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Kaos

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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(Apr 01, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Magic, drama, misery and hope are given life in five tales adapted from Luigi Pirandello’s Novelle per un anno ("The Other Son," "Moonsickness," "The Jar," "Requiem" and "The Crow of Mízzaro"). With a strong, poetic vision of Sicilian life, directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre Padrone) imbue this epic masterpiece with a serene, sympathetic revelation of mankind that transcend the boundaries of time.

Includes an 8-page booklet with Kaos essay by Italian cinema expert Peter Bondanella.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Claudio Bigagli, Massimo Bonetti, Enrica Maria Modugno, Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia
  • Directors: Vittorio Taviani, Paolo Taviani
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00124SNIO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,805 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kaos" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 19, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Produced by Raitelevisione Italiana, this film set in Sicily and directed by brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, consists of four stories based on Luigi Pirandello's "Le Novelle per un Anno", and has some spectacular cinematography by Giuseppe Lanci and a gorgeous score by Nicola Piovani.
The first two stories in particular, take place in a parched, rocky setting, that has a strange beauty despite the dust and the cruelty of the life; life is harsh, and so is the way some of the characters treat each other. A warning to those of you, who like me are sensitive about the abuse of animals, the initial scene of the film with a crow is a little unpleasant.
The stories are: "L'Altro Figlio" (The Other Son), about a mother with two sons in America, and one that she has at home, but has rejected.
"Mal di Luna" (Moon Sickness), about a man who goes wild and howls when the moon is full, and his new wife.
"La Giara" (The Jar), which is a comedic story about an oil jar "as wide as an abbess".
"Requiem", is about a community of shepherds who challenge the town leader for land rights, to bury their dead.
the film ends with a lovely epilogue, "Colloquio con la Madre" (Conversing with Mother). Omero Antonutti plays Pirandello, and Regina Bianchi as his mother, with a scene on an island of pumice that is exquisite.
The ensemble cast is wonderful, with some members appearing in more than one story. Among the many fine actors are: Massimo Bonetti, Claudio Bigagli, Erica Maria Modugno, Franco Franchi, and Ciccio Ingrassia.
Just over 3 hours long, some may find this film slow, but if you are willing to immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere, you will be greatly rewarded.
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Format: DVD
Just to correct the mistake by a previous reviewer, the DVD contains the full-length uncut 188-minute film. It is a brand new digitally-restored transfer made especially for the Koch Lorber Films DVD release and looks great.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Pirandello was a literary genius and it took me a long time to believe that someone could pick up some of his work best pieces and make such a wonderful movie. I have been watching this over and over for the last years and I don't get tired of it. It's one of the rare moments of human genius that redeems Mankind of so much mediocrity.
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Watch this film once and you may or may not like it. Watch it multiple times, over a period of years, and you may find that you understand the human condition just a tad more broadly and more deeply that you ever would have imagined.

It is a true gem. And, although I am not educated in these matters, I think that the film's director, actors, and writers really understood the essence of what Pirandello was trying to say.

Ultimately the film depicts neither one specific time nor one specific place for it transcends both. This is a collection of stories about those who move forward and those who stay behind, true love, what privilege can't buy, and what cunning-born-of-a-sense-of-fairness can. And more than this, it is about how much of ourselves stems from the people we have known. Even when we can't remember their names, we understand their struggles and triumphs and, in remembering them, we find ourselves.

One of my top 10 films of all times. As a point of reference, a few others are "A Man for All Seasons," "Crash," "The Right Stuff," and "Grand Canyon." An odd mix, I agree:-)
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Format: DVD
Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was actually born in a village named Kaos, in the region of Agrigento in Sicily. Many of his novels and novellas portrayed Kaos the village as perceptively as they portrayed Chaos, the normal state of society in post-unification Italy. Pirandello is best known to anglophones as a dramatist, the Godfather of the "theater of the absurd" and thus one of the progenitors of 'magic realism' in Latin America and elsewhere. But his prose is truly extraordinary, even in translation.

This cinematic Kaos converts four of Pirandello's short stories into four short films and an epilogue, connected only a symbolic crow in flight over the landsacpe of Sicily. The aerial photography of that landscape is stunningly beautiful, almost enough to qualify the film as a travelogue, but the film is in effect as much about Luigi Pirandello as it is about village life in Kaos at the end of the 19th C. Purely as cinema, it reminds me of the superb Japanese film Kwaidan, which also combined four ghost stories from the works of Lafcadio Hearne into a totality that exceeded any of the parts and that depicted the 'spirit' of the author throughout. Pirandello is portrayed in person in the 'Epilogue' to Kaos, but it's his fascination with his homeland that animates each of his stories and each of the episodes of the movie adaptation.

I admired this film quite a lot, and I might have spilled more words over it in this review, but I've discovered -- to my horror -- that this edition is abridged! Almost a third of the original has been cut! Now I'll have to find a release of the whole thing and watch it again! But that's a testimonial, isn't it, to my appreciation even for this abridgment.
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