"Grave, beautiful, austerely comic and casually metempsychotic..." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice
LE QUATTRO VOLTE is an ineffably beautiful meditation on the mysterious cycles of life. Set in Italy's mountainous region of Calabria, it traces the path of one goat herder's soul as it passes from human to animal to vegetable to mineral. Director Michelangelo Frammartino was inspired by Pythagoras' belief in "four-fold transmigration" of souls but his film is far more physical than philosophical. In gorgeous long takes, he captures the daily routines of the herder, a baby goat, an imperious tree and a humble charcoal kiln. Plus there is a scene-stealing cameo from a stubborn sheepdog who hilariously interrupts an Easter Procession. Working as both a spiritual investigation and a documentary of Calabrian life, LE QUATTRO VOLTE's placid surface hides a complex understanding of humanity. Everything is connected in Frammartino's sublimely mystical universe in which he finds both humor and pathos in the hypnotic rhythms of everyday life.
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The cosmos in a shaft of light. Amongst the relics. His tonic. Familiarity with the location; knows all nooks and crannies. Multi-purpose rock. Schmutz. The first passage/transference is a wonderful example of what I love about film: do these images speak to one another, are we supposed to imbue them with some kind of meaning, or are they separate, just showing what they show with no other connotations? King of the hill. Reprisal of the ant on the face, a bit of a gut punch. Absence after the fall. From the raucous present to the quiet eternal.
What a stunning film! Every shot is beautiful on its own, and yet fits in to the steadily progressing story. A masterpiece of wordless narrative. I can't recommend it enough.
Amazing. very cyclical, beautiful, mediative, and thought provoking. Well worth checking out.