September 18, 2021


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‘Il Buko’ Review: A slow, fantastic, frustrating search document

4 min read

If we believe this proverb that the desire to climb a mountain comes only because there is, perhaps following it, not to bother too much about it, that a cave explorer maps a hole in the ground so it does not. The notions of absence – not only of solid space, but of light and life – as well as the opposition of the above and below, transient and eternal, high and low, Michelangelo Framartino’s “Il Buko” (“The Hole”), a document that gently, silently and rather very diagonally A 1961 sporadic expedition to measure the depth of an undiscovered craves in the Calabria region was recreated.

As the first beautiful picture, a picture made up of a combination of perfectly beautiful pictures, gradually fades, retreating from the sound of cricket in notes that echoes vaguely from above, as if to adjust your eyes to the sudden darkness. We are inside the hole, from which the visibly present walls of the cave translate into an absence – the black negative space of the picture – and the white, bright, empty sky looks like a living figure outside. In fact, it looks like a Batman sign, intercepting annoying cows that briefly come down towards us from its edges, their cowbells shaking like the wind.

Across the Polino Plateau where the hole is located, an elderly shepherd (Paolo Cossi) has his tanned eyebrows raised like the perforated bark of a tree, beside which he is impossibly fixed and vertical to the side of a steep hill. The scene in front of him is so huge that the rotation of the earth can be understood by how the shadow descends through the distant opal and how the clouds cast small shadows over the valley. Renato Barta’s landscape camerawork is remarkably consistent with the glory of this small tourist area.

Soon, a team of young splenologists arrives, setting up camp through the mouth of the abyss. But if the influx of people from outside this city into this bicolic Calabrian idol sets the expectation of some dramatic conflict, then none is imminent. Frammartino deliberately এবং and ultimately frustratingly বেছে chooses to hold the arms length of the explorers, usually shooting at them from a distance, reducing their arsenal hangouts and cave-side conversations that carry little meaning to us as the shepherd calls. To his cattle.

Nevertheless, as the expedition progresses, and the message camera is transmitted more deeply to the most remote area of ​​the hole, where the images are simply illuminated by a helmet torch and sometimes the burning pages of the magazine turn to the other end, a vague parallel emerges. The shepherd fell ill, and as he was being cared for by his companions, drops of water from a cloth on his face mimicked the emptiness of the water flowing under the cave walls and collected in small ponds on a natural platform. A vein contraction in his hand reminds the progress of the spelunkers troupe through the narrow mesh and its inner scale map that painfully draws a number of them. And a doctor illuminates his blind eyes and explicitly emits a ray of flashlight which they use to pierce the black ink below.

Attempts to make the story relevant to Italy’s social context were less successful in the 1940s, when national economic growth was at its height. The only dialogue comes from a television report about the building of the Pirelli building in Milan, which was being completed at about the same time, but if at the same time something is made out of the embarrassment of a skyscraper in the urban, rich north as a cave was measured in the rural, poor south , It is lost in all the beautiful images and the great provocative sound design of Simone Paolo Olivero. Similarly, the painful styling of the 1960s-classic canvas tent, old-fashioned football and magazines featuring Sophia Loren and JFK যখন when the film unfolds in a rhythm that feels like it should be measured in geological time only decades.

Frammartino’s last feature, “Le Quatro Volte” was an extraordinarily beautiful, exceptionally slow work that was much more public than professional people and significantly more quarrelsome animals (cows, handsome horses and patient donkeys). Their human equivalent). But that film is found in its empty space and transcends the langurs to a fantastic kind, as it deals with the idea of ​​the rebirth of souls through animal, plant and mineral forms. On the contrary, here, there is nothing beyond that; There is the opposite frustration of finally reaching the bottom of the cave and returning to the expectation of a long climb. The core of “Il Buko” – and frustration – has a hole in its heart.

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