Ermanno Olmi

Ermanno Olmi – Il segreto del bosco vecchio AKA The Secret of the Old Woods (1993)

This Ecological Fairy Tale, with live actors and talking animals tells the story of a colonel (Paolo Villaggio) who is entrusted with a large estate of woodlands until his schoolboy nephew comes of age. Disregarding local tradition and the practice of his esteemed deceased brother, the military man decides to selectively cut the old growth timber. He is confronted with the protestations of the tree spirits (Giulio Brogi) and the local townsfolk, to no avail. Over their objection he releases the unpredictable wind from the cave to which it has been confined, and even wishes for the early demise of his nephew so he can own the woods outright. But he comes to value human contact more, starts to come to terms with most of the spirits, and reverses some plots to get rid of his nephew. A bit like a live action Hayan Miyazaki tale such as Princess Mononoke, but not so violent. Read More »

Ermanno Olmi – Il posto (1961)

Quote:
When young Domenico (Sandro Panseri) ventures from the small village of Meda to Milan in search of employment, he finds himself on the bottom rung of the bureaucratic ladder in a huge, faceless company. The prospects are daunting, but Domenico finds reason for hope in the fetching Antonietta (Loredana Detto). A tender coming-of-age story and a sharp observation of dehumanizing corporate enterprise, Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto is a touching and hilarious tale of one young man’s stumbling entrance into the perils of modern adulthood. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi – Tickets (2005)

Synopsis
A train travels across Italy toward Rome. On board is a professor who daydreams a conversation with a love that never was, a family of Albanian refugees who switch trains and steal a ticket, three brash Scottish soccer fans en route to a match, and a complaining widow traveling to a memorial service for her late husband who’s accompanied by a community-service volunteer who’s assisting her. Interactions among these Europeans turn on class and nationalism, courtesy and rudeness, and opportunities for kindness. Read More »

Ermanno Olmi – Il posto [+Extras] (1961)

“Criterion” wrote:
When young Domenico (Sandro Panseri) ventures from the small village of Meda to Milan in search of employment, he finds himself on the bottom rung of the bureaucratic ladder in a huge, faceless company. The prospects are daunting, but Domenico finds reason for hope in the fetching Antonietta (Loredana Detto). A tender coming-of-age story and a sharp observation of dehumanizing corporate enterprise, Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto is a touching and hilarious tale of one young man’s stumbling entrance into the perils of modern adulthood. Read More »

Ermanno Olmi – Il villaggio di cartone AKA The Cardboard Village (2011)

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Leave it to an old master to strip a complex question down to its basics, leave aside all the anxiety and handwringing, and discover compassion as a basic reflex, a core value of a Europe few seem to recall. Michael Sicinski for Cargo: “Ermanno Olmi’s The Cardboard Village stars Michael Lonsdale (fresh from his turn in Xavier Beauvois’s Of Gods and Men) as an elderly Italian priest in the final days before his retirement, watching as his church is deconsecrated, the pews pushed into a corner by a forklift, Christ deposed from the cross by a crane. In the night, the priest takes to the pulpit and addresses the absent congregation. ‘Where have you all gone?’ he asks? Unbeknownst to him, the town’s North African immigrants, hunted by the carabinieri, take up in the back storeroom. Eventually they build a tent city in the empty nave. The younger priest (Rutger Hauer) tries to convince the old man that it is too dangerous to harbor the refugees. ‘When charity is a risk,’ he says, ‘is precisely when it is necessary to offer charity.'” Read More »

Ermanno Olmi – Torneranno i prati AKA Greenery Will Bloom Again (2014)

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The winter of 1917, the North-East front, the final clashes of the Great War. An Italian stronghold situated at 1800 metres above sea level, on the Asiago plateau, described in the novels of Mario Rigoni Stern. It’s snowing everywhere; the Austrian trenches are so close that you can hear the enemy soldiers breathing.

A hundred years since the outbreak of World War I, maestro Ermanno Olmi describes with Torneranno i prati his vision of a conflict that cost the lives of 16 million human beings, just as it was brought back to him by the memory of his father, called to arms at 19 years of age, to find himself within the bloodbath of Carso and Piave. A drama that scarred his youth and the rest of his life, just like millions of others. Read More »

Various – 12 registi per 12 città (1989)

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Promotional omnibus film, made for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, featuring portraits of 12 Italian cities.
For all those who will not be going to Italy for a vacation this year… here is the next best thing. A who’s who of Italian directors anno 1990 turn their cameras on a specific Italian city. Most of these (very) short films do not have dialogue of any kind, and rely instead solely on the beauty of the images and music to depict the various cities.

Directed by
Michelangelo Antonioni (segment “Roma”)
Bernardo Bertolucci (segment “Bologna”)
Giuseppe Bertolucci (segment “Bologna”)
Mauro Bolognini (segment “Palermo”)
Alberto Lattuada (segment “Genova”)
Carlo Lizzani (segment “Cagliari”)
Mario Monicelli (segment “Verona”)
Ermanno Olmi (segment “Milano”)
Gillo Pontecorvo (segment “Udine”)
Francesco Rosi (segment “Napoli”)
Mario Soldati (segment “Torino”)
Lina Wertmüller (segment “Bari”)
Franco Zeffirelli (segment “Firenze”)
Read More »