Le Quattro Volte (English: The Four Times) is an Italian film, made in 2010, about life in the remote mountain town of Caulonia, in southern Italy.
The film comprises four phases or 'turns' following Pythagoras. The turning of the phases occurs in Calabria where Pythagoras had his sect in Crotone. Pythagoras claimed he had lived four lives and this with his notion of metempsychosis is the structure of the film showing one phase and then turning into another phase. A famous anecdote is that Pythagoras heard the cry of his dead friend in the bark of a dog.Plot
- The first turn is the human realm and is about an old goatherd who is quite sick and who takes medicine from the dust from the church floor in water at night. This phase includes long 8 minute shot of the procession of the villagers culminating in the dog and truck episode so the goats occupy the village.
- The second turn is the animal realm and is a study of a young goat, from its birth onwards.
- The third turn is the plant realm and is a study of a fir tree. Eventually the tree is chopped down to be displayed in the town square and an evocation of cultural memory.
- The fourth turn shows the mineral realm as the tree is made into charcoal for the townspeople's fires.
This phase, as charcoal is not a mineral in any modern definitions, points to a remembering of bio-cultural processes.
The fire and smoke point to carbon at the heart of the homes in the village delivered by the truck evoking human reason as the final understanding of the interaction of these turns and the true place of the human in the scheme of things.
There is virtually no dialogue in the film. The film was written and directed by Michelangelo Frammartino and stars Giuseppe Fuda, Bruno Timpano, Nazareno Timpano andArtemio Vellone.
Le Quattro Volte has received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 92% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 52 reviews, with an average score of 8/10, making the film a "Certified Fresh" on the website's rating system, with the consensus "Birth, death, and transformation are examined in Le Quattro Volte, a profound and often funny mediation on the cycles of life on earth.". At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 80, based on 16 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".
Jonathan Romney, writing in The Independent on Sunday, described Le Quattro Volte as "both magnificent and magnificently economical", remarking "I like to think that it's possible for cinema to make profound cosmological statements without having to go all Cecil B. DeMille". Romney finds the film "the freshest and the deepest film I've encountered in a while", and "one of those rare films that anyone could enjoy, whether or not they normally care for slow Italian art cinema".
- "Le Quattro Volte (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- British Film Institute. Le Quattro Volte + Q&A. Director Michelangelo Frammartino talks about Le Quattro Volte BFI Live BFI video
- Le Quattro Volte, Michelangelo Frammartino, 88 mins, U. Jonathan Romney. The Independent on Sunday. 29 May 2011. Review in The Independent on Sunday
- Phillips, Michael (June 16, 2011). "Pastoral depiction of Pythagoras' theory". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 February 2013. "The 6th century philosopher Pythagoras believed that the soul undergoes four discrete lives as it phases from human to animal to vegetable to mineral states."
- Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 36
- Michelangelo Frammartino on IMDB
- Andreas Wiseman. "Michelangelo Frammartino talks to Andreas Wiseman about his latest film, Le Quattro Volte" Interview in Screen Daily, 11 November 2010
- "The Four Time (Le Quattro Volte) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- "The Four Time (Le Quattro Volte) Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- Le Quattro Volte at the Internet Movie Database
- Le Quattro Volte at Rotten Tomatoes
- Video interview with Frammartino at British Film Institute
- Le quattro volte Film clip on YouTube
The extraordinary cinematography plays with textures, light natural sounds and the lulling jingle of goat bells in such a way as to suggest a lucid dream. I loved this movie and for 88 minutes I was transported to another time and place that will always reside within. What's most amazing is that the film is like an extended meditation. I found myself pondering not so much the meaning of life but the truth of how everything is connected and though we struggle with our frail mortality, there is always mystery and beauty that remains. There's ancient wisdom here. You'll either get it or not. Finally, embracing the mystery of life is all we can do, and this extraordinary film does it with a rare eloquence and elegance.
Don't miss this hypnotic and profound cinematic meditation.