Journey to the West

Journey to the West ★★★★½

What was slow motion?

This film is Tsai Ming-Liang’s answer (I suspect) to those who would accuse him of navel-gazing. Contemplation lies in the fulfillment of ephemeral and ordinary actions and movements regardless of time (in shot length), and any acuity of feeling resulting therein is an addendum outside of the filmmakers’s control (or conditioning, as it is said by Tsai Ming-Liang and The Diamond Sutra) but inside the viewer’s experience. Thus CCC and Slow Cinema are useless terms and Ira Jaffe is a damn idiot.

“(On Gertrud) Dreyer wanted mass catharsis, the way Greek theatre did, or maybe the way college basketball does, with thousands of pulses synched to that ball’s movements. With the result that Gertrud is more like a basketball game than Lawrence of Arabia, has more action, excitement, spills, chills and thrills, and has some of the “coolest” scenes in movies, piled on top of each other.
Curious it is, then, that some people complain Dreyer is slow and intellectual, talkie and dull, Gertrud particularly. They never spot the ball. As a result, it is unlikely in my lifetime that I shall share Gertrud on a big screen with two thousand pulses synched to her every movement.”
– Tag Gallagher

Spot the ball, motherfuckers.