Journey to the West (Xi you)
Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2014, 56 mins. Digital projection. Tsai’s latest is a study in defiant serenity amid chaos. In the daytime hustle-bustle of Marseille, Lee Kang-sheng, dressed in the orange robes of a Buddhist monk, inches his way along the street at a snail’s pace, his head hung down and eyes fixed on the pavement, to the mystification of the passersby not too busy to notice. Journey to the West is one of a series of films Tsai made with Lee’s Walker character, drawing inspiration from the life of a seventh-century monk who traveled China in search of Buddhist scriptures. Preceded by Walker (2012, 27 mins), in which Lee’s monk makes his way through frantic Hong Kong.
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