The Tree Of Wooden Clogs [Blu-ray]
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Winner of the Palme d Or at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, Ermanno Olmi s The Tree of the Wooden Clogs is an epic portrait of peasant life in late nineteenth century Italy.
Focussing on four families working and living on the farm of a landowner in the Bergamo region of northern Italy, Olmi presents a year in their lives, charting their daily activities and the natural flow of existence: birth, marriage, death, and the trials and tribulations in between.
Shot on an abandoned farmhouse in Bergamo, The Tree of Wooden Clogs utilised locals of the region to its characters and had them speak in their Bergamasque dialect. The end results are truly remarkable, the apotheosis of Italian cinema s neo-realism movement.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
About the Director
Luigi Ornaghi, Francesca Moriggi, Omar Brignoli
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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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