Legend of the Mountain Screen 4 articles

Legend of the Mountain

1979

Legend of the Mountain Poster
  • The film’s profound (in the literal sense) languor, giving expansive time, space, and beauty to the contemplation of a mysterious, fantastic situation, is memorably upset by a final act (another hour) of visions within visions. . . . Throughout, Hu elegantly moves his scholar of fabled naivety through these dream-natural spaces, always picking images with instant, forceful harmony within age-old settings (all shot on location).

  • Filled with lovely natural landscapes that have been meticulously framed and photographed, “Legend of the Mountain” is often a visual ravishment. . . . There’s a mesmerizing appeal to many of its panoramas, with their variegated colors, dense vegetation and drifting, swirling white mist. And while King Hu certainly likes to move the camera — it sweeps, swoops and sometime breaks into a near-run — he also likes to linger on images as if encouraging you to admire their compositional harmony.

  • The magical effects here are a marvel of low-budget ingenuity, a matter of soundtrack and rhythmic cutting, with an occasional trampoline-aided leap and musical instruments which, when thrown, burst into explosions of colored smoke.

  • In Hu's worldview, all things are connected by the ineffable. . . . The film reflects this view: It operates with unexplained tension, never bothering to really explain its plot or tie up loose ends, and it's crafted with logical filmmaking techniques. Hu finds the connection between the wuxia and Buddhism, sex and nature, cinema and life. He seems constantly amazed by the world around him, always observing and learning.

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