2018 / 80m - Taiwan
Sand poster


November 10, 2021


The latest entry in Tsai's Buddhist walker series. I will say I wasn't too impressed with his previous entries, nor with anything he did in the past decade. Tsai has gone more in the direction of ego-documentaries and art installations, and while Sand fits the description of the latter, the longer runtime works in its favor (something surprisingly).

There is no plot, none whatsoever. This is just Lee Kang-sheng dressed as a monk, walking very (very) slowly. The film consists of 16 static shots with just that. There is no dialogue, no apparent goal or destination, no camera movement. Just a guy walking around at a snail's pace. If that sounds like hell, don't even go near this film.

The shorts left me pretty cold, mostly because they weren't long enough to get me in the mood. This is the kind of film that transfixes, but it actually needs a certain run-in period to get you in that mood. The aesthetic quality of the film also seems higher, the ambient sounds are soothing, and the length is just right. Pretty hard to recommend, but this film like Tsai making a real effort again.