Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Local Scene Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Starring: Oh Yeong-su, Kim Ki-Duk, Kim Young-min, Seo Jae-kyeong, Ha Yeo-jin, Kim Jong-ho
Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Rating: M18 (Mature Theme)
Year Made: 2003






Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: 4x3 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar



The exquisitely beautiful and very human drama SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING, starring director KIM Ki-duk, is entirely set on and around a tree-lined lake where a tiny Buddhist monastery floats on a raft amidst a breath-taking landscape. The film is divided into five segments with each season representing a stage in a man's life. Under the vigilant eyes of Old Monk, Child Monk learns a hard lesson about the nature of sorrow when some of his childish games turn cruel. In the intensity and lushness of summer, the monk, now a young man, experiences the power of lust, a desire that will ultimately lead him, as an adult, to dark deeds. With winter, strikingly set on the ice and snow-covered lake, the man atones for his past actions, and spring starts the cycle anew. With an extraordinary attention to visual details, such as using a different animal (dog, rooster, cat, snake) as a motif for each section, writer/director/editor KIM Ki-duk has crafted a totally original yet universal story about the human spirit, moving from Innocence, through Love and Evil, to Enlightenment and finally Rebirth.


Why is there so much unhappiness around us? Why are we bitter about almost everything in our lives? Why do we find it so difficult to embrace what we have around us?

Because we have no peace in our souls, that’s why. And as this reviewer has realized after watching this arthouse flick helmed by the ever-surprising Kim Ki-Duk, what we want to attain in our short lives is the state of being at peace with ourselves.

Sounds religious and spiritual? That’s because the tranquil film takes us through the four seasons, each symbolically telling the story of a young monk’s journey into manhood, and the different temptations he is faced with. From torturing animals, tasting the forbidden fruit of sex, to committing murder out of jealousy, we see how the human spirit goes through ups and downs, before eventually attaining enlightenment.

In 98 minutes, this film manages to coax the unsettled soul of this uptight reviewer. And that is a good thing in this unsettling world we are living in today.

There is much to learn in this 2003 masterpiece. Every shot, every symbol, every animal, every quiet gesture is representation of a life lesson. Different viewers will have different interpretations, different viewings will bring about different understandings – and that is why this film is a gem.

Shot entirely on a specially-built Buddhist monastery floating on Chusanji Lake located in Mt. Chuwang National Park, North Kyongsang Province, the cinematography is awe-inspiring. The calmness and serenity of the location will make you want to leave behind everything you have and retreat to that paradise forever.

Kim also takes on the role of the monk in his adulthood during the winter segment. His performance is nothing short of Zen and composed amidst the icy cold frozen lake surfaces that he wades through.

The director’s works include the shocking The Isle (2000), the peculiar Bad Guy (2001) and the recent Time (2006) which tells a strange love story. His movies may not be everyone’s cup of tea because of the lack of narrative dialogue and everyday logic, but this one is definitely worth your time, because it will open your eyes to a whole new life journey ahead.


This Code 3 disc contains no extra features at all. A pity, because we’d really want to know more about the director’s takes on the different symbolisms in the film.


The visual transfer maintains the magnificent sceneries, with Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 as its soundtrack.



Review by John Li



Other titles from Comstar:

. P.S.

. The Beat That My Heart Skipped

. Umizaru 2: Test of Trust

. Scoop

. The Oh In Ohio

. Dead Man's Shoes

. Frostbite

. The Haunted Apartments

. Tony Takitani

. Sex & Philosophy

. Factotum

. Me And You And Everyone We Know

. Lemming

. Adam's Apple

. Crazy

. Invisible Waves

. Paradise Now

. She's The Man

. Russian Dolls

. Beyond The Sea

. Kursk

. Voice

. The Last Communist

. Jasmine Women

. Running Wild

. You are my Sunshine

. My Girl & I

. Half Light

. Mur (The Wall)

. Mrs Henderson Presents

. Hidden

. The Descent

. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

. A Season for Love

. Horror Theater Series 2

. Horror Theater Series I

. Capturing the Friedmans

. The Wig

. A Wicked Tale

. As It Is In Heaven

. When I Turned 9


This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2007, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.