The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte) (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Birth, death, and transformation are examined in Le Quattro Volte, a profound and often funny mediation on the cycles of life on earth.


Movie Info

An idyllic village in Italy's mountainous region of Calabria is the setting for LE QUATTRO VOLTE, an exquisitely filmed take on the cycles of life. Structured in four parts, per its title ("four times"), it opens with a shepherd tending his herd of goats, then shifts focus to one goat in particular, the tree under which he seeks shelter, and the industrialized fate of that plant. A.O. Scott of The New York Times writes: "(Its) view of nature is among the most profound, expansive and unsettling I … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama , Art House & International , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Michelangelo Frammartino
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 13, 2011
Box Office: $0.2M
Runtime:
Lorber Films - Official Site

Cast


as The Shepherd

as A Coal Maker

as A Coal Maker

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Critic Reviews for The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte)

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (16)

The God's-eye view becomes mesmerizing when we stop insisting that the film flatter us and just enjoy a quiet ride on the cycle.

Full Review… | July 15, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

I drifted pleasantly in its depths.

Full Review… | June 16, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Le Quattro Volte may sound like art-house tedium, but in fact it's a movie of grave beauty, serene pace and surprising humor.

Full Review… | June 9, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Give Le Quattro Volte the patience it deserves, and you will be captivated by its stately rhythms, transfixed by its strange imagery, and moved by its sudden dramas. Don't, and you'll be bored to tears.

Full Review… | June 3, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

If Dante hadn't already made classic use of the title, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte could instead have been called The Divine Comedy.

Full Review… | June 3, 2011
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The director emphasizes the fragile and invisible, the small specks of matter that make up the whole.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte)

'Le Quattro Volte'. A highly unique film, exemplifying the visual medium of communication, documenting life moving from one form to another, in a town mostly untouched by the modern world, with large doses of humour thrown in!

For all intents and purposes, there is no dialogue throughout the entire film, forgiving a few inaudible murmurs between characters. This lack of dialogue is in no way missed, due to Michelangelo Frammartino's direction and the stars of the film, the animals, and nature itself.

I'm not quite sure how much of it was staged, and how it was made to happen, but the goats and dog of this film are arguably far funnier than the highest paid comedians of Hollywood. The obvious sequence involving the shepherd's dog, a rock, a truck and a procession. Couple that with the sorrow felt when the goat we follow from birth becomes separated from its pack, bleating away, trying to find its way back home, eventually settling into a hillside at night, starkly contrasted by the thick snow covering all, spelling inevitable doom; amazingly invokved emotions.

Having seen 'The Tree of Life' so recently, there were similarities thematically with 'Le Quattro Volte', but where Malick's scope was so, so grand, and framed around Christianity, I loved the smaller, focused scope of 'Le Quattro Volte'. Inspired by philosopher Pythagoras' belief in four-fold transmigration - from human to animal to vegetable to mineral, Frammartino steers the ship in such a way that the interconnectedness of it all is seamless and poetic, in tune with the four seasons, and the lives of everyone in the town.

In his review, A.O. Scott said...

"You have never seen anything like this movie, even though what it shows you has been there all along"

I haven't seen many goats myself, but I don't think I can put it any better.

[text from http://blog.c0up.com/le-quattro-volte-spoilers-duh]

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c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

½

Le Quattro Volte quite simply and quite beautifully explains or symbolises the 4 stages of life. The 4 stages; Birth, Life, Death and finally the reabsorbing back into the earth/nature are shown here in the life of a few individuals (and Goats) in a medieval Italian village. A lot of people have read various different things into this film, I'm going to go with what Michelangelo Frammartino has said it's about (seeing as he wrote it) and that is it's about different chapters in nature and the likenesses and contrasts between man and nature, touching on religion briefly along the way. When you view it in those ways, and uncomplicate it, it is so much easier and pleasant to sit back and watch. If, like me, you enjoy the simple pleasures in life, this film is for you. If you don't believe silence is golden then you need not apply. Beautifully filmed, simple and simply beautiful.

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SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

½

An Italian goatherd dies, then a goat born and dies, then a tree is cut down and made into charcoal in this slow moving, dialogue-free experiment. It's all made to illustrate Pythagoras' lesser-known theorem that humans are made up of the rational, the animal, the vegetable and the mineral. It has some hypnotic, documentary-style moments, and the Calabrian countryside is beautiful to behold, but mainly it's film medicine: you get the sense it's good for you, but it's not that much fun on the intake.

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366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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