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604 Ratings

Journey to the West

Xi You

Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan, France, 2014
Short, Drama


Xi You represents another edition of the director’s series of short films that expand Lee Kang-sheng’s thirty minute slow walking performance at Taipei’s National Theatre into a ‘slow walking expedition’.

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Journey to the West Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Different viewers will likely take away different things; I personally see it as a complex statement about how ancient Eastern religions seem “out of step” with the fast pace of modern Western life, and how there are elements of contemporary Western civilization that, for this very reason, feel irresistibly drawn towards Eastern philosophy. Regardless of how one interprets it, what’s not in dispute is the film’s extreme formal beauty, as well as its unexpected, ineffable sense of humor
May 20, 2016
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It mixes both a species of hyper-realism – precisely documenting, as in a Straub-Huillet film, the movement of light or the sound of the wind – and a sense of surrealist marvel… Tsai (after judicious editing) accepts all the fluctuations, all the accidents. It is his Zen wisdom at its most paradoxical height, as in his earlier video A Conversation with God (2001): some measure of serenity is found at the heart of a truly chaotic, messed-up, urban world.
April 01, 2015
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Great films often rest on a simple idea – in this case, a surrealist concept (courtesy of Lautréamont): (4) as beautiful as the encounter, in a French southern metropolis, of Tsai’s Lee Kang-sheng and Leos Carax’s Denis Lavant.
December 23, 2014
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