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also known as The Four Times

Le quattro volte2010

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  • 4.4
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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"Grave, beautiful, austerely comic and casually metempsychotic..." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice


2 members like this review

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.

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top reviewer
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Member Reviews (17)

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top reviewer

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.

3 members like this review
9f1f2077d60b214c55e0a0092370f8a6?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0031
top reviewer

A strong, pure, visual experiance, with a sweeping scopic eye remeniscent of pastoral Italian Rennaisance painting. A God's eye view of the entire unfolding tapestry. The herd of goats, a pattern of dots flowing over the landscape. Bells, bleats, and wind the only sounds.The tiny religious procession leading us resolutely from one life force to the next, with grace and ease. expressing the inate dignity of Life itself, full circle. I heartily recommend this experience.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

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.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Just to say that the description given makes justice to this great film, profoundly psychical as well as metaphysical.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

deafening silence returning, nature speaks of it's silence in the clouds and softly and surely the changes come to all that appears

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top reviewer

Le Quattro Volte was my introduction to truly slow cinema. I went to a screening of it a few years ago and fell in love with this film for it's stunning visuals, brilliant plot, and masterful pacing. A true must see.

A downside is that this film really needs to be seen on a big screen, so either project it or go to a screening of it in addition to viewing it here.

I wanted to hate this film for one reason or the other. In the first 15 minutes or so I was angry at myself for watching it, but luckily I kept watching. Le quattro volte and simply about the cycle of life seen in close-mid shots and distant, long static shots of an idyllic provincial hamlet. It is silent, mysterious and even awkward in moments but eventually the persistent poeticism and patience of the filmmaker taps into you, taps something eternal. Even after the film has ended and the fugue wears off, you may be tempted to shrug it off as a nice little film that you will forget about in a days time, but the persistence of this film stays with you.

Exceptional. Understated without affect. When goats figure prominently and you are spellbound, it's a rare thing. The film makes its own space through a world that is terrestrial, real, and sanctified with sound. It's not a theater feeling here, it's a film that steps outside and breathes in a green lungful.

sublime...one of my most favourites......

One of the slowest moving movies you will view. Long pauses on the same scenes, no dialogue in the movie and a scripted slow moving view of a house/corner in a small town in the mountains of Italy. where the opening character lives and eventually dies.

absolutely beautiful .........I would choose this movie as a peaceful place to be anytime.

I have no idea why I liked it so much. When you start identifying with lambs, trees in the wind and charcoal something is happening.

I didn't melt into a meditative-Zen state. I thought this film was tedious and a labor to watch. I think the rustic Italian setting hides a boring film.

But watch for yourself and feel free to disagree. Cheers

comforting and rewarding ...

Truly mesmerising if you just let yourself go, and WATCH...

It Is A Beautiful Movie! Says Bruno in love!

Amazing. very cyclical, beautiful, mediative, and thought provoking. Well worth checking out.