Country: South Korea
Original Title: Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter And Spring
Before there was a South Korea, there was only Korea. In this full Korea, some British visitors introduced the game of football in 1882.
Japan forced the annexation of Korea into the Japanese Empire in 1910, a rule that lasted until the end of World War II in 1945.
Under the Japanese rune, in 1921, the Koreans organized a football tournament. In the year of 1928, the Korean Football Association emerged to take care of the sport in the country and in 1940, the Japanese Governor-General of Korea dissolved the Football Association.
After the War, the USA and the Soviets removed Japan from the power and divided Korea between them, forming what we know today as the “Republic of Korea”, popularly known as South Korea and the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” A.K.A. North Korea.
From here on, I will only talk about the football of South Korea and not the politics, not because I want to, but to be more focused on the theme.
The first World Cup with Korean participation was in 1954, eliminated in the group stage after losing their two matches, a 9-0 against Hungary and a 7-0 against Turkey.
Their next participation only came 32 years later, Italy ’86 and then again in 1990, 1994 and 1998. With the 1954 participation, South Korea had played in 5 World Cups, 14 matches, and zero wins.
That changed in 2002 when South Korea hosted the World Cup alongside their former colonizers, Japan. South Korea got lucky with the referees’ decisions until reaching the Semi-Finals and finishing with the fourth place.
Qualified for the next four FIFA tournaments, they reached Round of 16 in 2010 and we are yet to find out the outcome of the Russia World Cup.
I would say the best player is Tottenham winger Son Heung-min, but even if he plays amazingly, as he does for the English club, I don’t see South Korea going further beyond the group stage.
A boy growing up in a floating Buddhist temple, turning into a man with the comings and goings of the four seasons.
Kim Ki-duk is a renowned Korean filmmaker, who wrote around 30 films and directed 24. “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring” is one of his most praised works.
While doing these reviews, I changed some movies from my original plan, for various reasons and one of those movies was the Polish movie. A notorious child rapist was the director of the Polish movie I intended to review.
The guy is a great director and is also the director of one of my favorite horror movies, but none of that changes the fact that he is a convicted child rapist.
That wasn’t the reason why I decided to not review that movie, I decided to change because I didn’t feel like it was “Polish enough”, but the rape conviction was something I would have to acknowledge.
I didn’t change my plan of reviewing “Spring”, but for the same reason, I would have to acknowledge in the Polish review, I’m acknowledging it now.
The director Kim Ki-duk was fined for a physical assault charge, after forcing an actress to make a sex scene without previous agreement. The actress decided to remain anonymous. Also, during the #MeToo movement, he was accused of rape by several actresses.
It’s important to say that I do not condone rape, or assault or any criminal activity. I also will not be condescending with men who thing is okay to harass women.
Now, back to business.
The movie is absolutely simple, and even if I use the word “straightforward” sometimes before, this one is the most straightforward I remember of reviewing.
Like I described above, it’s the life of a boy becoming a man, but simplicity is not the same as lack of quality, the film is flawless in almost every aspect, including in the subtleties, like one temple pet for each one of the seasons.
The character doesn’t have names and in the beginning, our protagonist played by the young Kim Jong-ho, a young boy a novice to an older monk (Young-soo Oh).
The monk teaches everything to the boy, but knowing that we can only learn some things with life itself, the monk apply some practical lessons when he has to, while other times, he only lets life go its way.
For each one of the seasons, we have a different actor, with a different age range, to play the same character of that boy. In the adolescence, it’s Seo Jae-kyeong, young adult is Kim Young-min and as a grown man is the director himself, Kim Ki-duk.
“Spring” presents the cycle of life, and the name already hints at it, going through all the season and then returning to the beginning, just like the movie. All is done in the most gorgeous and flawless way.
We have the slow pace, the silence, the remote temple surrounded by nature, added to that the thematic and symbolism, the movie itself become a meditation in a way, evoking a reflection.
The beauty of every single shot is amazing, the movement of the camera, the setting is great as well and nothing is gratuitous, every single decision is a way to convey something to the viewer.
For example, why most the doors in the movie don’t have walls, making the use of these doors optional? It’s probably not because it looked cool. Why some moments these doors are used and in others don’t?
I must have said it before, but I really like when a movie makes me think even after the end. Like when I’m in bed, preparing to sleep, but the things the movie evoked still cause me to reflect, “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring” is this kind of movie.
The only little problem I had is that I got a little bored in some moments, especially during the teenage years, but for the most part is really a remarkable film. 9 Moons.