Directed by Tsai Ming-Liang
2013, 138 mins
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
Taiwan: the View from the South
Acclaimed director Tsai Ming-liang will present three of his films, as a guest of the conference Taiwan: the View from the South, hosted by CIW and the Institute of Taiwan History, Academica Sinica.
A family eeks out a living on the fringes of bustling Taipei, moving between the wooded limits of the city proper, to the many nooks and cracks in that offer shelter in the urban fabric. The father works as a human billboard, holding an advertising sign under a highway overpass most days, but spends much of the little he earns on alcohol and cigarettes. His two children, no longer at school, miss their mother and are used to foraging in department store food courts, and other urban pastures. Each night, they shelter in an abandoned building, while the rain often falls relentlessly. On the father’s birthday, the family is joined by a surprise guest, a woman, who might hold the key to something lost. Rejecting most of what characterises conventional cinema today, Tsai’s Stray Dogs is a patient meditation, moving deftly beyond narrative to art.
Born in Malaysia in 1957, Tsai Ming-Liang is one of the most prominent directors of Taiwan’s New Wave cinema, and is internationally recognized for his uniquely pensive, bitter-sweet style. In 1994, his Vive l’ Amour won the Golden Lion award at the 51st Venice International Film Festival, while his most recent feature, Stray Dogs, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, in 2013. In 2009, he completed the first dramatization of the Louvre Museum’s collection, in his work Face, which has become the benchmark for cinematic explorations into the world of art galleries. Since 2012, he has been working on a long project of filming longtime collaborator, actor Lee Kang-Sheng's slow walk, in a number of different cities. Tsai is also acclaimed for his significant work in theatre and installation art.
The screening will be followed by a short discussion.