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Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring [DVD] [2004]

Oh Young-Su , Kim Ki-duk , Song Min-Young    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Oh Young-Su, Kim Ki-duk, Kim Young-Min, Kim Jong-Ho, Kim Jung-Young
  • Directors: Song Min-Young
  • Producers: Kim Ki-duk, Karl Baumgartner
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002OHZPC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,817 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 notorious The 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

Product Description

Meditative coming-of-age drama by Korean director Kim Ki-duk. The film, which is divided into five sections to reperesent the stages of a man's life, is set entirely on and around a remote mountain lake where a tiny Buddhist monastery floats on a raft amidst the breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Here an old Buddhist monk (Oh Young-Su) instructs his young child apprentice (Kim Jong-Ho) in Buddhist philosophy and shows him how to live in harmony with nature. But as the boy grows older, he becomes consumed by guilt, jealousy and sexual longing, and leaves the monastery to pursue his worldy desires. However, he eventually returns, exhausted and drained by his experiences, and (now played by the director, Kim Ki-duk) slowly matures and rebuilds himself to become a teacher himself. The film won the Audience Award at the 2003 San Sebastian film festival, among numerous other international awards.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful... Simply beautiful. 15 Feb 2006
I can't stress just how wonderfully picturesque this film is. The amazing visuals of nature draw you in, and you can't help but feel consumed by their draw-dropping beauty. This hit me immediately, and it only gets better. On a floating buddhist temple resides a monk, and his young apprentice. It floats on a lake, surrounded by forests. We watch through the seasons how the young apprentice changes, as the scenery does the same.
It uses each season as a leap in years, and shows the significant events in his life. The film relies on its visuals rather than tons of dialogue. Not to sound corny here, but sometimes it's the things that aren't said that make the most impact. The poignant beauty of it all will leave a lasting impression, I guarantee. Don't confuse this with being a pretty film with no substance. This is deeper than most films out there, and you feel like you've come away with something. Let's put it this way: I've referred to it as beautiful four times, unintentionally too. That's got to be saying something. I could easily sum it up in just that one word!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spring again 11 Jan 2006
Sometimes less is more -- and sometimes less is everything. Kim Ki-Duk works magic with only a few props in the ethereal, exquisite "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring," a movie that transcends its own simplicity. Beautiful, well-acted and quietly poetic, this Korean film is a movie to remember.
Somewhere in a secluded spot, surrounded by tall mountains, is a beautiful little lake, and a small Buddhist monastery floats in the middle of it. Two monks live in it -- an elderly man (Oh Young-su), and a very young boy. The boy is full of the usual hijinks and mischief, but the old monk teaches him lessons that shape him as he grows to manhood.
The young boy (Kim Young-min) learns that his childish cruelty has terrible consequences, and that if he kills anything, he will carry that "stone" with him for the rest of his life. Then, as he reaches adolescence, a young girl (Ha Yeo-jin) enters their lives -- and his heart. Filled with lust and love, the boy leaves for the outside world. But the world -- and a murder -- drives him back to where he started, to find death or redemption...
"Spring" is steeped in Buddhist teachings, but in a sense those teachings are truly universal -- all the more obvious because Kim is not a Buddhist, but a Catholic. The love of life, dangers of desire, mistakes and the danger of repeating them, and the cycles of death and birth are at the core of "Spring," and it's impossible not to be touched by those ideas being woven into a simple, straightforward plot.
The seasons parallel that of the younger monk's life, taking him from childhood to old age. It's a simple idea, but a good one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply beautiful 12 Feb 2007
This film is a breath of fresh Korean air. Shot almost entirely in a floating temple on a lake and its surrounding picture postcard scenery this is not just wonderful cinamatography but a profoundly touching story of the sadness and beauty of solitude. The karma and learning from mistakes. Gentle, harsh, unusual. Very little dialogue, no need for more...

I wanted to buy a couple of copies of this dvd to send friends but was disappointed to find them only on the u.s . format which many people here don't have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but very mesmerizing......., 3 July 2007
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 masses suffer from ADD, you'll appreciate the time the director gives you to reflect on the beauty of the story's natural settings.

The actors perform well. The door that opens at the beginning of each one of the five seasons could be interpreted as a gate, linking the two worlds: our world and their world. To go-in and go-out in the idyllic space where the hermitage floats every people must go through this gate. In fact the film is a very simple allegory about the cyclic evolving life. The beginning and the final of the film encloses a cycle. Kim takes the characters in a more mature direction than many of the other tales, and does it with a better eye than most. The hut in which the central characters reside is located in the middle of a woody mountain lake. The lake and the surrounding woods play as important characters as the actors. The changes in the lake and the land through the seasons reflect the changes within the boy monk.

If you have the patience to meditate on the wondrous imagery of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, check it out. If you like foreign films but can't stand reading the subtitles, check it out (not a lot of dialog in this one).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 21 Jan 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I cannot start commenting on the film without raving about the quality of the photography, it is a master class in framing and composition, how the cameraman achieved such perfection in the exposure of the film I simply look and marvel.
All this beauty is the framing for a story of the utmost simplicity, virtually without dialogue. In a tiny monastery for two in the middle of a small lake, live a Buddhist monk and one pupil, and as the seasons change the pupil and master progress through life.
The sparse dialogue means everything has to be acted out. Yeong-su Oh as the Old Monk is a wonderful mentor especially in the interaction with the boy monk played by Jae-kyeong Seo, who acts so naturally it is almost uncanny. Ki-duk Kim not only directs he also plays the pupil when he becomes an Adult Monk in Winter. The film creates a world in a microcosm in which we make contact with the meaning of life as the seasons change.
This is a film that grows in the mind for days after one has watched it. Ki-duk Kim gave us the dark side of human nature in the “Isle” and now he has followed that with a film of life enhancing simplicity. Truly sublime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love films that take their time to tell the story
The movie is wonderfully paced, all 4+1 parts are composed very harmoniously. The rhythm makes you feel it's more like a poem or a song than a movie. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Szymon Witamborski
3.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or not I do enjoy foreign films
I appreciate that all movie reviews are written with the partiality of the writer and so it was with this movie prior to me purchasing it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by The man from Basildon
5.0 out of 5 stars Not like your typical film.
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring is a really enjoyable film in many ways, it's not like your typical film and it follows the story of a monk who has adopted a baby boy... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sklar
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and memorable.
I often use the words, `there is no film quite like this', or describe a film as `unique'. This might occasionally be considered an exaggeration, but in the case of this film, it... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. P. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wheel of Life.
This has to be one of the Most Beautiful Films i have ever seen, the story, characters, script, location, sets & props and flow of the movie are just a delight to watch, it is so... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars 아주 좋아!!!
Highly enjoyable film for those who have no problem following subtitles or who like world cinema. The cinematography is astonishing, picturesque. Read more
Published 15 months ago by James Olmos
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good
Only gave it one star. Its in a foreign language and was not what I wanted at all.

Now gone to the local charity shop where hopefully someone will want it.
Published 16 months ago by Granny
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what to say, but 1. Don't believe the hype, perhaps -...
This is a meandering review - the weirdest I've ever written - about what must be the weirdest film I've ever seen. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet but enriching
Give it the time , for me it's well worth the effort .
Left me with more questions than answers .
What more do you want from a film ?
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by D.R.McBride
1.0 out of 5 stars Primitive "catharsis"
I've never liked the movies of Kim Ki Duk and this one is not an exeption.Maybe it's cultural difference that prevents me from enjoying his "art",but the moral conception of all... Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by Yoselovich Boris
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