Journey To The West


Beijing Opera
The Monkey King is a character in the the novel Journey To The West. It's old scbool Spider-Man and Marvel Comics. The novel was later adapted for opera and is still performed by the famous Beijing Opera, of which Jackie Chan is an alumnus.

Jackie Chan
The theatrical influence of Beijing Opera can be seen in Hong Kong kung fu movies. Pre-Jackie Chan era, they were replete with explicit violence and gore. Jackie Chan came along and turned kung fu into into a tongue-in-cheek, slapstick-ish art form in which the kung fu is still evident but sans the violence. Post-Jackie Chan, it's all wired flying, CGI and Matrix.

Rainforest Fringe Festival
The Beijing Opera school of theatrical martial arts still lives on at the opera itself and its influence, though fading away in Hong Kong, can still be seen, for example, in some of Tony Jaa's movies. You might be able to get a glimpse of the Monkey King and Beijing Opera at Primates: At The Origin featuring Beijing Opera alumnus Ghaffar Pourazar, happening this weekend [July 6-7, 2019] @ Rainforest Fringe Festival, Kuching.

Video
The first part, featuring a rising pirouette from a squatting position, shows the dexterity needed to play the Monkey King. The second, in the finest tradition of fugitive movies like First Blood and The Fugitive, an imperial officer, one of many sent on the same mission, tries to apprehend the Monkey King without success.