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Denis Lavant Features In Tsai Ming-liang’s ‘Journey to the West,’ Streaming Online for One Week

Written by on March 20, 2014 

It seems Stray Dogs was not quite the final work of Tsai Ming-liang, no matter how fine a final note we’d consider it. Instead, Berlinale saw the premiere of Journey to the West, the latest installment in his multi-part Walker series — a collection of featurettes wherein Tsai regular Lee Kang-sheng, styled as a monk, slowly (slowly) makes his way through various environments, viewers absorbing various soundscapes and image-shapes all the while. These, frankly, are not for everyone, and its creator is keenly aware, saying of the most recent installment, “Walker was made as a conscious act of rebellion against the way cinema is perceived in today’s society. Commercial cinema has a certain number of requirements: there must be a narrative structure, a story, the actors must perform, and there must be some action and some music. Well, I am not interested in any of these things anymore.”

But the latest (and possibly final) is bound to receive more attention, given that the internationally beloved Denis Levant is shadowing Lee‘s latest expedition. This more recognizable component is only one such part, however, and whether or not a known face remains present, all else is profoundly different from anything you’re likely to see this year — so that it’s streaming, free, and for these next several days, makes the passing-up of this opportunity a bit absurd. “I am not a filmmaker who tells stories, I am a filmmaker who creates images. I would like to explain to the viewing public that, more than anything else, watching a film is about watching images,” Tsai told an interviewer in August. Now it’s time to see for yourself.

Watch it below (via Arte):

What did you think of Journey to the West? Have you seen Tsai’s other Walker installments?

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