194-195 Il posto and I fidanzati

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Napoleon
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194-195 Il posto and I fidanzati

#1 Post by Napoleon » Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:22 am

Il Posto

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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.

Special Features

- New high-definition digital transfer
- Rare deleted scene
- Reflecting Reality, a new interview with filmmaker Ermanno Olmi and film critic/historian (and occasional Olmi collaborator) Tullio Kezich
- La Cotta (The Crush), Olmi's 1967 short about a young boy's first love
- Theatrical trailer
- Restoration demonstration
- New essay by critic Kent Jones
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



I fidanzati

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Ermanno Olmi's masterful feature is the tender story of two Milanese fiancés whose strained relationship is tested when the man accepts a new job in Sicily. With the separation come loneliness, nostalgia, and, perhaps, some new perspectives that might rejuvenate their love. Olmi's deep humanism charges this moving depiction of ordinary men and women, and the pitfalls of the human heart.

Special Features

- New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions
- Mysteries of Life, a new video interview with filmmaker Ermanno Olmi and film critic/historian (and occasional Olmi collaborator) Tullio Kezich discussing I Fidanzati
- Theatrical trailer
- New essay by critic Kent Jones
- New and improved English subtitle translation

Criterionforum.org user rating averages

Last edited by Napoleon on Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

solent

#2 Post by solent » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:49 am

Napoleon wrote:As the gushing praise for the Olmi's have gone the way of the server crash its time to give the casual readers of the forum a push towards seeing these absolute wonders.

Two films that I would never, ever have come across without them being released on the cc are Il Posto and I Fidanzati. In my humble opinion, the greatest achievement of the cci s bring these to greater attention.

Il Posto is the most heart warming and ultimately heartbreaking film I've seen. Sandro Panseri puts in a performance that words cannot describe as a young man taking his first tentative steps in the working world. We are with him all the way as he goes for a job interview, meets new friends (and possible girlfriend) and goes to the Christmas party.
It may not sound enthralling, but as with all great movies, it isn't the story as much as the telling. Olmi's (now) much heralded common touch and ability to identify with the everyday concerns of all of us put this onto another plateau.

The interactions (all of them) between Panseri and Loredana Detto redefined what I thought the movies were capable of.

Note: Not only did cc release these, but also went the whole hog, lavishing them with crisp transfers. Both are amongst the best looking images in the collection.
Even his first feature TIME STOOD STILL (1959) is worth seeing. It is an amazing "slice-of-life" coming of age story. I'm not sure if it has ever been available commercially. All of Olmi's early films have been shown on Oz TV [SBS] over 10 years ago so we were lucky enough to experience this underrated film-maker as well as others.

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#3 Post by BWilson » Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:43 pm

Last night I finnally watched the short film that's included. My God it's fantastic! It's actually even better than the feature Il Posto.

Simple, yet magical, very funny, and it's got some beautiful women in it. I really loved this film.

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#4 Post by skuhn8 » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:09 pm

So...that repeating motif in the UK series, The Office, of the copy machine? That's an homage to Il Posto's ending, right? Rewatched Il Posto for the first last night since watching the two seasons of The Office a half year back, and am just now getting the connection. Am I really slow on the uptake or is this news to Office/Il Posto fans out there?

By the way is that Il Posto set lavish or what? Especially for a lower tier. Really one of the finest transfers I've seen in the CC for that vintage.

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#5 Post by javelin » Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:27 pm

stunning transfer, and one of my personal favorite films (#12 for those that care.) Olmi's set design reminded me a bit of Antonioni's in L'Avventura. The amazing part to me is how the entire film is dealing with something soulless, yet the film itself retains so much soul. Underneath that oppressive architecture, the tapping of typewriters, and the machine of The Man, is a palpable beating heart, still struggling to find a place. Impressive.

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#6 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:06 am

What a fabulous little film IL POSTO is. A little uncovered jewel-- so perfect. Olmi makes it all look so easy. Holy cannoli!

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#7 Post by skuhn8 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:05 am

HerrSchreck wrote:What a fabulous little film IL POSTO is. A little uncovered jewel-- so perfect. Olmi makes it all look so easy. Holy cannoli!
It is a beauty of a film, really allows you to crawl into the head of this guy as he seemingly sleepwalks through his fate--finish school, apply for a mindless job that will bear prospects, marry, replicate, push the next little bugger into the next empty desk. Love it.

But really, it's Il Fidanzati that I find myself returning to again and again. It eschews an involved narrative for a lush tone-poem on separation and regret, exile and just not quite fitting in. I think my personal experience abroad adds weight for me (as does the fat-rich diet here) but when I first watched it in the states I couldn't help but go back to it again and again. For me it plays much more like my favorite concert videos. Olmi's Last Waltz. That sweeping pan following the motor cycle. The late-night welders exploding in a fireworks display. When digitiallyobsessed panned this one I finally had to register so I could rebutt under user comments.

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#8 Post by Michael » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:13 am

Holy cannoli indeed!

Schreck, have you watched Fidanzati yet? I think you will be blown away by this one - as much as Posto if not more.
For me it plays much more like my favorite concert videos. Olmi's Last Waltz. That sweeping pan following the motor cycle. The late-night welders exploding in a fireworks display.
Utterly beautiful. So is the rest of the film. I also love the glimpses of his fiancee in his memory as he strolls through Sicily.

If I had to name the greatest underrated Italian films ever, Posto and Fidanzati would be those films.

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#9 Post by skuhn8 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:10 pm

Michael wrote:If I had to name the greatest underrated Italian films ever, Posto and Fidanzati would be those films.
But is Il Posto underrated? When I was first learning about classic Italian film it came up frequently in lists and articles. As for Il Fidanzati: had anyone here on the forum seen this before the CC busted out with it?

And talk about a cover capturing the essence: Posto's protagonist in the background with the look of utter defeat.

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#10 Post by Michael » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:18 pm

But is Il Posto underrated? When I was first learning about classic Italian film it came up frequently in lists and articles
I'd like to be in your shoes but I've not seen it brought up or discussed as much as De Sica, Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni, Pasolini, and Tornatore. I had never heard of Olmi till Criterion released his films.

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#11 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:32 pm

Millicent Marcus has a good chapter on Il Posto in her book on neorealism so I don't know if it's underrated by that standard.

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#12 Post by GringoTex » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:04 pm

skuhn8 wrote:But really, it's Il Fidanzati that I find myself returning to again and again. It eschews an involved narrative for a lush tone-poem on separation and regret, exile and just not quite fitting in.
I agree- Il Posto may be the recognized classic, but I Fidanzati is the mindblower. It's also the most insightful nuts&bolts exploration of capitalism and its effect on the working class I know of: the alienation of the business trip!

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#13 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:38 am

skuhn8 wrote:[
But really, it's Il Fidanzati that I find myself returning to again and again. .
That was actually the film I set out to buy, but it wasn't in stock, so I grabbed POSTO... but I'd heard what you just basically said, i e that it's I.F. that is the (barely) superior work. But my god is this film just magnificent.

I still need to grab I.F... will report when I've seen it-- and expound on both further, as POSTO is still riccocheting around my head with fabulous poetic echoes.

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#14 Post by godardslave » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:21 am

I found Il posto cliched, dull and over-simplistic.
Its one of the few criterion DVDs i have sold.

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#15 Post by Narshty » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:06 am

godardslave wrote:I found Il posto cliched, dull and over-simplistic.
Its one of the few criterion DVDs i have sold.
And what cliches are these exactly? I can't answer for "dull", but "over-simplistic"? Well, it's unfussy but that's precisely why it's so delightful and touching. It does what movies do when they're at their best - make mountains out of molehills.

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#16 Post by skuhn8 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:10 am

HerrSchreck wrote:
skuhn8 wrote:But really, it's Il Fidanzati that I find myself returning to again and again. .
That was actually the film I set out to buy, but it wasn't in stock, so I grabbed POSTO... but I'd heard what you just basically said, i e that it's I.F. that is the (barely) superior work. But my god is this film just magnificent.

I still need to grab I.F... will report when I've seen it-- and expound on both further, as POSTO is still riccocheting around my head with fabulous poetic echoes.
whoa, I don't know if I would call IF a superior work, barely or otherwise, it just really blew my mind as a film that plays so unlike most any other film I've seen. (that being said, if you are disappointed with it: be gentle. [support emoticon-free posts])

Posto is great IMO, but I went in with expectatoins of greatness as I'd read a fair bit about it (something I rarely do with films I haven't seen but Millicent's Neorealism book mentioned above is one I had read cover to cover twice before I'd even seen more than two of the films mentioned in it.) Suffice to say it met those expectations.

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#17 Post by godardslave » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am

Narshty wrote:It does what movies do when they're at their best - make mountains out of molehills.
I dont quite understand the logic of this statement, how is this "movies at their best"? can you explain further?

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#18 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:16 pm

godardslave wrote:
Narshty wrote:It does what movies do when they're at their best - make mountains out of molehills.
I dont quite understand the logic of this statement, how is this "movies at their best"? can you explain further?
The statement has a pretty clear logic. Making mountains out of molehills, meaning taking some exiguous detail about life which is often overlooked or ill-considered and turning it into something important or profound, is a quality that film possesses when it is working at its highest peak, or in other words, when it is at its best. Yes, the statement is very general, and one might reasonably want to hear it expanded, but the logic is sound enough, even if it might seem counter-intuitive to certain received information.

I think the whole point was the reversal of that god-awful cliche, and I for one am pleased and tickled by it. One wishes to see more such cliche-busting.

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#19 Post by LonHuber » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:28 am

Narshty wrote:
godardslave wrote:I found Il posto cliched, dull and over-simplistic.
Its one of the few criterion DVDs i have sold.
And what cliches are these exactly? I can't answer for "dull", but "over-simplistic"?
I am also rather utterly baffled by godardslave's "cliched" claim. What cliches? I really can't recall anything in the film that struck me as a cliche. I watched IL POSTO three times the week I got it, each time marvelling at its freshness and its sincerity. Nothing in it rang false, and certainly not as false as a cliche would be. If you're seeing something here that we've missed, by all means enlighten us!

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#20 Post by godardslave » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:06 am

As i see it: the film tells us growing up in a small rural towns is boring and uneventful and the jobs available to a young boy in said small town also are poor. And yes, big corporations are mean!
This hardly seems world breaking news to me or billions of other people, i would imagine.

I also didnt find anything in the film interesting, new or exciting, script-wise or in terms of mise-en-scene. Rather, the film was dull, tedious exercise in formality, with no imaginative spark or anything original to say.
Last edited by godardslave on Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#21 Post by skuhn8 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:25 am

ahhhh....so you watch old films to get "world breaking news"! Now I understand. Just watched Spartacus last week: Oh my god! Slaves are revolting in Italy! Oh wait...

Pretty much 80% of what's in the CC can have their plots simplified to 15 words or less. We can do the same with Umberto D., and let's not even get started on Bicycle Thieves. OK, let's: Guy pawns stuff to get bike for much needed job. Bike is stolen. Journey with son ensues to retrieve bike. Huh. No breaking world news there. That movie is lame with cliche's.

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#22 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:22 pm

skuhn8 wrote:ahhhh....so you watch old films to get "world breaking news"! Now I understand. Just watched Spartacus last week: Oh my god! Slaves are revolting in Italy! Oh wait...

Pretty much 80% of what's in the CC can have their plots simplified to 15 words or less. We can do the same with Umberto D., and let's not even get started on Bicycle Thieves. OK, let's: Guy pawns stuff to get bike for much needed job. Bike is stolen. Journey with son ensues to retrieve bike. Huh. No breaking world news there. That movie is lame with cliche's.
Oh, oh, can I play?

Seven Samurai: peasants have hard life, are always being robbed, so hire samurai to make life easier; samurai kill everyone possible; peasants rejoice. Bucket of cliche.

Straw Dogs: American feels like outsider in a small British town. People are mean to him. They rape his wife and invade his home. He kills them. Everyone is unhappy. Banal.

Day of Wrath: Young woman is married to old, boring religious man. He hates witches; she says she is a witch; he dies. Boring.

Wow. All of my favourite movies, when I really think about it, are boring and cliched with no breaking news.

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#23 Post by skuhn8 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:37 pm

Time to have a new thread dedicated to debunking the entire CC by reducing plots to either five sentences or 30 words or less. Thanks Godardslave: it's about time someone stood up and put this whole 'art' cinema nonsense into perspective.

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#24 Post by sevenarts » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:02 pm

I'm surprised nobody has had anything to say about La Cotta in this thread. That's a pretty substantial extra on the Il Posto disc, and a great little film on its own. The quality isn't too great -- and looks even worse in comparison to the sparkling job Criterion did on the main features -- but it's still obviously a solid work. I admittedly was less than blown away by the first half of the film, which shows some interesting narrative fragmentation and doubling, but otherwise didn't seem too special. It probably didn't help that it's set on a foggy night and the picture quality makes it all look like an indistinguishable haze. But anyway, in the second half the mood and the pacing settle down, as the main character enters a conversation with a slightly older woman. This segment reminded me tremendously of Rohmer: the languid pace of the conversation, the fluid naturalness of the performances, the slow movement from casualness towards deeper meanings. It's a remarkable segment, and if I was a little impatient and bored during the first half, I became absolutely hypnotized very early into the second half, so much so that I could've easily watched another hour of it. The film as a whole certainly isn't as assured or polished as the two features of Olmi's I've seen, but I'm still very glad that Criterion decided to include it.

Here's to MANY more miscellaneous shorts showing up on CC discs.

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#25 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:14 am

This February I was in Rome winding down after a day nudging around, and what popped on the tv but La Cotta. It's kind of charming in that it's clearly Olmi as a young boy being played in both POSTO & COTTA, but COTTA for me rarely strays too far away from the standard fare of teen-crush 60's tv.. whereas POSTO is just indescribably sublime. And after seeing FIDANZATI, which I did very much like, I do think POSTO the superior film. Just crystaline, purely distilled, perfect. I love love love that film.

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