Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring
Autumn 2004 Edge series
Sunday, October 24, 2004 at 7:00pm
Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS
Rated NR ·
South Korea / Germany
An Official Selection of the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival, the gorgeously shot Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring is a contemplative account of the life cycle and the journey toward enlightenment. South Korean director Kim Ki-duk is one of a rare breed. He has worked in factories, served in the military and earned a living selling his paintings on the streets of Montpellier in the south of France. His newest film is a potent visualization of the passions that inhabit the human spirit and the understanding and acceptance that form the very substance of our lives.
Immersed in the overwhelming beauty of an uncontaminated idyll, Old Monk and Young Monk live as hermits on a serene floating temple in Jusan Pond – the film’s unique and only set. Their time is marked by the rhythms of the seasons, but even in total isolation from worldly matters, they cannot escape the pull of life’s passions and sufferings. Under the vigilant eyes of Old Monk, Young Monk learns a hard lesson about the nature of sorrow when some of his childish games turn cruel; he then experiences the power of lust when a young woman enters his closed world – a desire that will ultimately lead to obsession and murder. But autumn brings reflection and amendment; winter is a time of awakening and enlightenment. A departure from Kim’s previous films, which focused on marginal people and were often driven by violence and hatred, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring entrances the spectator with awe-inspiring meditations on the essence of life. Breathtaking cinematography depicts the isolation of nature and its mystical power, while fluid direction and perfect casting make this film a memorable foray into the good and evil inherent in the human spirit.