So musician Damon Alburn (Blur) and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl) joined forces to create The Gorillaz, a fictional cartoon band with real albums that are actually kind of cool. They then upped the ante with Monkey: Journey to the West, a live “circus opera” in Chinese.
Now, they’re releasing an album of the music from the production, and Hewlett has directed a music video for the first single.
I have no idea what the hell is going on, but it seems like Damon’s come a long way from getting his head checked by a jumbo jet.
Anyone speak Chinese?
I don’t speak Chinese, but I know the story well enough to catch you up. So, Monkey is the king of these monkeys, but he’s never satisfied, so he goes off and learns kung fu/magic, and becomes an immortal. But life still disappoints him, so then he goes to the Jade Palace (Heaven) and raises hell, and the Jade Emperor sends all sorts of people after him to arrest him, but he defeats them all. So then the Jade Emperor is like, “Buddha, dude, this guy just won’t stop! Can you help me out?” So Buddha goes and challenges Monkey to escape the reach of his hand, and he wins and pins Monkey under a mountain until he can redeem himself. So then there’s this monk, Tripitaka, right, and he’s in China and sees that the Buddhist scriptures they have are incomplete. And so he journeys to the West, to India, to get the whole scriptures. To protect him, Buddha and Kwan Yin give him some disciples including Monkey. At the point in the story that’s shown in the video, they’ve gotten as far as this enormous mountain that’s on fire, and it blocks their way. But Princess Iron Fan has this fan that is strong enough to blow out the fire. So Monkey gets it from her by changing into a bee and flying inside her and basically beating her guts up until she surrenders.
It’s a wonderful story. The part about Tripitaka going to India and bringing back the scriptures is true.
I’d be remiss as a comics enthusiast if I didn’t point out that much of this story is related in Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel, “American Born Chinese.” Read it, why not?
Ok, that looked really snazzy, and from what Rebecca provided, I’m very, very interested in seeing this with some decent subtitles. Any ideas as to whether it will be released in the States?
Oh, and about “overthinking” this one. I’m not surprised that Damon could do something like this. The Gorillaz are/is the kind of thing that it takes a lot of talent and genius to pull off. Anyone can joke around, but not anyone can make a living off of it. In those cases, it takes a lot of smarts to look that stupid. I think that’s why when a lot of comedians are interviewed, they actually come across as incredibly intelligent. I’d put Damon Alburn in the same intellectual category.
Or, as Dolly Parton said (and this may not be a direct/exact quote, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
(Boy, I’m on a roll here…) Oh, and Mlwaski, you seem to be nearly remiss about a lot lately. Everything alright? ;)
I was being self-referential, comment-wise. (Or: I was meta-commenting?)
This point in the play is a scene called ‘The Parade of Demons’ which is a time-passing scene where a narrator (Jade emperor) descibes all the beasts/obstacles that tripitaka and his disciples monkey, pig and sha (water demon) face before they go on to their next destination. Monkey gets inside the Princess of the Iron Fan through her drinking cup.