Le Quattro Volte
Le Quattro Volte, Michelangelo Frammartino’s quiet meditation on life, death, transformation and goats marks the blossoming of a filmmaker with a singular vision – one to be reckoned with. For all intents and purposes, looking like a documentary, Le Quattro Volte is rather a tightly constructed and edited fiction, if that is the proper word. The film opens on an old shepherd and his flock of goats. During the slow-paced sequence, the old man goes about his daily routine. The rhythm of life is set. A brilliant Rube Goldberg-esque set piece closes his story and his life as penned goats escape from their pen into the village as a low-budget passion play parades by. The second part follows the short life of a baby goat to its heartbreaking conclusion beneath a tall pine. Act three sees the tree chopped down re-erected for a village celebration. The final act documents making the tree into charcoal. It’s from these simple pieces that Frammartino illustrates the complex and fragile webs of existence in this beautiful and transcendent masterpiece.
Originally published in EL Magazine, May 2011.