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# 38

Tsai Ming Liang's

Stray Dogs (Jiao You, 2013)

introduced by Jonathan Romney

A Nos Amours is delighted to announce a revised date and time for this London premiere screening of Stray Dogs

Tuesday December 2nd, 7:30 PM

Vue cinemas
Westfield Stratford City

box office

Jonathan Romney:

In recent years, Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang has been paring his work down to the sparest essentials, taking it to a point where it exists somewhere between the worlds of visual art and what we think of as narrative ‘art cinema’. Stray Dogs possibly takes his work to the limits of story, but at the same time, this is a film which follows in the tradition of the urban realism that was the starting point for Tsai’s early work. It’s a film about family intimacy, hard times, urban struggle, architecture, space and art – and, as usual with Tsai, about water. But in its detached, sometimes enigmatic way, Stray Dogs is also one of the most moving films by a director who’s always been committed to depicting the condition of humanity at its most vulnerable. 

A father and his two children wander the margins of modern day Taipei, from the woods and rivers of the outskirts to the rain streaked streets of the city. 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 the family takes shelter in an abandoned building. The father is strangely affected by a hypnotic mural adorning the wall of this makeshift home. On the day of the father's birthday the family is joined by a woman - might she be the key to unlocking the buried emotions that linger from the past?

Cast:
Lee Kang Sheng, Lu Yi Ching, Lee Yi Cheng, Lee Yi Chieh, Chen Shiang Chyi, Chen Chao Rong

dir. Tsai Ming Liang, 2013, 138 mins
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles

Winner of Grand Jury Prize at the
Venice International Film Festival 2013

Jonathan Romney writes on film, most often in the Observer, Film Comment and Sight & Sound. His short film L'Assenza can now be watched on Fandor, here

With thanks to Vue Entertainment,
and Jessica Smith in particular.

# 39

The Chantal Akerman complete retrospective continues...

Akerman 15:

Nuit et jour (1991)

introduced by film critic Olaf Möller

Thursday 11th December 2014, 7pm
ICA cinema

box office

Julie (Londez) and Jack (Langmann) are a provincial couple in love who have only just moved to Paris. Home is a small flat, but a perfect nest for the young lovers.

By day they make love, while by night Jack drives a taxi for a living. Missing him, Julie strolls on Parisian streets, relishing the balmy summer heat, singing happily to herself. She meets Joseph (Negret), another newcomer to the city, driver, by day, of Jack's cab. Julie falls too for Joseph. Julie now has lovers round the clock. Julie resists making a choice between the two: why should she? She does not seem to need sleep, and her perfect arrangemnet leaves no time for such a luxury. Is night better than day, or vice versa?

Picking up on the insomnia and nocturnals of Toute une nuit and Les rendez-vous d'Anna, but finding a new note of playful ease. Akerman fdeploys a musical idiom that marks out time time and gesture, beutifully composing movement and soundtrack to create a living, song-like whole.

Perhaps Akerman is channeling the mysterious and other-worldly patterns cut out by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dancing in the dark in Central Park (thinking of course of the Band Wagon of 1953).

A remarkable, ravishing film, and full of brilliance.

Starring: Guilaine Londez, Thomas Langmann, François Négret

Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1991, 90 mins

Olaf Möller is a Cologne-born and -based film critic, writer and curator. His superb criticism can be found on line at Film Comment and Cinemascope. A Nos Amours is delighted to bring him to London to introduce Nuit et jour, which among Akerman's films is his peronal favourite.

For further Akerman screenings

see here

links:

A Nos Amours blog (new writing is welcome)

About the A Nos Amours blog

A Nos Amours elsewhere on the web

list of previous screenings

 

A Nos Amours is a collective founded by film-makers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts dedicated to programming over-looked, under-exposed or especially potent cinema. A Nos Amours is a moveable feast that goes wherever and whenever opportunities arise. A Nos Amours invites film-makers and others to advocate and present films that they admire or would like to see on a big screen. A Nos Amours  believes in the value of watching film as a shared experience.

The Akerman retrospective is supported by the British Film Institute, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and ICA

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Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, sponsored by the National Lottery.

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