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Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring [DVD] [2003]

63 customer reviews

Price: £19.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Oh Young-Su, Kim Ki-duk, Kim Young-Min, Kim Jong-Ho, Kim Jung-Young
  • Directors: Kim Ki-duk
  • Producers: Karl Baumgartner, Seung-jae Lee
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Colour, DTS Surround Sound, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • 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 Sept. 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002OHZPC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,835 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By L. Dolan on 15 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 3 July 2007
Format: DVD
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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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Mulley on 12 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Raymond J. Nyland on 17 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In a floating pavilion in the middle of an isolated lake in modern day Korea lives an old Buddhist monk (Oh Yeong-su) and his young student. In the spring sequence, the novice torments a fish, a frog and a snake by weighing them down with stones. The master responds by tying a large stone to the novice, and instructing him to find the animals and release them, or else "he will carry a stone in his heart for the rest of his life". The novice frees the frog, but the fish and snake have died. In the summer sequence, over 10 years later, a mother and a sick girl (Ha Yeo-jin) come to the pavilion. The novice, now a young man (Kim Young-min), is tormented by lust until finally the girl responds. Afterwards she leaves, followed by the novice. In the autumn sequence, again set about 10 years later, the ex-novice returns to the lake closely followed by two detectives. He has apparently murdered his wife, but before he is arrested, in a scene involving a cat and Buddhist sutras, the master sets the ex-novice on a path of peace and self realisation. In the winter sequence, the ex-novice returns to the frozen lake. He is visited by a mysterious woman with a baby and when she is killed on the lake, the baby remains. In a beautifully shot and scored sequence, the monk pays a final penance for his crimes, carrying an image of the Buddha and pulling a millstone to the top of an adjoining ridge. This recollection of the stone image from the first sequence of the film seeming completes, in winter, the cycle began in spring. But in a final sequence, it is again spring and the ex-novice has now become the master and has the child as a novice, so the cycle continues.

The DVD includes a Korean DTS track, plus Dolby Digital Korean 5.1 & 2.0.
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