Comedy Movie

Journey to the West The healing journey of a Sisyphus

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a domestic film that kept me calm for a long time. I watched it with a surge of emotion, squeezing my palms throughout. I cried and laughed along, and I listened to the creators after the screening, while listening and crying. I have many, many things to say to people, but I don’t know where to start. When there is someone who presents you with what you think in your heart, what you like, what you grew up with, and what you have thought about many times in your heart, you want to shake the director’s shoulders and say, “Director, how can you know so much?

As a sci-fi fan with a collection of sci-fi worlds for more than a decade, the feeling for sci-fi is not simply curiosity. It is a very deep search for the unknown and for meaning. As I wrote before, for me, the coolest part of science fiction is not the dazzling technology of spaceships, rockets and aliens, but that it is the most vivid thought experiment, putting the problems that plague humans in reality into another condition or another time and space to consider, creating conditions in the imagination, turning the question “if xxx, what will the world become? The question of “what would the world be like if xxx” is turned into a real conflict and the answer is sought. Imagination as a horse and look back at reality, this is the meaning and charm of science fiction.

But this film for me, is not science fiction at all. It’s not even soft science fiction. What kind of science fiction film is Approaching Science. I would like to call it a pseudo-science fiction film made with pseudo-documentaries.

I still remember that when I was a kid my dad went out of town and brought me back the first book called UFO Unsolved Mysteries. That was almost when I first started to remember, and it was the origin of my interest in science fiction. The book talked about the strange and bizarre countryside around the world, just like the bird’s nest village in the film. But since I started reading real science fiction, I haven’t focused on the topic of alien hunting because I know that real science fiction needs to explore larger boundaries.

The core of this film is clearly not there. The English title of the film is journey to the west, Mr. Tang is Tang Sanzang, Sun Yatong is Sun Monkey, forever carrying all the luggage of that day Su is obviously Sha Monk, the last moment to join the young girl is White Dragon Horse, and Aria teacher, sorry, although this correspondence is a bit offensive, but a big grin and move on the ground do not want to go on the persona, this is not piggy bank can also be who. So this is a complete fairy tale fable that uses the Journey to the West.

And the so-called science-related part, it is folk science, supernatural wonders, is strange and bizarre specious arguments, is a mind to go to the end of the insanity.

But I was still impressed by him. What really touched me was not the sea of stars depicted in many science fiction stories with extreme imagination, but the kind of yearning for the sea of stars itself. This is the magic of the universe editorial. It simply does not need to shoot the appearance of the starry sea, and even whether or not to see the aliens do not need to give an answer. Monk Tang went to the West to get scriptures, through the 91 difficulties, the final scripture is a piece of white paper, or a hand shake, the scriptures fell into the sea, the monk in the turtle back clapping hands and laughing, the Journey to the West even here the ending is wonderful. Besides, the old Tang looking for aliens in a scientific way? Which science fiction film with such an illogical way to do scientific research? This does not matter at all.

What is important is the persistence, the search, and the wisdom that comes out in those mutterings and ramblings. What matters is the poetry that falls in the mountains and caves. Are the snowflakes of the TV really the afterglow of the universe? I’m not even going to try to prove or disprove it, but the words caught me off guard and brought me to tears. Because it was so beautiful. It takes a romantic heart to capture the madness of Minke so movingly and to hold such tenderness for paranoia.

The character of Lao Tang is so wonderful, he is passionate because of his idealism, alienated because of his inability to fit in, suffering because of his bitter pursuit, but always walking on this path. Because there is no other way to go.

I say it is not science fiction, but because if you start with Lao Tang and the three separated, the various wonders encountered later are seen as hallucinations after eating poisonous mushrooms, it does not affect the story at all, but is a more “scientific” explanation. And the wonders before eating mushrooms, can be considered as Sun Yatong as another crazy person based on their own fantasy design out of artificial wonders (Yatong is probably an upgraded version of the uncle hiding aliens in the freezer. But that doesn’t make Yatone a fraud, he’s the one leading the charge).

I’ve seen more than one review implying that the poisonous mushroom part was meant to pass muster, but I don’t think so (and if that claim unfortunately comes from the director and creator, then I choose to stick with my understanding as well). In my opinion, it was a design that had to be there because the sparrow ascending at the end was too phantasmagorical. Starting from eating the mushroom, the donkey appeared, and Yitong fell from the sky saying that the monkey brought the bone to himself, and the whole madness reached its peak (the light and sound of that section were completely different ah). Sun Yatong holding this longer and longer bones like a pestle with a golden band, you call this science fiction? This is clearly a psychotic hallucinogenic experience, a subjective world of mental orgy, a large trip of self-healing.

Only under such insanity can Lao Tang’s deepest pain manifest itself without reservation. In daily life, the pain of losing his daughter is unspeakable, and the pain of not finding the meaning of human existence is even less than human, and for Lao Tang, these two are superimposed to constitute his deepest loneliness and sadness (in this sense, I saw a kernel very similar to rick&morty). Only in the cave he pulled out his cell phone to read out the torture that moment, all the tense everything finally began to reveal (BTW this performance is simply sealed), all the emotions all the way to the end of the wild catharsis, in a pass with the sparrow rose in the air in a supernatural way to transcend everything. This is not like finding aliens, more like a kind of divine revelation (at that moment I even remembered the ending of “Breaking the Waves”). In the midst of the hallucinogenic trip, one sees the root of one’s subconscious, one’s desires, one’s pain, one sees what one expects to see, and one has an experience that is close to the truth. He is enlightened by himself. How much this is like the experience of a religious believer. And at the end of the ending, the protagonist who has experienced so much comes back to life and still cannot solve the realities of life, but only gains some kind of peace. He closed the magazine and was finally able to let out a cry when he mentioned his daughter for once. I love this ending so much.

The design of a daughter who kills herself because she can’t find meaning is also a stroke of genius. The old Tang’s pain and search is only to answer the question left by his daughter? No, it was also a question that haunted him, which in turn affected his daughter, ultimately causing a tragedy that would linger for the rest of his life, which is his superimposed pain. So his earliest search for aliens may have been out of pure curiosity, and later, out of pain, because it became the only thing he had to do. When I thought about this layer, I was struck down again by sadness. What exactly is the purpose of human existence in the world? Faced with such an unanswerable question, some people choose to commit suicide, some choose to ignore the problem and live on plainly, some people can neither ignore nor give up, he chooses to pursue paranoid and be a crazy Sisyphus.

So even though I said half the time that he is not science fiction, this is not to cause any argument about what is science fiction. It doesn’t matter that much whether it’s sci-fi or not. The director doesn’t really need to use a lot of scientific settings and rigorously change pre-conditions to gain new insights into human nature, as many science fiction stories do. I was very surprised that the director was able to capture the essence of science fiction while making such a non-science fiction story. The state of stumbling and clumsy exploration into the unknown, the continuous questioning of the meaning of human existence, the unresolved existential pain, the confusion and poetry that he presents, is in itself tremendously infectious. He stepped out of the box of science fiction.

I must go to the second and third brushes, I want to listen to that divine wedding speech again in the dark cinema (this speech does not remind you of rick’s speech at Birdman’s wedding? It’s a good idea to listen to my cranial orgasm), to experience the poetry of those lines floating down the mountain, and to cry with Lao Tang at the end, and then dry your tears and continue on in the unknown.

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