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Joaquim de Almeida,
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The film consists of four stories plus epilogue, set in 19th-century Sicily. THE OTHER SON - A mother spends her life waiting for news from her two sons (emigrated to America) while ignoring her third, because he is the reincarnation of the bandit who raped her. MOON SICKNESS - a newly-wed peasant girl discovers that her husband goes mad every full moon. She arranges for a male friend to protect her, but they end up in bed together just as the moon emerges from behind a cloud. THE JAR - a rich landowner hires a master craftsman to repair a giant olive jar, but the craftsman gets trapped inside. REQUIEM - villagers band together in an attempt to force their landlord to let them bury their dead. CONVERSATIONS WITH MOTHER - the writer Luigi Pirandello talks with his aged mother about a story he always wanted to write, but which he never managed to capture in words.Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Visually and aurally a masterpiece, but the stories themselves are not great
Artfully directed, lusciously photographed, and magnificent scored (in fact, I would say Nicola Piovani's music for this movie is some of the finest I've ever heard in my life), "Kaos" nevertheless leaves something to be desired when it comes to the five tales it tells. The first one, "L'Altro Figlio", is the strongest one emotionally, but it's also quite predictable after a point; you will guess why the mother has denounced her "other son" before it is revealed. The second, "Mal Di Luna", has an intriguing premise, but goes pretty much nowhere with it; when it's over, we're back to where we started. The third, "La Giara", is surprisingly my favorite: it's too slowly paced to work as a comedy, but it works better as an allegory, and it builds to an exhilarating musical sequence that is better seen than described. Besides, it's fascinating to watch the famous Italian comic duo Franco and Ciccio, both noticeably older, acting more mature than you may have ever seen them before! The fourth tale, "Requiem", is, frankly, tedious, and the weakest of the five. The epilogue, "Colloquio Con La Madre", is the part I was most looking forward to, mainly because of Pauline Kael's description of it as a "full-blown epiphany that sends you out dazed and happy". It takes quite some time to reach to that point, but yes, the way this story captures a life-defining moment of sheer happiness will stay in my mind for a long time. Despite my reservations, the experience of seeing and, above all, listening to this movie is not one to be missed. *** out of 4.
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