Frammartino's first feature's is notable for its measured pace and subtle approach to storytelling. The long, largely static shots first appear reluctant to divulge anything beyond what we see: a Calabrian village, the surrounding countryside, old farmhouses, a car or bike climbing a hill, people walking slowly along narrow streets, faces. We gradually realise that most people here are elderly, like the guy who finds a mobile phone, leaves it on his table in case the owner comes to collect it, and is mystified by its ringing. There are few young folk. One, a girl in her late teens or early twenties, behaves in such a way some crones consider her 'possessed'. Life's tough here, not to say repetitive. But there's beauty, too, in the painterly precision of the compositions, and in the unsentimental compassion of the gaze turned towards the villagers, 'played' by non-professionals. In this enigmatic parable of time's passing, with its images of waiting, suffering, detritus and decay, are moments of wry, warm comedy. Moreover, the long takes echo the village's rhythms, and soon we adjust, since the director's contemplative pace is also a gift in itself.
Cast and crew