Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring

Release Date: April 2, 2004
Limited release

Everybody needs a fortress of solitude.

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8/133 Dan Krovich Beautiful setting, beautiful movie

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A film that is set entirely at a tree-lined lake where a tiny Buddhist monastery floats on a raft, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring is divided into five distinct segments that represent a specific period in a man's life.

The first is spring, and the central character is known only as Child Monk. He is the only other occupant of the monastery other than his mentor, Old Monk. As the child explores his tranquil and idyllic world, he gives in to his cruel boyhood impulses and ties stones to a fish, a frog and a snake. Child Monk falls asleep, and when he awakens, he finds himself tied to a stone at the hands of Old Monk. The elder tells the boy to release the animals, swearing to him that if any of the animals die, the boy will carry that stone in his heart for all the remaining days of his life.

Next comes summer, and Boy Monk has grown up to be a 17-year-old young man. A woman and her spiritually ill daughter have made a pilgrimage to the monastery, and Old Monk informs them that the girl will regain her physical health once she finds peace inside herself. In the meantime, Boy Monk has found himself sensually attracted to the girl and they eventually consummate their attraction by making love. Old Monk catches the lovers in the act, and sends the girl -- now healed -- back to her mother. Boy Monk leaves his home to follow after her.

The next stage in the story brings Young Adult Monk back to the monastery. He is 30-years-old, and a fugitive from the law after committing a violent crime brought on by jealous rage. The young monk attempts penitence for his transgression, but what he does is so cruel that Old Monk punishes him by having the younger man carve Buddhist sutras into a deck to find inner peace. Police arrive to arrest Young Adult Monk, but the allow him to finish the task assigned to him before finally taking him into custody. All alone, Old Monk prepares his own funereal pyre.

Winter arrives, and the central character is now a mature adult. He returns to his monastery home to prepare for his final spiritual journey. A veiled woman arrives and leaves an infant in his care…

And the cycle begins again. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring
Main Cast Oh Young-Soo, Kim Ki-Duk, Kim Young-Min
Supporting Cast Seo Jae-Kyung, Ha Yeo-Jin, Kim Jong-Ho
Director Kim Ki-Duk
Screenwriter Kim Ki-Duk
Distributor Sony Pictures Classics
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.sonyclassics.com/spring/shell.html
Rating R
Running Time 103 minutes
Screen Count 6
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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