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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A epic film that captures the loss of rural innocence.
Olmi's beautifully shot film shows how rural Italian life is slowly destroyed by the coming of industrial society. A way of life unchanged for centuries - several families living in one huge rambling courtyard and working the land - collapses under the pressure of the growing town. But this is not a dry exercise in sociology: the characters are varied, convincing, tragic,...
Published on 5 Mar 2002 by B. Clover

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't win them all
Delivery was fine but one for the charity shop I'm afraid - how did I not notice there would be animal slaughter, good grief I do not consider that light entertainment.
Published 3 months ago by Emerald Mermaid


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A epic film that captures the loss of rural innocence., 5 Mar 2002
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B. Clover (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Olmi's beautifully shot film shows how rural Italian life is slowly destroyed by the coming of industrial society. A way of life unchanged for centuries - several families living in one huge rambling courtyard and working the land - collapses under the pressure of the growing town. But this is not a dry exercise in sociology: the characters are varied, convincing, tragic, comic and alive. The pace is slow but the rewards are great. You feel you've known these people and you miss them. There is story too, plenty of it, but it is the lives that matter. You wont forget it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 6 April 2009
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
This film is simply the finest experience put to celluloid. A year in the life, a social commentary and an affirmation of the beauty of life and of its brutality. The film moves at a "slow" pace but during that space hints at the full complexities, joys and sadnesses of a human life. Some person here said it is about the Church and brutal landlords etc etc but they are wrong. The Church is is an agent, limited in its scope but effective in it, it looks after orphans, helps the peasants and acts for their good in the sphere which it occupies. The Landlord likewise is an agent within his sphere. They all are and the elements of their interaction is part of the story of this great film.

However social commentary is not the point in this film if however you wish to watch a film that confirms the mundane majesty of life with some of the finest actors I have had the pleasure to see than I recommend this film to you with no reservation. There is not much to say beyond that.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olmi's masterpiece, 20 Jun 2008
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P. C. Reynell (Bradford UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the all-time greats of the cinema. Olmi's knowledge and love for this part of Italy burns like a flame and he gets very deeply into the lives of the people. The boy who is being lifted out of his class by education needs clogs for his long walk to school and his father's destruction of a tree leads to the family's expulsion by the landlord. Many social and political problems of the region at the beginning of the 20th century are touched upon in this long and unforgettable film. The characters live rather than act their parts and the photography is excellent
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem, 27 Jun 2006
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This hauntingly beautiful film is more an experience in stepping back in time to rural Tuscany than anything you can imagine. Switch off your mobile, take the phone off the hook, make sure you will not be disturbed in any way and let yourself be transported.

The families around the farmhouse each have to support and care for each other throughout the seasons and they live together on the land, young and old, with all their needs and passions played out through the restrictions of their feudal world.This is the most authentic piece of drama I have ever seen. Engrossing, beautiful and very moving it is a picture of many places in rural Europe at the time. If you love Hardy or rural life in any way don't miss this wonderful, unique film.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema at its finest, 24 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
If only there were more films made like this. The film tells the story of a group of peasants struggling to survive from one day to the next. The hardship, the joy and the despair of their exsistance is beautifully portrayed by a cast of non-actors. This film is a masterpiece. If you like blockbusters look eleswhere, if you appreciate film making of the highest order then this film is for you.
This film reminds me of two excellent novels about hardship and struggle 'Knut Hamsun-Growth of the Soil' and 'Halldor Laxness- Independent People'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film about what is best in human beings, 21 Oct 2012
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M. C. Wherly (New Brighton, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this film in 1980 and have watched it many times since. My awe at Olmi's massive achievement only grows. It's definitely - along with Ray's 'Pather Panchali (first film in The Apu Trilogy) my Number 1 choice as the best film I've ever seen. In fact, the more I watch those two films, the more I see that Olmi was greatly inspired by Ray and 'Apu'. Notice the homages along the way: the beggars arriving at the door of people almost as poor as the beggar, but finding something to give - 'We must help one another in this world' - and the final scene in both films of the cart heading away from home.
As other reviewers have pointed out, 'Clogs' is not a film chock full of action. It takes a year in the lives of a community of peasant farmers in the Bergamo area of Northern Italy. Modernity is knocking at the door: the child is sent to school; the landlord plays a recording of an aria, and the people overhear the miracle; an old uncle taaches a child how to beat the opposition in bringing tomatoes to market early; an impoverished widow manages to keep her large family because the eldest son - little more than a child himself - takes over and finds a job...a succession of small but hugely meaningful acts all add up to a portrait of a traditional society on the cusp of change.
Beautifully filmed, the film wins my award because it is warm and universal. Like 'Apu', you could show it in Africa, Arabia or China and it would at once be understood and communicate to the watchers. I know because it's been part of my armoury as a 'teaching aid' to get conversations going in classrooms overseas.
This film should have been placed on the rocket that set out to explore the universe and tell any people in other worlds about the best of us. Glorious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Film, 4 April 2012
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film last night and I am happy I did. This film is great. While I was watching it, I realised that this film could not have been directed by any director other than Ermanno Olmi nor have been acted by any cast other than these in the film. This film will always remain a testimony to a life that no longer exits.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
A very moving foreign film about a fathers love for his son.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Tree Of Wooden Clogs (DVD)
An honest, believable and at times brutal insight into the lives of an isolated group of Italian peasants. Set in a farm complex in i898, it documents their day to day struggles against poverty and injustice.

A simple story that's told well.

The phrase 'no animals were hurt during the making of this film' does not apply. If you are a lover of animals and especially of pigs, I would give this a miss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet masterpiece., 5 April 2014
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This review is from: The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
Written and directed by Ermanno Olmi,this is a fine example of Italian neo-realist cinema. The Tree of Wooden Clogs was taken from stories Olmi's grandmother told him and is set in Lombardy around the turn of the century. This 1978 film uses people from the area as actors,and is not only an attack on an outmoded social system but an almost mystical affirmation of the relationship of man to nature,for instance, the tree of the title is cut down by a father to make a pair of clogs for his son.There are ravishing depictions of the changing seasons in a stunning part of Lombardy. This is a documentary that isn't a documentary.
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The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD]
The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [1978] [DVD] by Ermanno Olmi (DVD - 2007)
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