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Le Quattro Volte [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times) 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.

Review

AMAZING... ENDLESSLY MYSTERIOUS... You have never seen anything like this movie. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

GRAVE, BEAUTIFUL, AUSTERELY COMIC ...Pretty darn sublime. --J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Giuseppe Fuda
  • Directors: Michelangelo Frammartino
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056HTEEA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
"Le Quattro Voltre" or `The Four Times' is a slow moving and beautiful work of art. A silent and serene portrayal of the ideas of Pythagoras and transmigration, the idea of the soul being reincarnated again and again into humans, animals, vegetables and minerals until it is immortal; a continuous cycle of creation and existence. All of which is seen from a distance, with no dialogue or soundtrack and just the sounds of nature to accompanying the images on screen. At first we observe an old shepherd tending his flock, drinking a home remedy of water and dust from the floor of a local church, until his sudden death which is immediately proceed by the birth of a goat whose life comes to an end under a tree, which is cut down and used for a village ritual and later burned in the creation of coal, all ending in a puff of smoke from a lone chimney as ashes and dust enter the air, some of which to inevitably gather on the church floor, everything coming full circle.

The view of the order of the world, of these people, of life and creation, existence, and superstition are all so clear it is as if you are discovering something that has been there all along but are only now recognizing, like an acknowledgement of complex themes for the first time done through the simplest means.

By simple I mean restrained and meditative. I was personally surprised in how given the lack of any real action or narrative it still managed to be totally engrossed within every second of every frame.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a review of the blu-ray of LE QUATTRO VOLTE (The Four Times).
My grandparents came from Calabria, and I have been there several times to see the relatives. Calabria is not the land that time forgot, but it is the land that does not want to be noticed, because "vogliono i sordi" -- "they want to take our money." This film pulls away the Calabrian veil and invites us into the life of an old shepherd, a kid goat, a tree and a wisp of smoke. Oh, but they are a single character! The film is full of characters, all of them lovable, but especially the dog (whose name in real life is Vuk) who manages to upstage the Good Friday procession, and Pythagoras too. The film starts very slowly and deliberately and requires about thirty minutes of patience, and then, all of a sudden, the dog provides an incredibly well choreographed sequence of comic scenes. I was so taken with this sequence that I had to pause the film and go get a breath of fresh air and find a friend to watch the film with, then start over. The second time (a segunda volta) I noticed small details that were invisible the first time (a prima volta). The old man picks up a rock from the side of the road, sets it on top of his bucket of snails, then when the snails get loose throws the rock out his window, and that same rock is used to brake the truck tire before the procession, and the dog climaxes his big scene by removing the rock, sending the truck rolling downhill to smash through the goat pen, releasing the goats into town while it is depopulated during the Good Friday ritual. How so much action could be involved with one simple prop, a rock, is amazing. When a film is set in the spectacular mountain country of Calabria, who needs SFX or CGI?
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Format: Blu-ray
Every now and then a movie comes along that defies traditional story-telling techniques and yet is so hypnotically compelling that it resides in some deep level of one's soul or psyche. Michael Frammartino's ephemeral, ineffable and sublime visit to Italy's mountain region of Calabria allows us to participate in the mysterious village life and especially that of an aged goat herder. There's hardly a spoken word in the long takes that evoke the rituals of life and death and rebirth. If words could do justice to this beautiful and mysterious movie, then there would be little reason to experience the film itself. According to several interviews, director Frammartino has suggested he was inspired by Pythagoras' belief in a "four fold" transmigration of the soul. The title literally translates as "The Four Times." But I think this is just a ruse, because what we actually experience is the strange human rites of passage and celebration that no longer have obvious meaning to outside eyes, yet are so utterly human.

The extraordinary cinematography plays with textures, light natural sounds and the lulling jingle of goat bells in such a way as to suggest a lucid dream. I loved this movie and for 88 minutes I was transported to another time and place that will always reside within. What's most amazing is that the film is like an extended meditation. I found myself pondering not so much the meaning of life but the truth of how everything is connected and though we struggle with our frail mortality, there is always mystery and beauty that remains. There's ancient wisdom here. You'll either get it or not. Finally, embracing the mystery of life is all we can do, and this extraordinary film does it with a rare eloquence and elegance.

Don't miss this hypnotic and profound cinematic meditation.
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