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12:30   4:00   7:30

Must End Saturday, December 24

Written, Directed, Photographed and Edited by ERMANNO OLMI


(1978) A painterly and sensual immersion in late nineteenth-century Italian farm life, THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS by Ermanno Olmi (IL POSTO) lovingly focuses on four families working for one landowner on an isolated estate in the province of Bergamo. Filming on an abandoned farm for four months, Olmi adapted neorealist techniques to tell his story, enlisting local people to live as their own ancestors had, speaking in their native dialect on locations with which they were intimately familiar. Through the cycle of seasons, of backbreaking labor, love and marriage, birth and death, faith and superstition, Olmi naturalistically evokes an existence very close to nature, one that celebrates its beauty, humor, and simplicity but also acknowledges the feudal cruelty that governs it. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS is intimate in scale but epic in scope—a towering, heart-stirring work of humanist filmmaking. New DCP restoration created in collaboration with The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata and supervised by Ermanno Olmi. Approx. 186 mins.



“A PASTORAL MASTERPIECE. Portrays Italian peasant life at the end of the 19th century via a Neorealist lens… Although Olmi’s compositions are precise and painterly – every shot seems to be beautifully bathed in soft light and shadow, with no detail out of place – the film has the understated authenticity of documentary… THIS IS ONE OF THE GREAT FILMS OF THE DECADE, AND ABSOLUTELY WORTH SEEING ON A BIG SCREEN.”
– Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
Read full review here

“BEAUTIFUL. Ermanno Olmi’s farsighted view of Italian farm life in the late 19th century, immerses you in what feels like an unchanging preindustrial world.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times 

“A profoundly serious film that stands outside of time and fashion… The movie, which runs slightly more than three hours, is an accumulation of dozens of experiences of children, adults, old people, village idiots, of harvest times and plantings, of moments of boredom and jealousy, celebrations, fatigue, brief pleasures and mysterious ones. It moves so effortlessly, often with great humor and always with compassion, that it seems much shorter than most 90-minutes films… It may well be a masterpiece.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“Its strength lies not just in its ravishing depiction of the changing seasons in a stunning part of Lombardy nor in its human sympathies, which are never patronizing to the ordinary people he finds so unordinary, but in its measured, cumulative approach to the hard life of those close to penury and exploited by the powerful.”
– Derek Malcolm, The Guardian (UK)

“A quiet masterpiece… A rich, living tapestry.”
– Newsweek

“Olmi’s uncompromising reconstruction of peasant life in turn-of-the-century Lombardy marks a return to his origins in neo-realism and non-professional casts… A near faultless and major film.”
– Jan Dawson, Time Out (London) 

“The power of the film is cumulative; to watch it is to slowly build a kinship with these characters, to become invested in their uncertain fates, and perhaps to feel less like a silent observer than another member of the community. The solidarity is infectious… It’s hard to imagine anyone getting through its three hours without feeling a stirring of conscience. It renders the political personal, one planted crop at a time... A major achievement—somehow epic and intimate, saying something profound about its milieu without seeming to try to say anything at all.”
– A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club

Film Forum