Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring

Film

Time Out says

Acclaimed by credulous western critics (but not by Koreans), Kim's ninth feature rips off ideas from several Buddhist classics, notably Im Kwon-Taek's Mandala and Bae Yong-Kyun's Why Did Bodhi-Dharma Leave for the Orient? But it seems that Korea's best-known autodidact understands Buddhism even less than he understands women. Across four chapters and a brief coda, he purports to trace the cycle of life. An elderly monk (Oh) raises an orphaned boy in a temple which floats picturesquely on a raft in a tranquil lake. The boy wantonly kills three animals, incurring a 'karmic' burden. In the 'Summer' and 'Autumn' chapters the boy grows to adolescence, loses his virginity to a handy girl, leaves for the outside world and returns as a man wanted for killing his wife. In 'Winter' (the man now woodenly played by Kim himself), the cycle approaches completion with a ludicrous act of expiation and the arrival of a new orphan boy. There are flashes of authentic visual poetry, mostly involving Chinese calligraphy, but there's no coherent meaning and the attitude to women is as screwed-up as ever. A 'meditative' experience for the dumbed-down.

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Duration:
101 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Kim Ki-Duk
Screenwriter:
Kim Ki-Duk
Cast:
Oh Young-Su
Kim Ki-Duk
Kim Young-Min
Seo Jae-Kyung
Ha Yeo-Jin