ALEXANDER BISLEY reports from the Wellington Film Society. This week: Kim Ki-duk’s four seasons.
SIMPLE in its means yet cosmic in its scope, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring
is transcendent. The lovely film, seasonally structured, meditates on a cute child’s way to nirvana, instructed by a wise old Buddhist monk. They live on a floating temple in the middle of an isolated, bucolic lake. As with his wrenching The Isle
, Kim Ki-duk’s visual rhythms are innovative and beautifully hypnotic.
The indelible images include the child attaching stones to frogs and snakes with puckish glee, the adolescent sneaking under the covers with his girlfriend and the old man’s last scene. As well as understanding aggression and redemption, Spring has a sprightly sense of humour and a beguiling, low key eroticism. As in the similarly enticing Last Life in the Universe
, violence lurks beneath the serene surface.
Excitingly, New Zealand and Korea signed a 2008 film co-production agreement (Korea’s only other co-production is with France). Korean films shot (partly/completely) here include: Bungee Jumping of Their Own, Antarctic Journal, Silmido, Laundry Warrior
and, most notably, Old Boy
’s epilogue. (Black Sheep
was part-financed by Park Chan-wook’s Daesung Group, as part of a business alliance with Park Road Post.) I’d like Kim Ki-Duk to direct Rain Redux
Film Societies in twelve centres across the country run an annual programme of weekly/bi-monthly film screenings. Membership entitles the holder free admission to screenings for an entire year. More details, plus links to adjoining film societies, are available at filmsociety.wellington.net.nz.
» Kim Ki-duk | Korea | 1958-2003