Le Quattro Volte
- Gail Tolley
- 20 April 2011
A warm recreation of rural village life in Calabria, Italy
Le Quattro Volte is a difficult film to define, part human drama part anthropological study, it explores the interconnectedness of life in a hilltop village in Calabria, Italy.
The film loosely links together four narratives: the story of an elderly goat farmer who staves off bad health by taking a daily concoction of water and dust from the local church; the experiences of a baby goat as it makes its first steps in the world; the journey of a majestic fir tree chosen as the focal point of a local celebration and the same tree’s eventual transformation into charcoal.
Carefully paced and without dialogue, Le Quattro Volte relishes in the small details of rural life, encouraging audiences to immerse themselves in the rhythms and traditions of the community.
Even with its meandering quality, the film never becomes tiresome; director Michelangelo Frammatino continually throws up unexpected visual treats: the surreal sight of villagers in fancy dress as part of a religious parade, an escaped goat standing on a kitchen table and ants swarming a forgotten magazine scrap.
With its shifting perspectives and unusual juxtapositions Le Quattro Volte offers up much food for thought and is intriguing and beautiful in equal measure.
GFT, Glasgow and Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 27 May–Thu 4 Jun.