Chinese director Tsai says Venice film "Stray Dogs" could be last

By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - Taipei-based director Tsai Ming-liang said on Thursday at the Venice Film Festival, where his "Stray Dogs" is in competition, that the portrayal of a family subsisting on the streets of the Taiwanese capital could well be his last movie.

In the production notes, the director says he has become tired of cinema and that the mechanisms of the market, the "so-called entertainment value of films in recent years and the constant pandering to popular taste", disgust him.

"I hope this is my last film. This statement is for real, that is my hope," Tsai, 55, said at a news conference before the official premiere of the film.

He also says in the notes that during the making of the film, which is called "Jiaoyou" in Chinese, he was struck by an unspecified illness that made him feel "sick enough that I felt I might die at any moment".

Tsai said that while "Stray Dogs" could well be his final film, he could not predict what would happen.

"I also believe in fate and destiny so I don't know what awaits me," he said in Venice.

"Stray Dogs" shows a father and his two children struggling to survive on what he makes from menial jobs and by getting his son and daughter to visit supermarkets to eat food samples.

The slow-paced effort is the director's first since his Cannes competition entry "Face" four years ago. His second feature film, "Vive L'Amour", won the Golden Lion best picture award in Venice in 1994.

Tsai said he probably wouldn't have made "Stray Dogs" had it not been for a theatre performance of Lee Hsiao-kang, his go-to actor for more than two decades.

His leading man, meanwhile, described their collaboration as a form of torture.

"Making films with director Tsai is very tough," Lee said.

"Working with him is kind of torture, you have to endure a lot and in the process I really experience living like the character and feel the heaviness of his life. So, these roles have allowed me to improve my acting," he said.

The concluding shot of "Stray Dogs" shows the father and a woman who has befriended the outcast family standing one behind the other almost motionless and staring at a wall in a derelict building during a rainstorm for 20 minutes.

The film features Lee's nephew and niece, Tsai's godson and goddaughter, Lee Yi-cheng and Lee Yi-chieh, as the children. (Additional reporting by Hanna Rantala; Editing by Louise Ireland)

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • Virtual reality film aims to raise funds by giving Nepal quake experience
    Virtual reality film aims to raise funds by giving Nepal quake experience

    By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A virtual reality film aims to help raise funds for survivors of last month's earthquake in Nepal by giving viewers a first-hand experience of the disaster's aftermath, the director said on Friday. Los Angeles-based company RYOT - which produces news stories for audiences to act on - shot the footage in the days following the 7.8 magnitude quake which struck the impoverished nation on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people. "As …

  • Trip Tips: Music, beaches and "fromagers" in Senegal's Casamance

    By Carolyn Cohn ZIGUNICHOR, Senegal (Reuters) - A mix of locals and music fans were watching silently or dancing, framed by the branches of the giant "fromager" tree that marks the centre of the Senegalese village of Diembering, as hip-hop band Tirailleurs started to sing about me. Or at least apparently they did - if only I could understand their Wolof language. Tirailleurs were performing at the four-day Festival des Rizieres, an annual celebration of hip-hop and reggae in the southern …

  • Toilet brushes and vacuum cleaners turn musical in hands of Nils Frahm
    Toilet brushes and vacuum cleaners turn musical in hands of Nils Frahm

    By Anastasia Gorelova LONDON (Reuters) - Three pianos, a wood pipe organ, a synthesiser and toilet brushes are the standard setup for a show by German experimental composer Nils Frahm. The organ of wood and vacuum cleaner tubes and the piano muffled with strips of felt were custom made, highlighting Frahm's unconventional approach to classical music. "Sometimes it is easier to create your own instrument and probably cheaper and it is also fun," he explained. …

  • Old African-American celebration given second life in New York

    By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - An African-American celebration called Pinkster dating back to the 17th century is enjoying a quiet revival in New York, giving the city a fresh glimpse at the largely ignored contribution that black colonists made to America's emerging culture.     Considered the oldest African-American holiday, Pinkster was virtually unknown to generations of New Yorkers until three years ago when a group of black history enthusiasts decided to resurrect it. ... …

  • Double Diwali bonanza for Ajay Devgn!
    Double Diwali bonanza for Ajay Devgn!

    While we expect every Diwali Shah Rukh to surprise us with his entertaining flicks as his association …

  • Aamir Khan: I will be happy to do a foreign film
    Aamir Khan: I will be happy to do a foreign film

    When asked him if he sees himself do a foreign film, he said, I have no issues doing a foreign film …

  • Anil Kapoor: Never expected Arjun Kapoor to be so good
    Anil Kapoor: Never expected Arjun Kapoor to be so good

    It might sound surprising but Anil Kapoor never expected bhanja Arjun Kapoor to be where he is today. …

  • Sonakshi Sinha: Women are the new heroes
    Sonakshi Sinha: Women are the new heroes

    With recent films like MARY KOM, MARDAANI, NH 10, PIKU and TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS being appreciated …

Loading...