Hsiao Kang works on the streets of Taipei as a sandwich-board advertising luxury properties. A cruel twist for a man who is homeless and survives with his two children in concrete ruins. Structuring his film into blocks that are narrative in appearance only, Tsai teams up again with his four favourite actors for what he announces to be his final film. Haunted by a wall painting that he came across by chance during location scouting, Stray Dogs offers a powerful visual condensation of his filmmaking much akin to a plastic-art installation. His shots have never been so visually rich, so vibrant with the off-screen world. Concrete and greenery : the decor, alternating between the aseptic, the decrepit and the luxuriant, sums up the paradox of contemporary Taiwan – the ruins of capitalism within the city’s immediate vicinity. But the length of Tsai’s film also gives it the power of a myth. This almost pictorial mastery is constantly counterbalanced by his treatment of natural light and the soundscapes subtly fine-tuned by Tu Duu-chih. An open tribute to The Night of the Hunter, Stray Dogs offers above all a moving portrait of Lee Kang Sheng, the actor that Tsai has been filming for twenty years and who, for the first time, plays the role of a father.