Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring is set in a monastery floating on a remote lake surrounded by mountains and vegetation. The use of long shots and the bird’s eye view/God’s eye view amplifies its isolation. The mixed use of closed framing, vibrant natural colours and the peaceful music attribute to the calmness and simplicity of the place, and these visual and auditory imagery presents a tranquil and hypnotic vision of natural life. This type of distant shots that frames everyday actions can illustrate the relation between characters and the environment and can also stress the pure visual awe and cognitive silence. Minimum makeup is applied on the actors, and their costumes are plain. All these relate to the Buddhist studies of leading a simple life.
The Four Noble Truths (Cattāri Ariyasaccāni) constitute a huge part in the Buddha’s struggle for enlightenment. It is the heart of his teachings which he passed on to his five student monks:
1. Animals — What do the animals in the film represent?TimestampsFish(water), Frog (both water and earth) & Snake (earth) — 10:48Cat — 57:58; 51:40; 1:31:20 — Sits on dragon, POV from cat to apprenticeDog — 9:25Ducks — 38:53; 1:45:06Goldfish — 2:23 Under statue of Buddha; 9:22Grasshopper + Rooster — 25:05; 43:15; 47:39Snake — 1:28:42, 1:18:35; 1:22:47 (suicide)Tortoise — 1:39:29