God Man Dog
(15) 119min (Terracotta Media DVD retail)
Now that the multi-strand story is so prominent, we tend to forget that the fine Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang was influential in developing its form with his mid-1980s film Terroriser. Compatriot Singing Chen’s film is in the tradition of such crosscutting enquiry as individuality of character gives way to exploration of social malaise. A middle-class couple struggles to come to terms with the death of their baby, while a truck driver looks to buy a prosthetic limb. An Aboriginal couple wonders if God can save them from the demons of drink, as a teenage runaway tries to get by with the opposite of abstinence: he enters, and usually wins, eating competitions, selling on the prizes. Chen’s film is understated, and shot in a way that gives the actors plenty of room to manoeuvre within the frame but that still allows the director to show a strong directorial perspective. Minimal extras.