Monday, 30 May 2011

Le Quattro Volte

The Four Times


This wonderful film follows the life of an elderly goatherd and his herd. The goats are full of character, specially when they are young (there is a wonderful scene where a newly born goat joins the other very new kids for the first time and they all start playing together, leaping around in their barn and exploring the world around them). The goatherd is helped in his job by a bossy and opinionated dog, who chases everyone and everything and in one pivotal scene causes absolute chaos, in which the goats escape to cause their own chaos.


The film is beautifully meditative, focussing on the hillside scenery, the sounds of the goats and their bells, the colours of the buildings in the village and the texture of lichens on tree trunks. The viewer becomes immersed in a very rural life, which is probably at risk of disappearing.


Three quarters of the way through the film things do disappear in fact. The goatherd dies and his goats are tended by someone else. One of the kids gets lost in the woods and then suddenly the focus of the film shifts to the local charcoal burners and doesn't return to the goats. So the viewer is left wondering whether the lost kid was ever found and in fact what was the fate of the herd itself without its goatherd?


Le quattro volte is on at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh until Thursday 2 June.


As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks which take you to webpages where you can find out more.

10 comments:

Bonnie McClellan said...

Ciao Juliette, It's wonderful to read that you've seen the film. I was in Calabria for the filming because my husband was the production designer and the director a good friend. Lovely movie isn't it!. I found the inspiration for so many poems in the course of the 8 weeks that we stayed in southern Italy during the filming! Glad that it's made it to Scotland.
http://bonniemcclellan.wordpress.com/?s=Calabrian+Chronicles

Titus said...

Oh, we used to have a herd of misfit goats that did nothing except wander miles and jump out of trees on top of me. Must find that film!

Gabrielle Bryden said...

Sounds interesting - what did you think about the way it ended?

RoadBunner said...

I used to love going to the Filmhouse the year I lived in Edinburgh!

Bonnie McClellan said...

I'm curious, I saw only the Italian version. Did they have the bit about Pythagorus' states of being at the beginning in the English version? It makes the images more sensible. The goats were lovely and adorable :).

Crafty Green Poet said...

Titus - aounsd like you'd love the film!

Gabrielle - when I was watching the film I was very disappointed that the action moved away from the goats, on reflection I understand why it didn't go back to them but still i wanted it to,

Bonnie - no the English version doesn't have the bit about Pythagorus' states of being....

Roadbunner - the Filmhouse is great isn't it!

Dave King said...

This sounds delightful. Hope it comes South before too long.

sandy said...

I hope that I will get a chance to see this film. It looks really good.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The farm next to our RV Park here has a herd of goats (not on the end we live on)...but I see them when I walk around the park.. someone has posted a tiny sign on the fence saying "please don't feed'. But these are semi-urban goats -- I bet they'd be different animals if they could have all that beautiful countryside to roam.
Sounds like a lovely film.

Oh said...

Juliet, well, yes. Now I'm worried about the lost kid in le quattro volte. Maybe you could make up a fictious ending to it?

Inspired (by your haikus and commitment to nature), I tried a wee bit of a poem the other day. It didn't turn out; wasn't really a poem at all. But it was a start.
Will keep at it.

Hope your chapbook is doing great out there.