This dreamy, lyrical and often baffling triptych film covers a small area of rural Bejing and quietly captures the tiny physical and cerebral journeys of a clutch of male characters from different echelons of Chinese society who all seem to be linked by a grid of white telegraph poles. With thematic echoes of the work of fellow countryman, Jia Zhangke, 'Mid-Afternoon Barks' is a slow moving, near silent and gently satirical work, with director Zhang Yuedong managing to somehow illicit a strange, absurdist humour from these obtuse non-stories, addressing (and berating, one feels) the country's desire for rapid urbanisation. That said, it's a film which requires a massive amount of patience, especially due to its use of long-held, fluid takes and repetitive soundtrack. The film's final shot, though, is both perplexing and casually beautiful.
Cast and crew