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Tsai Ming-liang returns to MIFF with a hypnotic, exquisitely cinematic 14-shot work of art.

A Buddhist monk, Tsai regular Lee Kang-sheng, walks slowly – almost imperceptibly slowly – through the streets of Marseille. A second man, French art-film icon Denis Lavant (Holy Motors, MIFF 2012), conducts his own journey of contemplation. Bystanders hurry past, occasionally stopping to observe this strange ritual. Soon, the two men will cross paths.

One of Taiwan's most esteemed directors, Tsai Ming-liang (Stray Dogs, MIFF 2014) has created some of modern cinema's most bizarre, evocative images. A departure from the flamboyance of his earlier work (The Wayward Cloud, MIFF 2005; The Hole, MIFF 1999), Journey to the West is the latest in a sort-of series following the monk. An almost wordless, meditative experience in sculpting time, it possesses astonishing beauty and, whether viewed as a minimalist piece of film art, a virtual tour of Marseille or a study of temporal space, it is brimming with life.

"Extraordinary, magical … a decisive refutation of Martin Scorsese's recent lament that there are no longer any great shots in cinema." – Sight & Sound