Tag Archives: Vuk

Le Quattro Volte @ Renoir Cinema

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Russell Square(ラッセル・スクエア)近くのRenoir Cinemaで、「Le Quattro Volte(四つのいのち)」を観た。この映画はイタリア南部カラブリア州の山村を舞台に、命が繋がっていく様子を描いた作品。2010年のカンヌ国際映画祭で話題になり、東京国際映画祭にも招待、最近日本でも公開された。→参考:ミケランジェロ・フランマルティーノ監督インタビュー


セリフは一切ない。登場する人たちは、この役で2010年Palm Dog賞を受賞したプロの俳優(?)犬Vukを除き、全てその土地の住民。長回しで撮影された美しい映像は、そこに生きる人々や動物の暮らし、雄大な自然、そして人間と他の事物とのつながりを淡々と描き出し、ドキュメンタリー・タッチの美しい映像詩に仕上がっている。物質文明が進み、世界の多くの場所で失われてしまった、人間と自然が共生する場所。でも実際はイタリアの田舎町でも、最新モデルの車がところ狭しと並び、最新のファッションに身を包んだ若者の手にはスマートフォン。インターネットも衛星テレビも完備している。イタリアの辺境の地(M談)と言われるカラブリア州も例外ではないと思うが、そういう部分は上手く排除されている。いかにも外国人の郷愁をそそる映画で、インテリのイギリス人映画批評家たちの評判も押し並べていい。かくいう私もそういう失われた古き良き時代を上手く映像化したこの映画に魅了された一人なのだ。

We saw an Italian movie, “Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times)” at Renoir Cinema near Russell Square. This is a documentary style movie about cycles of life and nature, set in a remote mountain village in Calabria in Southern Italy.

Calabria, located at the “toe” of the Italian peninsula, is a region with beautiful coastline and the mountains. The movie starts with a story of an old shepherd, who lives in a quiet village perched high on the hills and herds goats traveling around mountains. He is sick, and takes the ‘sacred’ dust collected on the church floor everyday, believing that it will cure him (actually it is an old Sicilian tradition, not Calabrian). One day he loses the dust and can’t take it, and dies the day after. Then screen changes to a scene of a birth of baby goat. One day the little goat goes out to a mountain with other goats, but falls behind the group by being trapped in a ditch. The goat desperately cries for help, wandering the mountains, but can’t find the group. Exhausted, the baby goat sleeps under a big fir tree. Winter passes and spring comes. The tree is cut down and trimmed, and is dragged by villagers to erect in a square for a 800-year old festival. After the festival, the tree is cut in many pieces and is transformed into charcoals in a traditional Calabrian charcoal kiln.

There are no lines, no narrations. All you hear is the sounds of nature, undistinguishable voices of the villagers, and barking of a dog (and it is quite loud). Everyone in the movie is a non-professional local, except a professional actor dog Vuk, which won the Palm Dog award 2010 (he did an excellent job!). The film, using a lot of long shots, portrays a simple life of the villagers and animals and great landscape of the region without any special effect, and is absolutely beautiful and poetic. The lost world where humans coexist with nature without trying to control it. The movie makes us believe that it still exists somewhere even in a developed country such as Italy. But the truth is different, unfortunately. I see the latest cars parked everywhere and young people in trendy fashions with smart phones in any Italian countryside. Even grandmothers can enjoy satellite TV and internet. I don’t think Calabria, one of the least developed region in Italy (according to M), is an exception of materialism. However, the movie meticulously eliminates the ‘ugliness,’ and succeeds in satisfying non-Italians with a stereotypical image of Italian countryside, including intellectual and cultural British film critiques (see Rotten Tomatoes) – and me…