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Le Quattro Volte [Blu-ray]


Price: £11.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Giuseppe Fuda, Nazareno Timpano, Bruno Timpano
  • Directors: Michelangelo Frammartino
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: New Wave
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005C3DPPM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,614 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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. A beautiful and poetic vision of the revolving cycles of life and nature in the unbroken traditions of a timeless place, Le Quattro volte appears as the metaphor of a soul that moves through four successive states of being.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD
Lets say straight from the start that if you do not like slow moving films, then this one is most definitely not for you. If you like a uniquely subtle film that is stunningly shot in the rural idyll of Calabria in Southern Italy, then you may get as much enjoyment out of it as I did. Milanese director Michelangelo Frammartino explodes that old W C Fields myth about never working with children and animals and gets an oscar deserving performance from an old sheep dog that Rin Tin Tin would have been proud of, and magically shows us what naturally gifted performers we have in goats. After watching this I had palpitations when I discovered that the the Calabrians use them in their favourite dish, although I have to admit that goat did taste good curried in the Caribbean! The film starts with funeral like slowness and doesn't really get much quicker than a tortoise on mild steroids, but it does slowly draw you into a sort of Calabrian drowsiness where in half dreams you start to see the bigger picture, and when you do, bam you love it.

The film is set in a very rural medieval looking Calabrian hill town, about as far removed from the sophistication of Milan that you could imagine! An old shepherd dies, and a goat is born. The goat dies and .......! Are you getting the picture? The director himself talked about reincarnation, although I personally think that the words from "The Lion King" sum it up better. We are all part of the inescapable 'cycle of life'. Quite often death leads to new life. The bones of dead animals in the Serengetti serve to nourish the rich grasses allowing further life to thrive. I don't really want to go too deeply down that road, but that is what seems to be at the heart of this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wolf VINE VOICE on 25 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'Le Quattro Volte' is one of the more unusual films you'll have seen for a while - not least because far too few have goats in lead roles.

It appears to be about the simple life of a goatherd, suffering with age and illness but helped by a powerful faith that manifests itself in drinking the sweepings from the floor of a local church. It swiftly broadens in something much more: an observation of the village he lives in and the countryside that supports it, somewhere in southern Italy.

The movie will not be to everyone's taste. Clearly it has not been. There is virtually no story. What there is progresses slowly. With each new section of the movie the narrative elements become less and less important. The human elements diminish - man, goat, tree - but the film takes its time to notice the minute details of life. There is time for the palyfulness of a baby goat, the path of an insect up a tree or twisting shapes of the clouds.

The camera is very often removed from what action there - the viewer deliberately distanced. We are allowed to see what is happening as simply a part of a much wider world. It is reminiscent at times of religious or allegorical art, that very often found time to show us the world in which the events happened and relegated the obvious to the background (Icarus plunges into the sea unnoticed by the ploughman in Breughel's art).

There is virtually no dialogue in this movie. What there is no more significant than the bleating of the goats or the sound of the wind, in terms of your need to comprehend it; or, rather, the other sounds can carry just as much importance.

The photography is stunning. The images, often still, with minimal camera movement. Rarely does film making look so much like painting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mouse on 6 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't know much about arty type films, but here is my impression of Le Quattro Volte.

First of all, if you want comedy, then just take a look at the 1 star reviews for this film. Hilarious. 'Worst documentary ever', 'fails to create a sense of reverence for such a mundane existence'.

This film is moving. Life itself is fragile, life is tough and life goes on. Its not about farming. To look at this speechless, beautiful, subtle film and think its just about goats is quite superficial to say the least! I would say it verges on idiotic, but if you have never watched a film that isn't slap bang or simply hands its meaning to you on a plate, then Le Quattro Volte would seem a bit boring, a bit mundane.

In fact, I spent so much time looking at the details in this film, the 88 mins past like a breeze and I was left almost breathless in the end as the film concludes.

It is simply a pure story...excellent.

Finally though, I would recommend it to someone who feels they can appreciate life through a cinema screen. However, if you are looking for a action-packed blockbuster then its not for you - even though I would argue there is more action in this pretty little film than a thousand blockbusters! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Nov. 2012
If you enjoy films with a clear-cut plot, snappy dialogue and an obvious beginning, middle and end, then you will probably be left mildly mystified by `Le Quattro Volte'. It's very much a movie in the art house tradition, featuring subtle and beguiling filming which reveals beauty in the mundane reality of rural life, as well as in the spectacular landscape which frames each scene.

The product info about Quattro Volte suggests that you'll be watching a film about an elderly goat-herd who is close to death, and that's true in part. But his story forms just one thread of the four themes of QV, where animal, mineral and vegetable are as important to the whole as is the human component. There's no audible dialogue (so no need to worry about suitable subtitles) and at times the progression of the `plot', such as it is, can be a little obscure. Like life itself, the pace meanders through coincidence, happenstance, the interconnected nature of everything, and is punctured with sublime moments of stillness. The soundtrack reinforces the themes: Dog barks, goats bleat, an old man coughs, charcoal crackles, branches sigh in the breeze.
If this all sounds impossibly pompous then don't worry - it's not. The dog and the goats provide delightful scenes which mix charm and humour with a sense of poignant solemnity. We laughed out loud at some of the antics; knowing that the behaviour of the `cute' animals provided a counter-point to the inevitable progression of life unto death - but that didn't make those scenes any less funny. The humans can be ridiculous also: cutting down a giant pine in order to strip its bark and then re-erect in the town square as a fake tree... some religious rituals will never look quite the same again after watching QV.
The filming itself is masterful, too.
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