The history of the first victim of modern artillery and its moving agony, amidst conspiracies and betrayals of the powerful. Life and death of Giovanni De' Medici, a young brave captain in ... See full summary »
The life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever ... See full summary »
In the industrial North, Giovanni is a skilled factory worker offered a promotion if he'll go to Sicily for 18 months to assist in a new department. His impending absence strains his ... See full summary »
Two middle-aged men work as caretakers on an isolated dam construction site high in the snow-capped Italian Alps. When one of them leaves for the valley to spend Christmas vacation with his... See full summary »
Olmi is one of Europe's last Old Masters in the art of film making. He is usually regarded as a belated neo-realist, but after you've seen "The Legend of the Holy Drinker", you will realize the label simply does not stick. This is a film about spirituality, about communion, one of the most deeply religious movies ever, whose only rivals might be Dreyer's "Ordet" or Bergman's rather pretentious "faith trilogy" ("Through a Glass Darkly", "Winter Light" and "The Silence"). However, you will not find Scandinavian mists or angst in Catholic Olmi's adaptation of the beautiful novella written, oddly enough, by a great Jewish novelist, Joseph Roth. Wine is a metaphor for life, and Paris is a metaphor for our urban world. In this symbolic universe, it takes a great actor to give flesh and blood to the character of Andreas, the holy drinker, a beggar endowed with an amazing sense of dignity. Rutger Hauer was the man for the job: this was his best performance: he was never better, and, to judge from the course his career has taken, I fear he will never be better than in this film. It is not a thriller, but it is thrilling. It takes its own leisurely pace, but goes very far, very deep indeed into the human soul. After so many insipid or unpalatable cinematic concoctions, treat yourself to this film: it truly is vintage stuff.
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