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Domenico and Antonietta are two suburban Italian youths who meet while seeking "a job for life" from a big city corporation. After a bizarre screening process made up of written exams, physical agility exercises, and interview questions such as "Do you drink to forget your troubles?" (Domenico and Antonietta are no older than 17 or 18), they land jobs in the "Technical Division" and "Typing Services" respectively. From there, Domenico works as an underutilized errand boy until a clerk position is vacated by the death of an older employee. Domenico finally takes his place in a room of 12 other clerks with a manager overseeing them from a desk at the head of the room. The film ends as Domenico ponders his fate, from behind his tiny desk at the back of the small windowless room, listening to the sound of the mimeograph machine as it runs off carbon copies next to the manager's desk. Written by
Alex M. Dunne <email@example.com>
If you summarize the plot of this remarkable movie, it gives you absolutely no idea of how good it is. A shy young man applies for a job, his first ever, with a large corporation in Milan. If he gets it he will be "sistemato" (all set) for life. He takes the entrance test, observes the other applicants, meets a friendly girl also seeking employment. We see in flashback some of the desperate lives of the other employees. The boy gets the job, begins working, finito!
IL POSTO (THE JOB) is more than that, however. It is a sensitive look at what people are and what impersonalized modern industrial society is capable of doing to their humanity. There is a fine Christmas party scene in which people's loneliness outweighs their frolic. In the movie's understated but unforgettable final image, our young hero looks oh so content working in his secure new job in his little back row desk, but the sounds of the mimeograph machines (remember those?) getting louder tell us that he too someday will become lost and crushed as others have been before him.
The film was renamed "The Sound of Trumpets" upon its initial U.S. release, a title which makes no sense for this gentle yet incisive work from the director who would later give us THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS and CAMMINA CAMMINA.
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