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04 March 2012

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring (2003)

Directed by: Ki-Duk Kim

Written by: Ki-Duk Kim

Genre: Drama, Art House

Colour, 103 Minutes



I discovered this film from some film enthusiast friends. All I saw was a title, so I did a little research. It seemed like an interesting film from Korea, so I watched it, and I am glad I did. Despite not having very much dialogue or characters in the film has a quiet and tranquil atmosphere that for patient viewer, it sums up for good entertainment. The acting, for what it was, was interesting and the cinematography is definitely worthwhile seeing for a relaxing 100 minutes.


The film is divided into five sections looking over spring, summer, fall, winter and then spring again, with each having a philosophical agenda and lesson it follows a monk and his pupil.  


The film is like a circle of life kind of thing as we return to spring in the end, to see that history is repeating itself in the temple we see, which makes it a fascinating experience. Each of the sections of the film looks at something different. Spring looks over childhood and the monk teaching him a moral lesson about cruelty to creatures no matter how small.

Summer shows us the monk and his child pupil a little older, with the child now being a man. Here, we see a young woman coming to stay at the temple for her health, which soon becomes a story of lust. The young man takes an interest in her, and falls in love. This plays as a lesson of love and lust. The other stories I will not tell you about as 1) it would make the review longer and 2) I don’t want to tell you everything.

The cinematography is a big factor here, as it supports the story. We may only really see one area, being that giant lake with the floating temple, for most of the runtime, but seeing it closed off from the world in its peaceful, natural and tranquil location is breath taking and very soothing to watch for some reason. Not to mention director Ki-Duk Kim's direction that follows the story beautifully.  

The film requires a bit of patience and appreciation to an extent. It is clear that someone who loves Michael Bay and Adam Sandler would find this boring, but if you love a slow progression, with sub-text and deep meaning and beautiful filmmaking, this film may be worth watching more than once with all its beautiful shots, solid for-what-it-is acting and story.  

I think it is how the film does not need action, surprised, complexity or many locations to make it an interesting film, but relying on its concept, which involves peace. The film is quite dead in its progression towards the end, but not every film can be a masterpiece.

Verdict: Certainly, a surprise for me with not being familiar with any of the filmmakers involved, but definitely an entertaining experience that will take you on its calm journey likely to leave you with an enlightened and soft mood with its stunning visuals.

Rating: 8.5/10

Extra Information
Age Certificate: 15
Country: South Korea, Germany
Language: Korean

1 comment:

  1. I liked this film, but I agree it's not for people who can't take a slowly paced movie. I agree that the location was very beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

 

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