Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring
#1
On a small lake in the middle of an isolated valley of lush greenery, there lived a Buddhist monk and his student. As the title indicates, this is a movie about a journey, though not a physical journey.

The main characters are not even given names. The student addresses his master, when he does so, as "master". The master never addresses his student any kind of title or name. The simplicity of this and the setting sets the tone for the entire film, as well as the driving themes of birth, life, death and renewal.

The cycles of the Buddhist life.

During each cycle, there is something that must be learned, and the student, guided under the firm but compasionate hand of his master, teaches us something from each.

There are perhaps a dozen lines of full dialogue in the entire move. But words are not necessary to convey the drama of each of the seasons as they are portrayed, and the actions that take place. Each speaks for itself with subtlety and subtext that is played out visually.

I don't believe you can catch this movie in the theaters. I had to rent the movie myself. But if you get the chance, you should definately see this movie.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#2
This movie has been on my Must See List for some time. But as you say Rob, it probably won't get to the cinema. I'll probably have to track it down at the Video Store.

IIRC the director, Ki-duk Kim, is Korean, right?

~ Matt
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#3
I want to say that you're correct (he also wrote the movie), but I couldn't find much on him.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#4
Hi Rob

Did you find this movie worthwhile? I know you don't like to rate movies, so I won't ask you to do that. Clearly the themes of birth, life, death and renewal are parallelled with the seasons of the year. Do you feel this was done well?

Without giving the ending away, did you find the film's conclusion satisfactory?

On the whole what would you say is the purpose of the film: illumination, enlightenment, or something else? Is it trying to teach Buddhism?

~ Matt
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#5
Quote:Originally posted by mpee
Hi Rob

Did you find this movie worthwhile? I know you don't like to rate movies, so I won't ask you to do that. Clearly the themes of birth, life, death and renewal are parallelled with the seasons of the year. Do you feel this was done well?

Hi mpee.

Yeppers, I found the movie worthwhile. You're right, I don't rate movies, but I do always state whether I think people should see the movie or not. In this case, yes, I think anyone who loves movies should see this.

Quote:Without giving the ending away, did you find the film's conclusion satisfactory?

Very much so. It was well within the context and reality of the movie, and conveyed a great deal of meaning.

Quote:On the whole what would you say is the purpose of the film: illumination, enlightenment, or something else? Is it trying to teach Buddhism?

I think the movie, if it will forgive the term, is a kind of crash course in Buddhism without anyone giving any lessons regarding the Four Noble Truths and Right Thought or Right Actions, etc. The peacefulness that is found in each of the lessons, from each of the seasons, is such that the Buddhism is very, very subtle. But knowing a little about the faith/philosophy, I could see clearly where the movie was leading to. yet getting there was the best part of the journey.

So, to be more specific to your question, the movie is trying to teach about illumination, enlightenment through the Buddhist tradition. Above that, though, I think there is something for everyone within this movie.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Reply
#6
Thanks for the heads up Rob; I think I definitely need to track down this movie. I think it may be a while before it's available in Australia, however. I'm also looking forward to Hero which comes out in Australia next week.

~ Matt
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