Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ashes of Time

Dust motes! Just one of the many wacky animated inanimate objects on display in Michelangelo Frammartino's meditation, LE QUATTRO VOLTE (THE FOUR TIMES), which I attempt to explain over at GreenCine.

"No wonder there's no subtitle options on the DVD," my wife remarked. "Coughing is pretty much the same in English or Italian."

The sound design on VOLTE is very carefully limited. Much of the aural space is occupied by goat bells, wind, and - yes - an uncomfortable amount of coughing.

Said lung-hacking is done by our intrepid hero, a soon-to-be-dead goatherd (Giuseppe Fuda, pictured here in a chronological list of all four of his incarnations):

Fuda acts the hell out of that pile of coal, let me tell you.

It's a beautiful film with very limited crossover potential. VOLTE is Bressonian in its austerity but, by its own nature, lacks any of Bresson's attention to humanity. As I say in the review, it's more of a piece with the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

Next up in the review queue: Criterion's discs of CARLOS and THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE.

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