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Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring DVD

Kim Ki-duk, 2003


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3 Reviews // 1 List

Film Details

Directed by Kim Ki-duk

Produced in 2003

Main Language - Korean with English subtitles

Countries & Regions - Korean Film, Asian Film


Kim Ki-Duk, Yeoung-su Oh


Contemporary DramaKorean FilmAsian Film

MovieMail's Review

Kim Ki-Duk is the enfant terrible of Korean cinema. His international breakout film The Isle was granted a belated release in the UK this summer after a couple of years’ wrangling with the British censors over its cruelty to live fish. Follow-up Bad Guy, released over here last year under the Asia Extreme banner, managed equally cruel things to both its characters and any audience prepared to sit through such a gruelling endurance test of a picture. His latest, though, comes as a major surprise, detailing the comings and goings on a floating Buddhist retreat and demonstrating a greatly more reflective approach to the causes and consequences of the world’s cruelty.

If we’re making the (somewhat lazy, and slightly misguided) comparison with an American enfant terrible like Tarantino – and thus comparing those most notorious films of Kim’s to the equally bloody, censor-baiting Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction – then Spring Summer… can be seen as Kim’s Jackie Brown, a film of new-found maturity and responsibility which serves, at least partly, as an apologia for what the director has subjected us to in the past.

Its real quirks are the demands Kim places once again on his animal performers. Stones are tied to fish, frogs and snakes, ropes around cockerels. A turtle is flipped on its back. And a cat’s tail is used as a makeshift paintbrush. (You can well imagine there’s a vet’s waiting room somewhere in Korea where representatives of the animal kingdom sit around bitching about what a tyrant Kim is to work for.) More important is the atmosphere the director builds around one isolated cabin on a lake as the years pass and the seasons change. (Islands and lakes are to Kim what woods and coastlines are to Francois Ozon.)

Spring Summer… tends towards the placid, and that’s as much a virtue as it is a vice, its calming properties – and its director’s hitherto unseen restraint – eventually winning you over and proving both resonant and valuable, at not just this volatile time in history but at the exact moment of its release: arriving in UK cinemas in the weeks between Van Helsing and Troy, Kim’s film took on – and maintains, even as summer shades into autumn – the look of a cinematic olive branch being offered between crashing boulders of films, and one you’d be well advised to accept.

Mike McCahill on 22nd July 2004
Author of 355 reviews

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring

Film Description

An entrancing and meditative film charting the life of a Buddhist monk from his early days to the winter of his years. Set entirely on Jusan Pond, an artificial lake in South Korea surrounded by mountains, it's beautifully and sympathetically photographed.

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Publisher: Tartan Video

Length: 106 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic widescreen

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 27th September 2004

Cat No: TVD3496

Subtitles: English

DVD Extras

  • Director interview
  • Behind the scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • World cinema trailer reel
  • Dolby 5.1 & DTS 5.1

Film Stills

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 19th April 2006

Unlike Ki-duk Kim’s previous work, Spring, Summer, Autumn Winter… and Spring amazed audiences with its unique blending of strong visuals and exceptional content.
... Read on

by Anonymous on 26th August 2004

Kim Ki-duk’s allegory of spiritual growth and the possibility for humans to shed the burdens that hinder their enlightenment has rightly garnered much praise for the b... Read on


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