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Le Quattro Volte (2010)
"Le quattro volte" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  28 May 2010 (Italy)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,368 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 20 user | 109 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

An old shepherd lives his last days in a quiet medieval village perched high on the hills of Calabria, at the southernmost tip of Italy. He herds goats under skies that most villagers have ... See full summary »

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Title: Le Quattro Volte (2010)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Il Vecchio Pastore
Bruno Timpano ...
I carbonai di Serra San Bruno
Nazareno Timpano ...
I carbonai di Serra San Bruno
Artemio Vallone ...
I carbonai di Serra San Bruno
Domenico Cavallo ...
Il Pastore
Santo Cavallo ...
Il Pastore
Peppe Cavallo ...
Il Pastore
Isidoro Chiera ...
Il Prete
Iolanda Manno ...
La Perpetua
Cesare Ritorito ...
Il Chierichetto
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Storyline

An old shepherd lives his last days in a quiet medieval village perched high on the hills of Calabria, at the southernmost tip of Italy. He herds goats under skies that most villagers have deserted long ago. He is sick, and believes to find his medicine in the dust he collects on the church floor, which he drinks in his water every day. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

goat | tree | birth | shepherd | old man | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 May 2010 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Le Quattro Volte  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£36,205 (UK) (27 May 2011)

Gross:

$152,530 (USA) (16 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is comprised of long takes. One of them lasts an astounding 8 minutes. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits also include a silver fir, the goats of Caulonia and the coal of Calabria among the cast members. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Estrenos Críticos: Sexo y Cars 2 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
30 May 2011 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

A life-cycle film, whose camera observes the Quattro Volte (or four turns) of the film in reverent silence. What are these four turns? They could be the seasons, or they could be the four key events which mark the story like milestones on a rural road. With great care in framing every shot, the protagonist of each section (such as there are sections) moves from a goatherd to become a goat to become a tree, with smoking soil as the recapitulated opening in which a man tends to a char pile.

This volcanic mound, shrouded in its own exhaust reminded me of the bell-casting scene of Andrei Rublev, a film which also passes a baton between protagonists in a humanity-biopic located around a single place. It's also a film with a Christian undertow, in which piety and Damascene revelation are woven into the violent, human tales. It's the same with this film: the superstition of the old man's ingestion of church dust gives way to more metaphorical symbols - a helpless goat (lamb of Christ), a tree (the dulce lignum of the cross/Christmas tree). These aren't proselytising ciphers though, simply symbols that open up the scope of the narrative, enriching the story.

Essentially the film documents the idiosyncrasies of the situations the camera finds. The takes are of medium duration - with the exception of one extremely long, complicated, funny and vaguely miraculous single take during an Easter parade - and allow the artless subjects to behave as they are found. Inbetween are long shots of the Calabrian countryside, giving the film and its content context and allowing the stories to breathe. In fact breathing is what the film does best, with its minimal, bucolic sound design featuring a recurrent heart-beat thud, first heard as the char-man tend the clay of his pyre. A film in which, without sanctimoniousness, let alone hectoring, one is reminded of the clay from which we are borne and to which will are again committed. 6/10


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