The Opening Night Film:
THE MONKEY KING: UPROAR IN HEAVEN 3D (大閙天宫) (The restored 3D version of 1961 animation produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studios) -- Chicago Premiere
To buy tickets: Please click here. (THIS SCREENING IS SOLD OUT.)
Directed by: Wan Lai-ming
3D Version by: Su Da and Chen Zhi-hong
2011, 92 min, Mandarin w/English subtitles, DCP, 3D
Film Source: China Lion Film Distribution
Wednesday, February 17, 7:30 PM, at AMC River East 21
A painstaking frame-for-frame restoration and 3D rendering of the classic 1961 Wan Lai-ming masterpiece. Considered as a national treasure and China's most celebrated work of animation, the film is composed of gorgeously flowing animation created by hand from over 130,000 ink drawings and an opulent soundtrack inspired by the Beijing Opera. THE MONKEY KING follows the adventures of the magical Monkey King of Flower Fruit Mountain, a quixotic and mischievous character who creates havoc by refusing to bow down to the authority of the Celestial Jade Emperor. The voice-over for the new rendition includes celebrity talents & artists from China, to name a few: Chen Kai-ge, Feng Xiao-gang, Chen Dao-ming, Liu Xiao-qi, Zhou Li-bo, Zhang Guo-li and Yao Cheng.
“Journey to the West” is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century during the Ming dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. In English-speaking countries, the work is widely known as Monkey, the title of Arthur Waley's popular abridged translation.
The novel is an extended account of the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang who traveled to the "Western Regions", that is, Central Asia and India, to obtain sacred texts (sūtras) and returned after many trials and much suffering. It retains the broad outline of Xuanzang's own account, Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, but the Ming dynasty novel adds elements from folk tales and the author's invention, that is, that the Buddha gave this task to the monk and provided him with three protectors who agree to help him as an atonement for their sins. These disciples are Sun Wukong (Monkey), Zhu Wuneng and Sha Wujing, together with a dragon prince who acts as Xuanzang's steed, a white horse.
“Journey to the West” has strong roots in Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology, Taoist and Buddhist philosophy, and the pantheon of Taoist immortals and Buddhist bodhisattvas are still reflective of some Chinese religious attitudes today. Enduringly popular, the tale is at once a comic adventure story, a spring of spiritual insight, and an extended allegory in which the group of pilgrims journeys towards enlightenment by the power and virtue of cooperation.
The Monkey King; Uproar in Heaven tells the story before Sun WuKong (Monkey) has become the disciple of monk Xuanzang.