We have started a Patreon page with the hopes that some of our followers would be willing to donate a small amount to keep DVDBeaver alive. We are a tiny niche, so your generosity is vital to our existence.

We are talking about a minimum of $0.10 - $0.15 a day, perhaps a quarter (or more) to those who won't miss it from their budget. It equates to buying DVDBeaver a coffee once, twice or a few times a month. You can then participate in our monthly Silent auctions, and have exclusive access to many 'bonus' High Resolution screen captures - both 4K UHD and Blu-ray (see HERE).

To those that are unfamiliar, Patreon is a secure/verified third-party service where users can agree to a monthly donation via credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Kong shan ling yu" or "Raining in the Mountain")

 

Directed by King Hu
Taiwan / Hong Kong 1979

 

Set in a remote Buddhist monastery in 16th Century China, Raining in the Mountain deals with a power struggle that ensues when the Abbot of the Three Treasures Temple announces his imminent retirement.

The ageing Abbot invites three outsiders to advise him on the critical choice of appointing his successor: Esquire Wen, a wealthy patron of the monastery, General Wang, commander-in-chief of the local military, and Wu Wai, a respected lay Buddhist master. Within the monastery, several disciples aspiring to the position begin to collude individually with Esquire Wen and General Wang. But these two invited advisers have come with seditious intent, scheming to obtain the priceless scroll housed in the monastery: the scriptural text of "The Mahayana Sutra, " hand-copied by Tripitaka. Meanwhile, convicted criminal Chiu Ming has arrived at the monastery to atone as a monk. He is assigned to safeguard the scroll at the house of scriptures, and encounters thieving rivals White Fox who poses as Esquire Wen's concubine and General Wang s fearsome Lieutenant Chang, who originally framed Chiu Ming for the crime he did not commit.

Selected as one of the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures by the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2005, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present King Hu's Raining in the Mountain on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK.

***

There's a special delight to be found in setting a heist caper in a place where everybody should be above that sort of criminal activity - well, more so than we all should. That's a big part of what makes "Raining in the Mountain" a lot of fun at its best moments, and why any swing back toward sincerity is something that must be handled carefully.


The goal of this particular band of thieves is a scroll written by the monk Tripitaki himself. It is stored at the Three Treasures Temple, whose abbot is retiring, and has asked Esquire Wen (Suen Yuet) to help him choose a successor. Coveting the scroll, Wen has two plans - firstly, the abbot's second disciple Hui Wan (Lu Chan) has agreed to give it to him if chosen, but the woman he introduces as his concubine is actually White Fox (Hsu Feng), a master thief. Wen isn't the only friend advising the abbot, though - General Wang Chi (Feng Tien) seems to have a similar deal with first disciple Hui Tung (Shih Jun), and his aide Chang Chen is a former policeman who once arrested White Fox. Then there's lay expert Wu Wai (Wu Chia-hsiang), who travels with an entourage of beautiful women, and convict Chiu Ming (Tung Lam), who has paid a special fine to enter the monastery and become a monk at just this time.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 11th, 1979

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:01:33.327        
Video

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,532,132,140 bytes

Feature: 35,718,307,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Mandarin 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,532,132,140 bytes

Feature: 35,718,307,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Brand new and exclusive feature-length audio commentary by critic and Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
Beyond Description A brand new video essay by David Cairns (21:21)
Trailer (1:53)
PLUS: a collector's booklet featuring new essays by Chinese-language film expert and author Stephen Teo; and Asian cinema expert David West, news editor at NEO magazine

Limited Edition O-Card (First print run of 2000 copies only)

DVD


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 24th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 14

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray (February 2020): Masters of Cinema have transferred King Hu's Raining in the Mountain to Blu-ray. The presentation starts with text screens that state: "This digitally restored film is a work of Taiwan Film Institute as part of the "Taiwan Film Classics Digital Restoration and Value-Adding Project" commissioned by the Ministry of Culture in 2018. This film was originally released in 1979 and its digital restoration was completed by Taiwan Film Institute in 2018. Multiple sources, including its 35mm original negative, an interpositive, and a release print, were composited and the burned-in subtitles were removed for restoration and color correction. " This is a 2K restoration and the 1080P can look stunning at times. There is some inconsistency with a few sequences looking unnaturally thick and grainy. There are so many beautiful shots in Raining in the Mountain. This is in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio and the frame is gorgeously appointed by the cinematography. There are a few weaknesses but they are specifically related to the original source. Both the restoration and dual-layered transfer, with a max'ed out bitrate, have done their best - with the incredibly impressive visuals in 1080P - this will be considered a milestone HD presentation with the film's deeply rooted beauty.

NOTE: 44 more high resolution Blu-ray  captures (in uncompressed PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Masters of Cinema use a linear PCM 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original Mandarin language. There are some cracking effects in the fight sequences, but not extensive (as in a Shaw Bros. standard whiplash exaggeration), but depth is apparent and score by Ta Chiang Wu (King Hu's films Legend of the Mountain, A Touch of Zen, Dragon Inn), sounding flat but deep in appropriate sequences. Dialogue can suffer from, what appears to be, some minor sync'ing issues. Masters of Cinema offer optional English subtitles (see sample below) on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray offers a brand new and exclusive feature-length audio commentary by critic and Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns. We couldn't ask for better! He discusses so many aspects of the film, genre, King Hu, culture and more - including how the film came to be made, how it fits in the director's filmography, how he was, in some sense, a refugee from communism although his political leanings were still to the Left. How King Hu accidently got into film because of his calligraphy and design skills - and how he worked on many politically left Mandarin films of the 50s - sometimes as a actor. It's great - so much to absorb. There is also Beyond Description - a brand new, 21-minute, video essay by David Cairns who is always a pleasure to listen to as he probes the films more subtle points. There is a trailer and the package has a collector s booklet featuring new essays by Chinese-language film expert and author Stephen Teo; and Asian cinema expert David West, news editor at NEO magazine, Limited Edition O-Card (first print run of 2000 copies only) and a second disc, progressive DVD.

King Hu's underrated Raining in the Mountain is a beautiful meditation on Buddhism. Like much of the director's work - it has a poetic edge veering away from typical wuxia films made at the same time with peaceful monks having less-revealed powers, political conflict and a stealthy heist. It's wonderful and we can strongly recommend this Masters of Cinema Blu-ray with valuable Tony Rayns commentary, David Cairns video essay, booklet and more. Fans of King Hu's other works in this realm (Legend of the Mountain, A Touch of Zen, Dragon Inn) should consider this a must-own.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!