Xin xi you ji (1982)

New Pilgrims to the West is based on the Chinese 16th century book Journey to the West, which is about the legendary pilgrimage of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. In spite of great danger, he traveled to the Central Asia to discover the Buddhist sacred texts. A combination of Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology, Confucianism, Taoist and Buddhist theology, the lessons in this book are still being meditated on today.

The main characters are Sun Wukong the Monkey King, Tang Sanzang, Zhu “Pigsy” Bajie and Sha Wujing. Perhaps you’ve seen The Forbidden Kingdom, in which Jet Li plays Sun Wukong, Stephen Chow playing the role in A Chinese Odyssey or the 1960s series of Shaw Brothers movies that include Monkey Goes West, Princess Iron FanCave of the Silken Web and The Land of Many Perfumes.

It’s low budget, yes, but director Chun-Liang Chen also made the incredible Child of Peach and the unofficial movie Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, so there’s still some magic to be found in this story of Sun Wukong and Pigsy as they journey to the west.

I am of the belief that props don’t have to be expensive, sets don’t have to be perfect and even the quality of the print that I see decades later doesn’t have to be 4K quality. Magic can be found anywhere.

You can watch this on YouTube.

 

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