“The year of dog” is the second film of a long-term documentary series project, which documents the artist’s family mundane life during the Chinese Spring Festival period. Different from the first film, “the year of dog” focuses more about the artist’s family members than himself, presenting words and behaviors from a variety of real life scenes. Even though, compared to the first film, because of the status of the artist as employed, there were less scenes showing the artist’s family members judging and coaching the artist himself, “male chauvinism”, “excessive infatuation to materialism”, “selfishness”, they drive the judgements and conflicts happen across all family members. For audience, they will sense stress from dialogues in the reality of hierarchical family relationships; and in the meantime, they will also recognize similar ideologies from the family members in a variety of plots, influenced by this inherent family cultural and cognitive environment. After recognizing his family environment, the artist started to work on using his family to reveal regional sociality, questioning these social ideologies as well as seeking for changes, as those ideologies constantly influencing the public and being passed down generation after generation.
Similar to the first film, in “the year of dog”, the artist documented some scenes of his family cooking, which includes a scene of his cousin cooking, his father cooking, his aunt cooking, and his uncle cooking. In the scene of his father cooking, the artist even uses seven minutes of raw footage to show how his father made a dish called “fried pig’s intestines”. In “the year of dog”, those food making scenes, combined together with other trivial moments in a chronological order, perform a role of slowing down the rhythm of the documentary. In the meantime, those food making scenes use extremely dynamic pictures being expected to bring some momentary peacefulness into this film, in a way, reflecting the artist’s inner helplessness and monologue in the life full of noises when he was with his family.
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