Monday, February 13, 2017

I Fidanzati (1962)

Stylistically this film hits a real sweet spot for me. It's a perfect balance between the Neo-Realism of early Rossellini and the over-the-top stylings of late Fellini. It is a beautiful portrait of mid-century life in Sicily that relishes in the subtle details of day to day life, but with its very particular shot choices and radical cutting patterns, it is also extremely constructed. The leaps forward and backward in time and the way they are tied together by the dancehall sequence is masterful and predates Nicolas Roeg by several years. And thanks to the "stranger in a strange land" narrative as well as the primarily silent protagonist, the digressions into the particulars of finding lodging and getting a late night meal do not feel extraneous. Ermanno Olmi is capable of making the extremely difficult seem effortless. For him, it probably was.

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