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Il Posto - (Mr Bongo Films) (1961) [DVD]

Ermanno Olmi    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £12.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Il Posto - (Mr Bongo Films) (1961) [DVD] + Criterion Collection: Fists in the Pocket [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Directors: Ermanno Olmi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: 25 April 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QB9O74
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,224 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Coming from a provincial family, Domenico (Sandro Panseri) arrives in Milan in search of a job. After undergoing a series of absurd physical and psychological tests, he is given the position of a lowly clerk in a corporate firm. Also applying for a job is Antonietta (Loredana Detto), who becomes the object of shy Domenico's infatuation. However he finds little time to pursue any possible future with her upon starting his new job. The pressures and working hours completely take over his private life. Domenico, a newcomer in Milan, becomes lonely as a result of these changes and is filled with anxiety over his future.

Il Posto was Ermanno Olmi's first major work and its achievement was immediately heralded by a prize at the Venice Film Festival. Drawing influences from neorealism as well as a background making industrial short documentaries, Olmi created a heightened approach to depicting reality. A miniaturist devoted to the small and seemingly innocuous moments of a man's life, Olmi's intimate vision would subsequently influence the works of Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.

Review

Olmi's modern classic, his second feature, has a hero of Keatonesque ingenuousness...A delight --Time Out

Remarkably simple yet complex, ingenuous yet profound --New York Times

Olmi's late neo-realist classic...Majestic predecessor of modern-day drone dramas like Office Space --Village Voice

Remarkably simple yet complex, ingenuous yet profound --New York Times

Olmi's late neo-realist classic...Majestic predecessor of modern-day drone dramas like Office Space --Village Voice


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The Job (Il Posto) is Ermanno Olmi's 1961 classic film about getting a job. Most of what we see in this movie is pretty ordinary in the sense that there isn't anything sensational happening. The main character, Domenico, is a young man that lives with his parents and younger brother. He hopes to land a job with a large company, but he just needs to pass their tests first. The simple nature of the story is what draws us into the movie, as most of us can relate with looking for work and working for a living.

The tests Domenico must endue include exams both mental and physical. Those that pass these tests are ensured work, so there is a lot of pressure on the applicants. During a lunch break, Domenico meets a young woman named Antonietta. While I wouldn't call their interaction a romance, one might conclude that it is the beginning of one. This detail isn't spelled out very clearly as are many things in this film. The messages in the movie are very subtle and let us decide what we should make of what is going on.

Toward the end of the film, some of what was going on was actually funny, in a dark humor type of way. From the only way an opening in a department occurs is if someone dies to squabbles over who gets to sit in what desk, there are some funny parts to the movie even if they were not intentional. If you ever tried to get an office job or had an office job, the humor may be appreciated, even if we never experienced anything quite as extreme what happens in the movie. I couldn't help but notice that there must be something timeless about office work that makes it possible to appreciate the messages presented in this movie some fifty years later.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema - as good as it gets! 29 Sep 2008
Format:DVD
If you think cinema is incomplete without roller-coaster thrills, suspense, sex and explosions, think again. Try something different for a change - it might wake you up. Here is a marvelously modest tale about a teenager seeking his first job, bewildered and intimidated by the rituals of the workplace. Although the director's empathy with his cast is clear, this film's main strength stems from its rigorously simple story-telling, leaving the audience free to enjoy the fact that the main pleasure of a tale is in its telling. This film goes far beyond the pedantry of the social realism of its time and the 'story' is transparent and uneventful and may seem almost non-existent, yet this film is so good that it'll get you off your couch and make you want to direct films yourself (that's what it did to me). A masterpiece.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filmmaking At It's Best! 19 Feb 2004
By RLY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Five brilliant stars for two brilliant performances by Sandro Panseri and the beautiful Loredana Detto and to Ermanno Olmi for a masterful job in creating this wonderful film. I've watched this film several times after recently purchasing the DVD and I am amazed at how a film such as this can be constructed to convey the full spectrum of emotions. Why would anyone ever need to make a film with "special effects" when the most amazing "special effect" ever created is the human face and Sandro Panseri as Domenico in this film is so convincing and brilliant. I was one with Domenico, experiencing each and every emotion. The scenes between Domenico(Sandro Panseri)and Antonietta (Loredana Detto)are very moving and special and the scenes between Domenico and his brother are priceless. The DVD extras are very interesting; the interview with Ermanno Olmi, the film restoration demonstration as well as the written material that accompanies the DVD. Working for a corporation and in an office environment for many years, I can relate to many aspects of this film. Plus it's filmed in beautiful black and white! The great thing about viewing the DVD is the ability to freeze a frame and focus on an image of an aspect of life as portrayed in this film. Grazie a Ermanno Olmi, Sandro Panseri e Loredana Detto. Complimenti! Che bravo! Grazie ancora!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Place to Be Until You Die 2 April 2007
By Kurt Harding - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Put yourself in the shoes of Domenico. Here's his big chance to leave the dead-end existence of his small-town life and get a job where he can find lifetime security. Note that is a big issue.

Apparently, good jobs are hard to find in the Italy of the day. Ambitious young people aspire to work for a large corporation in the big city where they will be assured of employment for life, even though as they know, the large companies don't pay particularly well. But then judging from the film, they don't have to work particularly hard either. You'll see that once Domenico is hired and placed temporarily as a messenger, the guy who is supposed to show him the ropes actually shows him how to spend the day doing the absolute minimum.

The questions asked in the interview process, the test they are given, and the impersonal and often brusque way prospective employees were treated should have given all of them a clue as to how lame the job is going to be. The problem they were given an hour to solve was a joke, I solved it in my head in under a minute. On break, the shy and hangdog Domenico is befriended by an attractive young city girl, Magali, who also hopes to find employment at the firm.

Once Domenico is accepted, he returns to the firm to get his assignment and anxiously looks around the waiting room for his new friend. He was almost about to give up but was relieved when she finally arrived with her mother. But he worries aloud about what will happen in life to the ones who were not chosen. That says a lot about the Italian economy at the time.

Nearly everything about Il Posto outside the friendship between Magali and Domenico paints a bleak picture of the soul-wilting future the young faced working in a corporation where advancement depends solely on someone senior leaving, usually by dying. The ruckus raised at the end by the older worker over the desk Domenico originally was assigned to shows that after so many years at the firm, all a worker had to look forward to were the meanest perks of seniority. That dimly-lit room where the clerks had to work makes modern cubicle mazes seem like heaven in comparison. Then there was that awful party...

Il Posto is realism at its starkest. There is no action to speak of, the black and white photography helps to imbue it with an aura of gloomy resignation. And once you see it and ponder the future of Domenico, you'll be ever thankful that such a life is not in your future and that such work is not looked upon today as one's economic salvation.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 7 Feb 2004
By Futoshi J. Tomori - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
If anything else, Olmi's film is about human grace. The movie follows the life of a young man who's looking for a job to supplement his family's income. There's a social undercurrent to the film, but Olmi's concern is far more humanistic. He's interested in the joys and disappointments of his characters. I found the sequence when the young man attempts to hook-up with the young woman both touching and awkward. More importantly, at one point in the movie, the camera follows the lives of the other people in the company to reveal their lives already lived and filled with everyday drama. Kudos for Criterion for releasing this film to a wider audience. It's beyond me why the movie's not widely known. It should be up there in the pantheon of the great Italian neo-realist films.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ermano Olmi is incredible. 12 May 2004
By Antonio Giusto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Olmi can show the everyday life of an ordinary person and make it interesting. I've never seen any other director do that. In "Il Posto" that's exactly what he does. The film is slow paced the first time you watch it but for days ater you'll keep thinking about it and you'll want to watch it again.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish it were longer 22 Feb 2004
By T. Ghim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It is one of those films that after the film ends you still sit on for a few minutes finding your way back into this world again. The story is very simple, too simple i can describe it in less than 15 words. But I wouldn't want to spoil your experience. I just wanted to say that Olmi made his films during the '60s and 70s, Italian economic boom era when there were great economic and social disparities created between the haves and have-nots and materialism prevalent in Italy which was probably best depicted in La Dolce Vita. Olmi's films were reminders of booming Italy's difficult past being fogotten and humanity alongside it. In this film you will see that humanity, humanity not in words but on the faces and lives of people struggling to make it through. It's touching and entertaining. My only complaint was that why did it have to end so soon. I wanted to see more of the main characters.
If you like this film, I suggest you check out The Tree of Wooden Clogs. To me, it's Olmi at his best. That film led me to check out his other films like this one and I Fidanzati. Unfortunately The Tree hasn't been out on DVD yet. But once you start watching it on tape you will soon forget about digital imageries and its niceties.
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