JOURNEY TO THE WEST
Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Official Selection, 2014 Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection, 2014 Toronto International Film Festival
In 14 insanely measured compositions, Tsai Ming-liang presents a ravishing work of pure cinema, a playful game for the eyes and ears, and an eccentric, rapturous vision of humans and their paths. JOURNEY TO THE WEST is the latest in Tsai’s innovative performance project featuring a crimson-robed Lee Kang-sheng walking very, very slowly in public spaces. The project originated onstage and now arrives on the streets of Marseilles.
With a large immigrant population, Marseilles is one of the most culturally-diverse cities in France, but nobody seems as foreign as Tsai’s walker. His deliberate movements, his muscular pacing, and his anachronistic garb make him an alien presence and the object of passing glances and casual dodging. How we look – and not look – across cultures is as important here as how we make sense of duration.
But Tsai is not content simply with an allegory of east meets west. This mini feature aims bigger: to overwhelm our senses with a boldly ecstatic take on the solitary existence of the literal and spiritual sojourner. Ecstatic because of the sheer physicality of embodying difference. Ecstatic because of the sublime beauty of Tsai’s framings, stagings, movements, and architectural mise-en-scene. And most of all, ecstatic because it erupts something in our own bodies, as it seems to in the body of co-star Denis Lavant: a dream of red, haunting the chambers of our minds and our everyday spaces. –Brian Hu
Vive l’amour (1994)
The River (1997)
The Hole (1998)
What Time is it There? (2001)
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
The Wayward Cloud (2005)
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006)
Stray Dogs (2013)
Tsai Ming-liang / Hong Kong, Taiwan / 2012 / 27 minsA monk inches slowly through one of the world’s fastest cities.
Precedes: JOURNEY TO THE WEST