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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #151. Tsai-ming Liang’s Xi You (Journey to the West)

Xi You (Journey to the West)

Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Writer: Tsai Ming-liang
Producer: Vincent Wang, Fred Bellaiche
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Lee Kang-sheng, Denis Lavant

This weekend, the Berlin Film Festival presented Xi You (Journey to the West) a film that much like last year’s Stray Dogs is going to convince Tsai Ming-liang fans of his genius or in the simplest of terms, will alienate, test the patience of even the shrewdest cinephiles. Affectionately we come to appreciate him via the likes of Good Bye, Dragon Inn and The Wayward Cloud, and his current shift has more of the same: working at a snail’s pace speed and a full awareness of the frame. Oh and Denis Lavant stars.

Gist: The face of an exhausted man breathing deeply, his face agitated and, nearby, the sea. A Buddhist monk walks barefoot and incredibly slowly through Marseille – so slowly, that his progress is barely perceptible and he becomes a calming influence in the midst of the town’s goings-on. Lee Kang-sheng, who features in all Tsai Ming-liang’s films, plays the monk with impressive energy. His uniform slow motion footsteps and devoted posture turn his performance into a veritable tour de force as he unswervingly makes his way from the coast to the market in Noailles, like an illusion in his bright red robe.

Release Date: World premiere in Berlin.

[related]Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2014[/related]

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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