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

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (2003)
Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom (original title)
Director: Ki-duk Kim
Writer: Ki-duk Kim
Cast: Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim
Genre: Drama
Language: Korean

"A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons."

A fine film, ruined by animal sadist Kim Ki-Duk. Unfortunately I seen the original version that included the most horrific animal torture scenes, rocks being crammed into the mouths of a fish, frog and snake. These were real animals that died thanks to this film. The cool, peaceful location of the floating monastery on the lake, doesn't wipe away the animal torture that was done to make this movie.

Had all the animal abuse scenes been not done, I would rate the first two segments, Spring and Summer . I love movies that are quiet and slow paced, that take me to a special place, like the floating monastery on the lake and show me a world I've never seen before. The lack of action, the lack of dialogue was a plus for me. The introduction of the girl took the story in a different direction, which I liked equally well.

But when we get to the Fall segment and the young man who ran away after the girl, returns, it's a different actor. I hate that when that's done. It was so obvious it's not the same person, that emotionally I rejected the idea that he was indeed the same character, and the film's story then began to fall apart in Fall, ha.

The replacement actor was cheesy bad, he reminded me of one of the characters from The Man from Nowhere. The bit with the two dumb detectives was out right silly. Though I'm guessing the director wanted to introduce some light comedy at this point in the movie.

, that segment was done very differently as it relied on visual imagery. Only after awhile, seeing snake after snake after snake, became repetitive...making me think the director was going for exhibitionism, in lieu of any real substance.

The whole Winter scene is like that, I thought the woman in the purple face scarf was more kitschy than mysterious and by this point the director seemed like he was trying way too hard to be artsy. Kim Ki-Duk is no Andrei Tarkovsky and relies more on gimmick and locations to make this movie seem like it's more than it really is.

Spring again...crap! if I hadn't already seen enough animal torture I had to watch yet another little boy torture more animals! Excuse me, but aren't these people suppose to be Buddhist?