Old Dog Screen 4 articles

Old Dog

2011

Old Dog Poster
  • While the rigid framing and wispy plot create an unfortunate inertia, they also magnify the occasional whimsical moment, like the priceless expression on the face of a bemused goat as it’s overtaken on the street by a rolling lump of green plastic. Raw and resolute, this unsettling fable feels driven by an anger that remains largely unexpressed.

  • ...Tseden has an affinity for you-are-there long takes and sandpaper-dry humor, which lends a transcendental grace to his tale—and in the case of a brilliant real-time sequence featuring a rogue sheep trying to jump into the pen it’s just escaped from, adds a whole other level of sublime symbolic resonance. It’s both a sly piece of ethnography and a social satire that reads like a cosmic joke…right up until its climax makes the chuckle catch in your throat.

  • Austerely pictorial, shot with the generally static camera characteristic of Chinese documentary, “Old Dog” has a powerful sense of place. Deliberately paced and understated, it lacks the fierce pantheism of Michelangelo Frammartino’s superficially similar sit-doc “Le Quattro Volte” but, as noted by Shelly Kraicer in Cinema Scope, Tseden has let the story tell itself...

  • Instead of a typical three-act structure, Old Dog relies on the increasing burden of its narrative metaphors to steer its story toward a conclusion. The film becomes a portrait of the loss of Tibetan culture, as Akhu stakes his life on protecting his prize working dog from becoming merely a plaything for wealthy Han Chinese.