A sick old shepherd ekes out a laborious existence with his flock on the mountain pastures of Calabria. A goat is born and staggers to its feet for its first steps in life. The Passion of Christ is re-enacted in the village streets. The Cockaigne tree, a greasy pole, is raised for the festivities.
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Le Quattro Volte explores Pythagoras' transmigration of the soul through human, animal, plant, and mineral: each "phase" contributes to the town it occupies, implying the soul not as an entity connected to a spiritual being, but as energy that cannot be made or destroyed, only passed between the four "elements". Wonderfully shot, wonderfully told.
One you settle into the film's rhythm you're really swept up in an unusual and transcendent cinematic journey. I won't pretend I fully got everything the film tries to communicate upon my first viewing (missed it in theatres, could kick myself now for it), but at all times I was confident I was in the hands of a master. A beautiful, enigmatic and poetic film that celebrates life. I want to see it again and again.
I have seen a lot of this activity in my grandparents goat village in Greece :) Besides that the visuals and scenery were familiar to me, the intent was perfectly executed. This film says everything, without dialogue.
Impressively crafted riff on Pythagoras's summation of the transmutation of life from mineral to plant to animal to human. "If there is something slightly biology-for-poets-ish about Le Quattro Volte, Frammartino deserves a great deal of credit for slowly and quietly teasing a Pythagorean story out of the landscape rather than imposing one on it." - Benjamin Mercer, Reverse Shot
"Should I kill myself or have a" glass of water with blessed church dust? Is life nothing but an endless and meaningless circle? Frammartino writes an essay on the meaning of life by not writing anything at all. He shows the universe in all the small things around us and he does it virtuous cinematography. It's a treat for one's eyes and one's mind, at the same time.
Beautiful, Tragic & overall a wonderful piece of filmmaking. I haven't seen a film of which I was transfixed from start to finish, in quite a while.
I really have not much else to say. A wonderful portrait of life and how simplicity can offer us so much more.