Le Quattro Volte [aka: The Four Times]

"Excellent"

Le Quattro Volte [aka: The Four Times] Review


Italian artist Frammartino creates an offbeat cinematic experiment with this film, which surprises us by refusing to play by the rules as it explores the cycles of life in rural Calabria. It's also perhaps best seen as a museum piece.

In a small village in southern Italy, an old goatherd (Fuda) tends to his goats as he struggles with a crippling cough. Perhaps it's because he makes his nightly tea with dust swept from the local church. Meanwhile, his faithful dog tenaciously guards the goats, even from a colourful Easter procession. When one goat gives birth, the kid struggles to take its first steps, but on his first trip out with the flock, he gets lost and takes refuge under a large tree that, in the spring, has a key part to play in village life.

The film's lead role shifts as the narrative continues from the goatherd to the dog, the kid, the tree, a crowd of villagers and finally to the men who run the kiln that turns the tree into charcoal. Clearly there's a circle-of-life theme here, as the events cover a full year in a place where life probably hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. There are only a few signs of modernity in this place.

Frammartino shoots this with an artist's eye, using striking angles that capture the light, shadows and colours in intriguing ways. Sometimes we're not quite sure what we're looking at, as the camera observes the most minute details of each scene as well as showing us the bigger picture. Some scenes are shot in long, complex takes that are so elaborate it's impossible to know how the filmmaker managed it. And yet the movie has an essential simplicity that's utterly disarming.

There is no background music and no dialog at all (beyond some random overheard phrases). Actually, the biggest speaking roles belong to the dog and the kid, and no one else understands or even hears what they have to say. It's absolutely mesmerising to watch, with moments of deep emotion and earthy humour. It's also a very sleepy, slow movie that feels like a moving painting, a portrait of life in a variety of forms, connected in space and time.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Michelangelo Frammartino

Producer: , Marta Donzelli, Elda Guidinetti, Gabriella Manfre, Susanne Marian, Gregorio Paonessa, Andres Pfaffli

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.