What’s up! I’m Marlon and this is Ulven Reviews: movies and series from all over the world. Today let’s talk about 2003 South Korean movie Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, directed by Kim Ki-duk.
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Beginning with a young boy (played by Kim Jong-ho) living in a very secluded little temple surrounded by a lake. There, an old monk (played by Oh Young-soo) was raising and teaching him, so one day, the boy could become the head monk of the temple.
Times passes, the season changes, the boy grows up, and becomes a teenager (played by Seo Jae-kyeong). That pattern is followed for the entirety of the movie, with him becoming a young adult (played by Kim Young-min) and then, a grown-ass man (played by Kim Ki-duk).
This episode was released before as part of a special series made before the 2018 Men’s Football World Cup, back when Ulven Reviews was only a blog, without YouTube Channel. It was first uploaded as a video in February 2020.
I’m re-uploading it to adequate it to post-covid times, since the director, Kim Ki-duk, died from it. So, without further ado, let’s go.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring presents the cycle of life, and the title already hints at it, going through all the season and then returning to the beginning. The film follows the same logic.
It’s one of the most simple and straightforward films I remember reviewing. It’s the story of this boy becoming a man and learning lessons. The older monk teaches everything teachable to the boy, and let him develop the rest with his own experiences.Even though they are in a Buddhist Temple, the experiences the boy goes through could generally fit in most boys’ lives.
I felt like the characters are more representations than individuals, and that would explain why none of them have names.
The movie is slow-paced and silent. The temple is remote and surrounded by nature on every side. All that added to the symbolisms made the experience a form of meditation translated to film.
The temple and its surroundings are very intriguing, most, if not all, doors in the movie don’t have walls, making the use of these doors optional. Some moments these doors are used and in others they are not. Another thing I found curious was the animals, every season has a different pet in the Temple, I really enjoyed this little detail.
Every shot of the movie is remarkably gorgeous, as is the movement of the camera and the settings. I believe that nothing on the screen is gratuitous, and every single decision is conveying something to the viewer.
The score is perfect for the movie, very calm, gentle, and usually pleasant, however, sometimes it sounds like an 80s score, and in these, moments it’s a little annoying.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring is a praiseworthy film with awesome qualities. It’s beautiful both in visuals and in essence and meaning. However, being too slow-paced, even though it’s not a long film, it ended up being boring in some moments. I’ll give Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring 8 Moons!
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