Spring, summer, fall, winter-- and springDVD - 2004 | Korean
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I was completely sucked-in by this quiet, little film. It is so unusual, and so unfamiliar in structure that I was compelled to watch it to the end. The story is purposely underwritten, forcing the viewer to make the connections that are only hinted at in the story. The floating monastery is a wonderfully odd setting, almost dream-like in it’s tranquil existence. There is an assortment of animals throughout the tail that appear to be only symbolic. The whole story is presented like a modern fable; a tale that requires the viewers to interpret for themselves.
The seasons themselves represent the stages of the life of the young apprentice. Starting in his youthful Spring, the story progresses into a lustful Summer and then an angry, resentful Autumn. Winter is almost devoid of dialog, and focuses on the now penitent apprentice.
There are many aspects of this story that are completely unexplained, challenging the viewers to fill in the details for themselves. For instance, why is the door used in the bedroom, when the walls are obviously missing? What does all of the animal imagery mean (there is a dog in the first season that is never seen again)? What time period is this set in? What do the coverings over the eyes mean? How do these odd little bits of magic-realism fit in? Who is the woman at the end, and why does she keep her face covered? Don’t watch this alone, as you will want to discuss it afterwards.
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