THE CARDBOARD VILLAGE (Ermanno Olmi, 2011)

Beautifully written and directed by Italy’s 80-year-old Ermanno Olmi, and gorgeously photographed by his son, Fabio, Il villaggio di cartone is a spare, mysterious, deeply moving parable about a group of “illegal aliens” from Africa who, seeking sanctuary from the police, occupy a defunct church whose 80-year-old priest, despite its deconsecration, refuses to vacate it, […]

“LA COTTA” (Ermanno Olmi, 1967)

“I’d like to give you the first kiss again.” Charming is the adjective most often applied to writer-director Ermanno Olmi’s 49-minute “The Crush”; however, I also find the film close to devastating. Perhaps it is the low, crestfallen voice that seemingly on-top-of-everything 15-year-old Andreà slips into when Jeanine, his girlfriend of ten days and presumed […]

THE FIANCÉS (Ermanno Olmi, 1962)

One of the most remarkable films ever made about the Italian working class, Ermanno Olmi’s The Fiancés (I fidanzati) is also a love story of sorts. More particularly, it’s about the strain placed on an engaged couple by their separation once the man, Giovanni, relocates from Milan, where he works as a welder in a […]