Original Title: Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom
Country: South Korea, Germany
Director: Kim Ki-duk
12.02.2020: This review was first published on 06.06.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.
Hello! Welcome to Ulven Reviews!
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring is a movie by the South Korean director Kim Ki-duk. It accompanies the life of a person living in a monastery, from a child to an adult man.
World Cup Historic
The first World Cup with South 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.
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 in fourth place.
In 2018, they lost their first two games, against Sweden, and Mexico, but won the last against Germany, 2-nill. Son Heung-min, their best player, finished with two of their three goals in the competition.
Apparently, the director, Kim Ki-duk, is a disgusting human being. First, he was fined for a physical assault charge, after forcing an actress to make a rough sex scene without a previous agreement. Not happy in just being fined, he decided to destroy his image even more, by suing women’s rights groups.
He is more dedicated to abuse than to be a director. Another highlight in his career of being a garbage person was during the peak of the #MeToo movement when he was also accused of rape by three different women.
Lack of basic decency is not the same as a lack of talent. Kim was a renowned director in his country, thanks to his achievements in filmmaking. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring is an example of this skillfulness.
P.S.: I know these controversies don’t have anything to do with the movie, but I think it’s important to say that I do not condone rape, assault, or any criminal activity. And I will not be condescending with men who think it’s okay to harass women.
Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom
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).
First of all, congratulations to everyone involved in the also South Korean Parasite for winning the Best Picture Awards last Sunday. It was a deserved win, considering nominated movies I already watched.
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.
I felt like the characters are more representations than individuals, and that would explain why none of them have names. Even though they are in a Buddhist Temple, the experiences the boy goes through could generally fit in most boys’ lives, with one exception.
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 don’t. 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. However, being too slow-paced, even though it’s not a long film, it ended up being boring in many moments. 8 Moons.