ASIANatomy
Pure Asian Entertainment: Film, TV, Anime & Manga
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

Art House & International movie directed by Ki-duk Kim

< read all 5 reviews

3.5ish stars

  • Oct 18, 2004
  • by
Rating:
+2
When I saw the preview for this, I knew I had to rent it. During those first few glances I felt like maybe this movie could be a contender with Vertical Ray of the Sun for one of my all-time favorite movies, visually, cinematographically. Well, it turns out that's not the case, but it's still a good movie. In fact I don't put this near the level of Vertical Ray in any way, from performances to music to "the look" of it, etc...

As for the meat of the movie itself and the characters, I like it more as it goes along. The parts of the movie where everything... the actors, the cinematography, the emotional content, etc... all really come together are in the "Fall, Winter...and Spring" sections of the movie...particularly from late Fall through Winter.

I guess where I would mainly fault this movie is for the first and third people playing the young monk. I had problems getting myself to care at all about what happened to him during these two actors time inhabiting the role. I thought the little kid was just flat-out annoying. The teen-years kid was good, though. Particularly his interactions with the girl. Those moments were good at capturing quiet teenage awkwardness, which of course is intensified in his case since he seems to have always lived in the middle of a lake with an old man. That's not the peak scenario for learning how to be sociable with the ladies. Then the third guy (age 30) as the monk... he was rather melodramatic. He could be on a soap opera.

This movie is still very much worth your time, though. There are some very nice shots, and the old master is the core of the movie, at least for me. I quite liked his performance.

This is a movie that will make you think, but it doesn't direct you as to what to think about. It's very respectful of the audience in that way. It doesn't assume you need your hand held to have an emotional response or to think about something. It's sort of just a vague spark meant to send your mind wherever it may go. It's a lovely, personal movie in that way. It will mean different things to different people.

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More Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter..... reviews
review by . September 22, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Everything about Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring is incredibly simple, so simple that it is borderline boring. The film about a young monk who is the understudy of a wise old monk. He starts out as just a boy but grows up with the seasons. They live on and take care of a floating monastery on a lake in the middle of a forest.     The young monk must experience life by himself for many years. As a young teen he is introduced to a young girl who's mother brought her to the …
review by . October 13, 2006
The movie is very slow and very deliberate. The team of cinematographer, Dong-hyeon Baek, and director, Ki-duk Kim, use stunning imagery to tell their version of the circle of life.     The strength of the movie lies in its ability to tell a tale with imagery instead of dialog. If you're one to get antsy in a Kubrick film due to his long drawn out shots, you likely will hate this movie. However, if you have patience and appreciate a director who doesn't seem to think the movie …
review by . July 12, 2005
In an age of computer enhanced, if not entirely generated, special effects, high adventure, action upon action scenes, what an enjoyable respite it is to view this Korean film of aesthetic simplicity.     Korean director Kim Ki-Duk has created a film centered around the seasons of a man's life beautifully framed against the seasons of nature. An elder Buddhist monk raises a younger monk with a quiet and unobtrusive wisdom. The scene is set in a small floating monastery where …
review by . September 23, 2004
SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, WINTER..AND SPRING is one of the most visually beautiful films created. With minimalist means, sets, effects, and dialogue, Director Ki-duk Kim leads us on a journey of the human condition, of the cycle of life using the metaphor of the seasons, and of the struggle for spiritual awakening that must come from within. Set on a floating Buddhist monastery in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains and mists, an old monk (Yeong-su Oh) is first seen in Spring, observing his …
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Wiki

Working miracles with only a single set and a handful of characters, Korean director Kim Ki-Duk creates a wise little gem of a movie. As the title suggests, the action takes place in five distinct episodes, but sometimes many years separate the seasons. The setting is a floating monastery in a pristine mountain lake, where an elderly monk teaches a boy the lessons of life--although when the boy grows to manhood, he inevitably must learn a few hard lessons for himself. By the time the story reaches its final sections, you realize you have witnessed the arc of existence--not one person's life, but everyone's. It's as enchanting as a Buddhist fable, but it's not precious; Kim (maker of the notoriousThe Isle) consistently surprises you with a sex scene or an explosion of black comedy; he also vividly acts in the Winter segment, when the lake around the monastery eerily freezes.--Robert Horton
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Details

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Genre: Foreign
Screen Writer: Ki-duk Kim
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
Runtime: 103 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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