When the staff of The Dissolve listed their most anticipated movies of 2014 back in January, Scott Tobias included Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs, not so much because he was looking forward to seeing it (he already had, back at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival), but more because he was looking forward to sharing and championing it. Back at Toronto, Scott called it perhaps his favorite movie of the festival, “achingly sad” and “a devastating portrait of a family living hand-to-mouth,” and vowed to put it on his year-end top 10 if it ever got a domestic release.
Looks like Mr. Tobias better clear some room on his best-of list, as Cinema Guild will open Stray Dogs, the Grand Jury Prize winner at last year’s Venice Film Festival, here in the United States next month. Longtime Tsai collaborator Lee Kang-sheng stars as the patriarch of a poor family who makes a meager living as a human billboard. Ahead of Stray Dogs’ debut, we’ve got the exclusive première of the film’s atmospheric (and wet) teaser. Take a look:
The trail of the tape
Title: Stray Dogs
Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Screenwriters: Tsai Ming-liang, Tung Chen-yu, Song Peng-fei
Cast: Lee Kang-sheng, Lee Yi-chieh, Lee Yi-cheng
Release date: September 12, 2014
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
Stray Dogs sparked some controversy upon its première at the Venice Film Festival last year, where Tsai threatened that it could be his cinematic farewell. (“I hope this is my last film,” he said, adding “This statement is for real, that is my hope.”) That won’t make his fans too happy, but at least they have this movie to look forward to. It opens at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center in New York City on September 12, before expanding to more theaters around the country.