Two middle-aged men work as caretakers on an isolated dam construction site high in the snow-capped Italian Alps. When one of them leaves for the valley to spend Christmas vacation with his... See full summary »
A middle-aged, middle-class man named Bruno gets his boss' job . The film examines his sensitivity toward his old boss, who he doesn't want to hurt, toward his employees, and toward his wife and mistress.
Brunetto Del Vita,
The history of the first victim of modern artillery and its moving agony, amidst conspiracies and betrayals of the powerful. Life and death of Giovanni De' Medici, a young brave captain in ... See full summary »
Domenico and Antonietta are two suburban Italian youths who meet while seeking "a job for life" from a big city corporation. After a bizarre screening process made up of written exams, physical agility exercises, and interview questions such as "Do you drink to forget your troubles?" (Domenico and Antonietta are no older than 17 or 18), they land jobs in the "Technical Division" and "Typing Services" respectively. From there, Domenico works as an underutilized errand boy until a clerk position is vacated by the death of an older employee. Domenico finally takes his place in a room of 12 other clerks with a manager overseeing them from a desk at the head of the room. The film ends as Domenico ponders his fate, from behind his tiny desk at the back of the small windowless room, listening to the sound of the mimeograph machine as it runs off carbon copies next to the manager's desk.Written by
Alex M. Dunne <email@example.com>
Go on, let him sleep.
Well, you know...
All right, you tell him to do his best.
He's not a child anymore. He knows what to do.
See more »
Cinemateca Portuguesa (Lisbon) in two sessions «In Memoriam Ermanno Olmi», September 2018, has shown the film with an extra scene which edited out of the film's "last cut" in 1961. See more »
A late Italian Neo-realist masterpiece, of exquisite sensitivity
This is a marvel of film-making, Director Ermanno Olmi, following in the Neo-realist mode of his predecessor Roberto Rossellini, made this as only his second feature film (his first, TIME STOOD STILL, of 1959, is little known, though apparently excellent; it appears to be unavailable with English subtitles). This film has no frills. It is a brilliantly evocative 'fly on the wall' observation of what it was like at that time in Milan to try to find and retain employment. The sadness, the disappointments, the heartache, the bullying, the exploitation are all observed without comment. The two central performances are by Sandro Panseri as the boy Domenico and Loredana Detto as the girl Anotnietta, both seeking their first jobs, and both ending up at the same huge company where they work in separate buildings and essentially never see each other again, despite having bonded and formed the beginnings of a romance. Panseri's innocent and naked performance is positively inspired, but after appearing in two further films over the subsequent four years, he retired from acting, and today apparently manages a supermarket in Milan. Loredana Detto never acted again, but she married Olmi in 1963, and they have three children. The script for this film was jointly written by Olmi and someone named Ettore Lombardo, who never wrote anything for the cinema again. (One might make a mystery film about what happened to the people involved with Olmi in this film, and call it THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING TALENT.) The delicacy of Olmi's handling of this film is miraculous. He realizes the Neo-realist ideal to its full. He gets as 'close to life' as one can reasonably get without being personally involved, and he observes what is happening as if he were an invisible angel monitoring human activity with a helpless sense of melancholy (remember Wim Wenders's WINGS OF DESIRE, 1987, which may have been partially inspired by this earlier style of film-making by the Italians, as Wenders is such a knowledgeable film historian). This film is infinitely sad, but then so is Life.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this