For Reel

Le Quattro Volte (2010)
March 22, 2011, 10:33 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Michelangelo Frammartino

A favorite on the festival circuit last year, Le Quattro Volte is a terrifically understated tragicomedy about transmigration through the eyes of four beings: an old goatherd, a baby goat, a tree, and coal. As the old man dies, the film cuts directly to a baby goat leaving her mother’s birth canal. This carries on as the lost baby goat takes shelter under a tree, signaling yet another obscure point-of-view change. Despite the ultra-serious ambiguities that arise about the transmittance of life, what makes Michelangelo Frammartino’s work so unique is his unusual sense of humor. He seems to tease the audience for associating the old man and the tree, for example, when the tree is chopped down and displayed in the town square without it’s branches (as if it/he were naked). The second of the four segments is familiar of one of 2010’s best films, Sweetgrass, with classic melodrama played out in the world of goat-herding, and the last has been compared to the bell-casting sequence of Andrei Rublev with its attention to detail in the craft of coal manufacturing. In successfully capturing a profound glimpse at the cyclical patterns of nature whilst managing to remain accessible and well-humored, Le Quattro Volte will surely be considered one of the finest filmmaking achievements of 2011 should it find an audience.

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