Video Services Corp., presents
Journey To The West
A Film By Stephen Chow
April 7, 8, 9, 10 – Victoria – The Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St
April 11, 12, 13, 14 – Vancouver – Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St
April 16, 18 – Toronto- The Royal Cinema, 608 College St
Official Selection – 2013 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2013 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
“The film finds the sweet spot between spoofy and sincere, rollicking and dark.”– LA Times
“Might Be Stephen Chow’s Craziest Movie Yet.”- Vulture
“Rarely is it that a CGI-heavy spectacle such as this could be called both entertaining and inspiring in the same breath, but such is the unexpectedly special magic of Journey to the West.”- Slant
What’s the best method for vanquishing monsters: martial arts or loving kindness? It’s a question that goes to the heart of Journey to the West, director Stephen Chow’s dazzling comic fantasy about a gentle Buddhist demon hunter.
The latest in a long line of movies based on the 16th-century novel of the same name, this exuberant and delightfully cartoony CGI-fest topped China’s 2013 box office.
Beginning with the 10-minute opening sequence — a triumph of Rube Goldberg zaniness in a rustic fishing village — Chow’s version of the fable, subtitled Conquering the Demons, is propelled by jaw-dropping visual inventiveness.
It spins around two mismatched demon hunters. Nursery rhymes are the weapon of choice for raggedy-haired Xuan Zang (Wen Zhang), whose master teaches him that even demons are born good, providing back stories on how they are transformed by hatred after being wronged. Duan, played by Shu Qi with a kinetic mix of toughness and vulnerability, has no time for compassion; she’s a mercenary with a magician’s flair for killing and a nifty Infinite Flying Ring.
Their innocence-versus-experience rivalry morphs into Duan’s unrequited love after she decides, somewhat incredibly, that he’s the one. He resists such worldly matters as sex but starts to get the hang of her smackdown approach to evil spirits, and together they face the trickster Monkey King (the excellent Huang Bo).
Stephen Chow is one of the most beloved actors/directors in the world of Chinese cinema. In 2001, Chow wrote, produced, directed and starred in Shaolin Soccer, which broke the box office record for a Chinese film in Hong Kong. The film won Best Picture, and Chow won Best Actor and Best Director, at the Hong Kong Film Awards. His success continued in 2004 with the release of Kung Fu Hustle, which again broke the box office record in Hong Kong. The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It also won Best Picture, and Chow won Best Director, at the Golden Horse Awards. Chow’s most recent film was the 2008 science fiction movie CJ7, which again garnered multiple nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Journey to the West has grossed over $205,000,000 worldwide.
About Video Services Corp. Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. is a leading independent DVD distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles and a vast catalogue strong in television, sports and comedy. VSC’s releases include Corner Gas, Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters and Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…. Recent theatrical releases include Union Square, with Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, Alan Partridge with Steve Coogan and the Israel horror sensation Big Bad Wolves.