Taiwan / 1979 / 191 min. / Directors: King HU
This supernatural masterpiece, adapted from a Song dynasty tale, details numerous bizarre happenings involving a young scholar, who has been ordered to transcribe a Buddhist sutra used in a ritual to pacify the souls of dead soldiers. Shot in South Korea at the same time as “Raining in the Mountain,” it features a cast of director King HU’s regulars, with the addition of Sylvia CHANG as a beautiful apparition. What sets it apart are its abundant depictions of spectacular and vast nature, as well as its unhurried pace. In HU’s own words, “It is the only one of my works that was not made as an action film.” Several versions exist, so many that even HU himself was not aware of them all. This digital restoration was coordinated by the Taiwan Film Institute, and received its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in 2016.
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