Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IL POSTO (Italian) (1961)

After his contemplative and poetic ‘The Tree of Wooden Clogs’, this is my second Ermanno Olmi film and the man had made another simple, sublime and touching humanitarian document in the lineage of Neo-realism. What I love most about both the films is the way he kept understated message with minimalist approach without much dialogue or narration and yet created moving ripples throughout the film. The movie presents a sensitively portrayed point of view of a shy and reticent adolescent Domenico belong to countryside, came to the city of Milan to face the interview for the clerical post. The process of interview is strange and cumbersome but for the boy the day turns out as memorable one as he encounters a young girl as fellow candidate and after an introduction spare a day with each other’s company. Both of them selected for the job along with others but the work and difference in shifts starts fading the romance. What we see next is not romance but the growth of boy starts growing with life and career, and it’s sharp inside observation of strange and ugly corporate world around him.

The beauty of the film also lies in those myriad natural expressions that Olmi managed to obtain from its two non professional debut actors- Sandro Panseri and beautiful Loredana Detto with whom Olmi married.. It’s refreshing to watch both of them and the film finely captures the emotional ripples and vibrations without being heavy anywhere. That Christmas party scene where couples’ dancing is so refined manner juxtaposed with loneliness of two single individuals of opposite gender. Olmi brought something so simple and yet so complex on screen which happens to most of us, how the reality shatters the adolescent charm of promising man slowly and steadily as he’s becoming the part of system. That final image  is something which stays with its audience where the boy got his position on table and chair paying attention to the petty issue of his senior colleagues and that cluttering mechanical sound of copier machine…perhaps he’s noticing the strange world around him where he has to settle himself being another routine man of ugly system.

Highly recommended. 

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