When young Domenico (Sandro Panseri) ventures from the small village of Meda to Milan in search of employment, he finds himself on the bottom rung of the bureaucratic ladder in a huge, faceless company. The prospects are daunting, but Domenico finds reason for hope in the fetching Antonietta (Loredana Detto). A tender coming-of-age story and a sharp observation of dehumanizing corporate enterprise, Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto is a touching and hilarious tale of one young man’s stumbling entrance into the perils of modern adulthood. —The Criterion Collection
The death of his father during the Second World War led Ermanno Olmi to seek work at an early age. From the age of 18, he worked as a factory clerk, a position he would occupy for nearly ten years. Ironically, factory life would also enable Olmi to discover his true vocation when he became involved in industrial film production for the Edison-Volta company. From 1953 to 1961, Olmi was involved in the making of at least forty documentary shorts. His first feature Time Stood Still was initially commissioned as a short documentary on a hydroelectric dam built in the Italian Alps. The resulting film was an unusual two-character “chamber piece”; the chamber being a cabin in the snow-bound Alps which housed a middle-aged watchman and a younger man who joins him as a temporary replacement.
Already visible is Olmi’s detailed minimalism, a style which evokes the richness of the small forgotten moments of everyday life. His first international success, and most influential film, was his second… read more
A serious version of Office Space. People who live out this sort of day to day experience may find this hard to watch, while others will find affirmation in its soul crushing message.
Like poetry to me. In its simplicity Il posto says too much. Olmi succeds showing how dehumanizing big corporations can be: all those endless corridors, the monotony, the gulf between people. Terribly true and poignant. But what really captivated me in this coming-of-age film is how everything is shown through the expressivity of Panseri's eyes: naive, lost, scared, passionate. The last 20 minutes are unforgettable.
For his first fiction film, Olmi drew on personal experience for this wryly humorous work. Indebted to the neo-realist style, the anguish and loneliness of a young man who applies for an office job is examined. The film employs non-professional actors and the lugubrious features of Panseri in the lead role are reminiscent of Keaton as he gradually becomes aware of the boredom of the years stretching out before him...
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De Sica characters in Antonioni landscapes, that’s Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto. The larva-like protagonist (Sandro Panseri) is introduced under