Film Review: Le Quattro Volte [dir. Michelangelo Frammartino; 2010]

Sometimes you want to be reassured that cinema hasn't really sold its soul to the multiplex. Sometimes you want to see evidence that it is still possible to make a film without excessive dialogue, without incidental music and without conventional story structures. Sometimes, you just want to watch something that doesn't treat you like an idiot. Cue: Le Quattro Volte, a beguiling little gem that's ostensibly a documentary-style exmination of life in a sleepy Calabrian village. Whether it's focussed on an old man who believes that ingesting the dust swept off a church floor will cure his ailments, or on a kid (and by that I mean a young goat) who gets separated from the herd, Michelangelo Frammartino's camera appears to say very little but in reality speaks volumes about the cyclical, interconnected nature of existence. And the film's final shot of smoke pouring out of a chimney is one of the most satisfying, most apt conclusions I've seen in months. Totally absorbing, as long as you're in the right frame of mind.


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