Movie Review: Journey To The West could be the last time Tsai Ming-Liang slows life to a crawl

Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-Liang (Rebels Of The Neon God, What Time Is It There?) is a sucker for stasis. He likes planting his camera in front of some spectacular view and holding it there for minutes on end. Were cinema a staring contest, he’d be a world champion. There’s usually motive, thankfully, behind these (very) long takes—a reason for risking the squirms and fidgets of a captive audience. In the recent Stray Dogs, Tsai’s refusal to cut felt like a show of compassion, his way of forcing eyes to lock on the type of marginalized people from which they might normally, instinctually avert. Journey To The West, the director’s latest (and possibly last) feature to open Stateside, also wants to change the way we look at the world. Here, by dutifully tracking the glacial stroll of a holy man, sometimes in real time and from …

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