Le Quattro Volte (2010) – Pay No Attention To The Goat Behind The Ocean

Film critics sometimes talk about films having a ‘Malick Aesthetic’.  What they generally mean by this is that the film features lots of nature photography such as the fields of long grass rippling in the wind from The Thin Red Line (1998), the sunlight in the trees from The New World (2005) or the desert sunsets from Badlands (1973). The ‘Malick Aesthetic’ is created by inserting this sort of footage in between more eventful scenes both as a way of allowing the audience to reflect upon what they have just seen and as a way of creating an impression of the numinous that both surrounds and consumes the characters. Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte is a film that makes extensive use of this technique to create a film that is both free of dialogue and positively overflowing with the same sense of grace that infuses many of Malick’s most enduring films. However, unlike films such as Carlos Reygadas’ Silent Light (2007), Frammartino is not content with presenting us a world imbued with the divine. Instead, much like Malick himself, Frammartino interrogates the divine resulting in a film filled with wit, warmth and wonder, but also profound scepticism about the divine spark that supposedly surrounds us.

Continue reading →