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

Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim, Young-min Kim,
Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom is a movie starring Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, and Jong-ho Kim. A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons.
  • 8.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Director:
  • Dong-Joo Kim, Seung-jae Lee, Producer:

Trailer:

7 / 10

SYMBOLISM AND MEANING

At the risk of boring you all senseless here are some observations off the top of my head.

THE HUT Representing the self. All the possessions and shelter needed is on the floating hut. When the young man can no longer live at peace and comfort in the hut then bad things transpire. He never commits lustful acts in the hut. When we seek happiness outside ourselves, we are never truly content.

THE DOORS The doors by the lakeside and in the hut are symbolic rather than prescriptive. The fact there are no walls means their use is not forced but elected. They represent morality and discipline. Morality is not defined by a higher power but by society and the self. By adopting the constraints the doors engender, self-discipline is attained. As soon as the young man transgresses these self-imposed boundaries, to sneak across to the young woman, then disaster follows.

THE DEAD ANIMALS The Master allows the young boy to let the animals die. He does not become an all powerful father figure, cleaning up after him, but allows him to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Buddhism does not have a higher power but rather promotes self-awareness.

THE MILLSTONE AND BUDDHA Represent the twin stones of regret for killing the fish and the snake. What you do unto others, you do unto yourself. He has carried that karma around with him all his life until he transcends them both, carrying them to the top of the hill, near heaven. Here he cuts himself free and attains redemption through struggle.

THE MASTER Is a great teacher, but does not lecture. Hardly a word is spoken, but lessons are learned. A good teacher points the way for a student to discover self-evident knowledge for themselves.

THE MOTHER The veil, representing guilt and shame are ultimately the cause of her downfall. Hiding from the outside world can bring about ruin.

THE YOUNG BOY Both at the beginning and the end, represents us. A good life is attained not by the absence of bad thoughts, but rather by their mastery, so they have no hold over us. We choose our behaviour rather than it choose us. The new boy is not born without sin, but rather must walk his own path to divinity. The same actor playing the young boy show the eternal cycle of the human soul.

THE SEASONS The endless cycle of birth, growth and death.

10 / 10

I was left speechless by this movie

This film left me speechless, and I still have a hard time putting how I feel about this movie into words. After seeing it the first time in the theater, my friend and I couldn't bring ourselves to say a word to each other...not even in the car on the ride back. The second time I saw it, after purchasing it, another friend and I walked around the campus for half an hour in silence. The third time, a friend and I sat in silence in her room for an hour after the movie was over. This film is that profound, touching, and moving.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...Spring is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. Visually it is fantastic, though several films surpass it in this aspect. However, the film manages to speak directly to the soul (or...failing to believe in the soul...something deep inside anyone watching it), and this is where it's beauty lies. Parts are so affecting that a painful nostalgia for a place you never knew overwhelms you.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful...the quality that makes this movie so wonderful is well beyond words for me.

9 / 10

understated beautiful contemplative

a film of about the cycles of life, about solitude and love, innocence, corruption and redemption. stunning cinematography. lots of allusions and metaphors, as you might expect from Korean cinema. contemplative.

the story appears to centre on the life of buddhist monks living on a floating house, but as the film progresses, one sees that this is a film about the constancy within change and renewal. The female characters are not the most positive roles, representing corruption and temptation, tho also providing the means for renewal.

There are some memorable scenes not least the house in winter and the knife writing scene, this is not for those seeking martial arts action,

personally i found it slipped into one of favourite films list.

9 / 10

not only cinema, but art

This film is a good example why cinema is called an art - this is not just another movie, but a real piece of art. The pleasure of seeing it belongs to the aesthetics, and it transcends beyond the action and beyond what only happens on screen, or what the characters say and do.

It is both a simple and complex story - the story of a life, catching all seasons of development of man: innocence of childhood - so quickly lost unfortunately, mistakes of the young age, tragedies of maturity , and wisdom coming with the old age.

The film is filmed at one location of a cut-breathing beauty. Beauty of nature is being maximized by the art of the camera. The soundtrack has little dialog, but the expressiveness of the actors makes the dialog useless. You feel the drama, you do not need to hear the words, and the music says more than words.

There are a lot of symbols in this movie, and I probably lost most of them because they belong to the Budhist culture. There are however many other symbols that speak to the European spectator - the cycles of life, the rhythms of nature, the magic figure 4, like the number of seasons of the year, or like the number of parts in classic symphony, the unity of space as in Greek tragedy, and time - one life instead of one day, all give to this creation a wonderful symmetry and equilibrium.

Worth seeing, this is a film that will make the delight of anybody who believes like I do that cinema is an art.

9 / 10

a Buddhist meditation on life and death, and what surrounds us

I remember when I saw this film on screen last year, I was struck by the rhythm director Kim Ki-Duk used in the film. It's deliberate, too deliberate for most I'd suppose. But like a reading good piece of philosophy, the filmmaker allows the viewer to get as much as they may find in the work. The story is more of a fable than a really conventional narrative- a baby is delivered to the steps of a Buddhist house on a lake, where the boy is raised by a master. He grows up, and falls temptation to the desires of the world. He decides to leave, only to return and find himself again. In the end, as winter comes, things come full circle. Each of the 'seasons' of the film are handled delicately, with the kind of simplicity that may appeal even more to children (the segment of the first 'spring' with the child transcends religion and goes into the basic stance of nature). The scenes of finding lust in 'summer' is not terribly graphic, but it puts the point on what is right and wrong in the customs and traditions of the religion. Then in 'Autumn', there are harsher lessons to be learned, and this also contains the best acting from the old master and the young, angry pupil. And 'Winter' becomes the most meditative of them all, with next to no dialog. Indeed that may be the turn off to most viewers- to say that the film isn't supported by dialog is an under-statement. And its not necessarily documentary realism. What I sensed from the film, and what stuck with me for a few days afterward, was the spiritual attitude behind the style, the confidence that the rhythm had a connection with the subject matter. It's one of the most soulful films to come out of the Eastern world in some time. It's less a traditional drama than a unique experience, for better or worse, really more for the better.