Ermanno Olmi’s masterful feature is the tender story of two Milanese fiancés whose strained relationship is tested when the man accepts a new job in Sicily. With the separation come loneliness, nostalgia, and, perhaps, some new perspectives that might rejuvenate their love. Olmi’s deep humanism charges this moving depiction of ordinary men and women, and the pitfalls of the human heart. —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
To myself : "Intriguing, everyone gives this film five stars... let's see why". Then, I saw it. And... wow !
Distance lends enchantment to a fading love affair when a young welder is sent by his employers to work in Sicily. Olmi enriches his warm story of ordinary people with a wealth of detailed observations which gives its characters their humanity and believability. The film is masterfully constructed with a divine range and choice of music which helps to effortlessly generate a mystical quality. A towering achievement..
Las películas de Ermanno Olmi suelen ser crónicas exhaustivas y minuciosas de la realidad de un personaje en circunstancias ordinarias. Allí radica la grandeza de su cine, generoso y detallista en la descripción de ambientes y personajes de todos los días. Los Novios es un maravilloso ejemplo de esta forma de asumir el hecho cinematográfico. No dejen de ver sus obras maestras El empleo y El árbol de los zuecos.
During the first eight or nine minutes, you don´t hear a single word spoken, but then, you don´t hear much conversation during the whole movie anyway. Filmic simplicity taken to its peak. And talking about tall things, this is one of the greatest italian movies of the post-neorealism era. Another thing. Olmi is regarded as a practicing catholic. Despite this, his point of view is undoubtedly marxist.
As the NYFF celebrates its 50th year, a look at the posters from the films that made up its first incarnation in 1963.