Michelangelo Frammartino’s Il Buco

Anthony Hawley at Artforum:

Throughout Il Buco, most human speech—apart from that in a television feature on the Pirelli palace and the old man’s cattle calls—is only ever heard at a distance, both standard Italian and Calabrian dialects disappearing into the acoustic fabric of the film. Cinematographer Renato Berta’s camera, either suffocatingly close or slightly afield from its subjects, hastens this sensorial defamiliarization. So does the rarity of subtitles. That these only appear under two brief archival segments—the aforementioned scientific report and the Pirelli doc, viewed, in a beguiling crepuscular scene, by a mesmerized group of townspeople motionlessly watching a television plopped outside on the dirt—is to insist upon a certain incommunicability. Despite our best efforts to dominate the heavens and the underworld, some places evade epistemic capture. Murmurous soundscapes, both infinitesimal and grandiose, perplex and disorient, causing human agents and their endeavors to appear more like incidental elements in the greater chasm of time.

more here.