Coproduction: JBA Production
Cast: Lee Kang Sheng, Lu Yi Ching, Chen Shiang Chyi
Contact: Urban Distribution International

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