In this week’s movie, Raining in the Mountain, King Hu fully utilized the setting of the Buddhist temple. Through the use of long walking scenes, especially in the beginning, King Hu showed off the really beautiful intricate labyrinth of a set. When we first see White Fox and the Esquire first entering the temple, the audience is taken from the mountain forest, up one of the towering staircases into the temple, down a pathway lined with trees and traversed by a crowd of monks, and then through the cluster of buildings where a majority of the movie played.
Soon after in the scene where White Fox and Gold Lock navigates the tightly knitted buildings that are even at different elevations in order to find their prize, this lengthy transversal scene further emphasized the massiveness of this temple. While it was nice to see the many different areas within the temple, I was pretty lost as to where everything was in the end.
The complexity of the Buddhist temple actually added to the convoluted schemes of the General and the Esquire to plant their own monk in the role of the Abbot. In the end though, they were the two that got lost within their own plotting. The General lost his Lieutenant and the Esquire lost his own life because he foolishly wouldn’t give up the scroll.