Spring Summer

While this film makes some interesting observations and meditations on life and death, it is a bit of a snoozer. Set on a beautiful locale, with a Buddhist monastery floating in the middle of a lake, director Kim Ki-duk’s film is certainly nice to look at, but it just isn’t as profound as its director, and many critics, would like you to believe. An old monk (Oh Young-su) teaches his young student (Seo Jae-kyung) the importance of kindness to all forms of life. The kid goes on to torture small animals and, as an adult, murder a woman. The old dude monk dispatches of himself in rather hot fashion, and the cycle begins again when his student returns and becomes an old master himself. The story is told with little dialogue, and the film doesn’t amount to much other than something pretty and slow to look at for 100 minutes. It was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, so obviously some people are digging it. I thought it was really cruel to frogs, cats and snakes, not to mention fish.

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