Friday, 20 June 2008

EIFF: God Man Dog - Review by Guest Contributor Maria Antiona Valez

Director: Singing Chen
Running Time: 119 mins
Fri 20 Jun, 17:30
Cameo 1
Sat 21 Jun, 15:15
Cameo 1

God Man Dog inherits the potential and the weaknesses of the Amores Perros kind of 'multi-strand' structure, whilst also, of course, featuring dogs.As in Amores, a middle-class couple crumble under vacant-looking wife Ching's (Tarcy Su) depression. On the other side of the social spectrum, carefree 'Yellow Bull' (Jack Cao) drives a fairground Buddha-mobile, and looks after gods, dogs and hitchhikers. A swarm of engaging characters gravitate around these poles.Patterns and motifs hint towards an intellectual agenda that proves elusive, whilst a series of brusquely poignant scenes deliver sharp, and often painful, emotional insights. Attitudes towards the body are explored in a compelling visual denunciation of Catholic guilt and commodification.Although the storylines could have converged in a more political way (via a beach resort project), we are given instead the no-brainer plot trick of the car crash. However, this weakness is forgivable in an inventive, gripping film.

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