Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Il Posto

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on March 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM

IL POSTO   ****

Ermanno Olmi


IDEA:  A young man encounters the quirks and perils of working life when he applies for a job at a large corporation.

BLURB:  Applying neorealist themes to a radically modern milieu, Il Posto depicts an Italy situated queasily between old and new, conservative and progressive, leaving its characters to wander in a kind of Kafkaesque limbo. Its rendering of a young man caught within the stifling concrete corridors of this world is astonishing in its canniness and breathtaking in its visual strategies. Olmi’s shot compositions are the stuff of dreams: playing immaculately with scale, depth, and geometry, his boxy, compartmentalized frames - often extreme wide shots - are stunning illustrations of an uneasy interplay between bodies and starkly enclosed spaces. These areas become all the more alienating when they’re underscored by the long gulps of deadening silence that overwhelm the soundtrack. Sandro Panseri, meanwhile, marvelously embodies the awkwardness and bewilderment of his fish-out-of-water experiences. With bug eyes, diminutive smile and pasty complexion, he is an endearing entry point to a world so mundane yet perplexing we realize, yes – it’s ours.

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