Directed: Lam Can-zhao 2015 | 88 min.
Languages: Cantonese, Chinese
Genres: Drama, Experimental, Social Issues
Director Lam Can-Zhao leads a small film crew as they shoot a film about a stray dog in the streets of Guangzhou, leading viewers into an unpredictable, peculiar and incredible journey. Shot documentary-style while employing characteristics of hybrid cinema, THE DOG’s low-tech and casual style reveals a wealth of stories that reflect both the authenticity and occasional absurdity of the living situations of migrant workers and of those who otherwise live “below the line.” As the debut feature film directed by Lam, THE DOG reads more like a lonely rebel’s exploration and revelation to the world.
In a money-oriented society, people often get lost in front of money , thus forget their dreams and fail to get inner peace.
The film was screened at many international film festivals including:
2016 Asian American Int’l Film Festival: Emerging Director (Nomination)
2016 Peak City International Film Festival: Silver Gaddy Award
2016 The International Gullah Film Festival: Best Student Feature
2016 Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival: Special Jury Mention
2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
2016 Barcelona Asia Film Festival
2016 South Taiwan Film Festival
2016 On the Road Film Festival, Italy
2016 Rivercity Underground Film Festival, USA
2016 Silk Road International Film Festival, Ireland
2016 International human rights film festival, Austria
2016 Baghdad International Film Festival
2016 Delhi International Film Festival
2016 Amphibia Youth Film Festival, China
2017 Salón Internacional de la Luz: Best Cinematography(Fiction)
2017 Africa International Film Festival, Nigeria
2017 Cardiff China Film Festival, UK
2017 Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival, Australia
2017 Panoramica Independent Film Festival, Mexico
2017 London Migration Film Festival
2017 Festival de Cine de Bogotá
BLENDING DOCUMENTARY AND GUERILLA FILMMAKING TECHNIQUES, THE DOG announces the arrival of precocious twenty-year-old helmer Lam Can-zhao, who tracks a stray dog through the streets of Guangzhou City in his debut feature. Featuring non-professional actors and photographed in high-contrast black and white digital, THE DOG unfolds through a series of vignettes, recording seemingly banal conversation and pregnant silences of ordinary Chinese. By making the wandering dog the central conceit (though the titular dog disappears from the screen for long stretches), Lam is able to escape the tyranny of conventional storytelling. His film has a loose, improvisational feel that constantly surprises. The real star here is the young director. While he favors the patient, observational style of early Jia Zhangke, director Lam is not afraid to mix it up. He transitions easily from street scenes captured on hand-held to long, willfully artless static two- shots that depict ordinary Chinese people doing ordinary things — all in strikingly original compositions. In this way, THE DOG embodies the bold, experimental spirit of China’s new generation of filmmakers like Liu Jiayin (OXHIDE, OXHIDE II) and Huang Weikai (DISORDER), who aim to capture the real China through a neo-realist aesthetic and an unflinching use of duration. With THE DOG, making its United States bow at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Lam finds a seat in this bracing new Chinese Cinema movement that takes its cues from Chantal Akerman rather than Zhang Yimou.
— RYAN WU
An unexpectedly fresh yet piercing piece of cinema by a promising young talent, THE DOG is a monochrome vision of modern Chinese society through the eyes of an oft-abandoned pup.
— HANEL KONG
THE DOG is a film that takes us into a glimpse of lives in modern society through an unlikely perspective, carried through assured yet subtle shifts in the language of showing.
THE DOG has many brilliant ideas and great sequences, very unique in Chinese Cinema.
— Bastian Meiresonne
THE DOG follows a stray dog as it journeys through modern Guangzhou. Shot in black and white and heavily influenced by documentary and guerrilla filmmaking in its execution, The Dog is an intriguing exercise in stylistic and narrative experimentation. The frequent use of long takes and static cinematography by Lam Can-Zhao stretches the limits of our cinematic expectations, creating a robust neo realist examination of Chinese ‘ordinariness’. Lam Can-Zhao is fast becoming not just one of China’s emerging talents of cinema but also the world’s.
— Perry Lam