Journey to the West



IMDb Rating 6.8 10 606


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March 15, 2018 at 10:13 AM


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446.57 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 56 min
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867.5 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 56 min
P/S 3 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Sergeant_Tibbs 8 / 10

A meditative piece of art that questions the motion in motion picture.

Sometimes minimalism irks me. Sometimes it gets me. Journey To The West gets me. It offers no discernible dialogue or plot, instead it's a 50 minute meditative art piece wherein Holy Motors' Denis Levant meditates and a monk walks very, very slowly, often in public. Without doing much at all, it's hilarious, infuriating, profound, poetic, and utterly brilliant. I haven't seen any of Tsai Ming-liang's other films yet so I don't have any context but this works on its own. Like Chris Marker with La Jetee before him, Journey To The West questions the motion in motion picture. It questions the ambiguities of life - ideas of motivation, drive, purpose, relief, but also cinematically in the sense of conventional setup and payoffs and journeys. Above all, it's a film that revels in the tranquility of the moment (or not so tranquil), and while it's surreal in mood it feels utterly real, refreshing and revealing of the human condition.

Granted, the film definitely tests the boundaries of tedium, and if it were any longer I probably wouldn't have tolerated it as much, but instead Ming-liang is restrained and economic with all his dozen or so shots. Scenes like watching the monk climb slowly down a subway staircase for 15 minutes bleeds so much life. It's pure meditative cinema, stripped down but honest. Other shots are almost a case of Where's Wally in finding the monk among the crowd. It's delightfully entertaining and makes you think about cinema can do. Self-aware moments certainly confirm that Ming-liang isn't ignoring the audience. I can't tell whether he's is truly pretentious or laughing at us with this, but it works on so many levels. It holds a tense and quirky atmosphere that's interesting and strangely poignant, yet quietly exuberant. Helps that it's such a rich aesthetic experience with its gorgeous cinematography and dense sound design. I understand why many find the film hallow but this is a rich tapestry for me.


Reviewed by Reno Rangan 7 / 10

Something a very unique achievement to video document!

This is nothing like anything I have ever seen before. Quite an interesting film, but not for everyone. Yep, I thought it was boring in the opening, but later I get used to it and began to analyse. A film that has only a concept, but there's no beginning or the ending. However, displaying the film subject in the variety of angles was stunning. Sometimes I was keenly looking for where the subject has gone. At sometime it felt like a lazy afternoon under the shades while bright sunlight was on the other side.

It was a Taiwan-French co-production and an hour long film that documents a Buddhist monk who has undertaken a slow walk procession in the streets of southern France coast city Marseille which is accompanied by a French actor. It reminded me the recent animation I had seen 'Zootopia', where sloths comes into the scene. Had so much fun, but in not here.

I don't know what the monk did was called, but definitely it is a fine study material. Like in this modern world where everything is fast and superfast, what it would be like being superslow and how people reacts to it. Actually, many were simply minding their own business, but a few were curiously looking at, like a cultural and/or the religious difference is something to do with it. A cool film, an art film, but not recommended unless you're not looking for the entertainment only.


Reviewed by gregking4 2 / 10

Dull, slow moving and tedious

Dull, slow moving and tedious. Shot in a series of long takes, this minimalist film from Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang (Stray Dogs, etc) will surely test the patience of many in the audience, even with its mercifully brief running time of 56 minutes. A monk (Lee Kang-sheng) slowly makes his way across the streets of Marseilles, moving in very slow and deliberate style. His painfully slow and measured pace is meant to offer a marked contrast to the fast pace of contemporary life with busy people rushing to get nowhere fast. In one sequence he painstakingly walks down the steps to a subway station while people hurry by. In another long sequence, the monk's slow pace is imitated by French actor Denis Lavant (a regular in the films of Leos Carax). Others watch the monk's glacially paced journey with bemusement. The opening sequence itself lasts for five minutes and consists of a close up of Lavant's face as he contemplates the day ahead. There is no dialogue in the film, but the sound scape consists of ambient noise and the hum of traffic. Cinematographer Antoine Heberle (Paradise Now, Under The Sand, etc) keeps the camera still, and characters walk from one edge of the frame to the other, and the monk often enters the frame from an unexpected angle. Journey To The West is more experimental and artistic than anything else and is of limited appeal.

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