LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN
First show: March 30
“A visual ravishment”– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
New 4K restoration by the Taiwan Film Institute of the complete director’s cut.
A traveling scholar, intent on translating a Buddhist sutra, loses his way in the mountains. Time and space collapse around him as he continues his journey, encountering ghostly visitations amid a haunting fantasia of color, light and landscape.
King Hu rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s as a superb director of wuxia, a subgenre of samurai film dealing with swords, sorcery and chivalrous heroes. Legend of the Mountain comes from the director’s later period, when his artistry, specifically his landscape compositions, was at the height of its powers. The film’s astonishing nature shots, shot on location in the Korean countryside, are reminiscent of Terrence Malick, while the reflective blend of myth and history is all Hu’s own.
Directed by King Hu /1979/ Taiwan and Hong Kong / 184min. / In Mandarin with English subtitles. DCP. A Kino Lorber re-release.
“The wuxia movie is to the cinema of the Chinese diaspora what the Western is to the United States or the samurai film to Japan— a repository of myths and cultural memory, steeped in ritual. A total art that embraces music, dance, and literature along with combat skills, the typical wuxia narrative unfolds against an ever-changing historical and political backdrop, a social-realist grounding for works otherwise attached to legend and lore. Since the earliest days of Chinese moviemaking the wuxia genre has been a fertile playground for filmmakers’ experimentation.”-Aliza Ma, Metrograph
LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN: Upcoming Showtimes