Le Quattro Volte

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NYFF's other reincarnation parable (alongside Thai entry Uncle Boonmee) is rewarding but far more academic. Director Michelangelo Frammartino, an Italian film professor, traveled to the Southern Italian region of Calabria and constructed a nearly dialogue-free experimental docudrama around one of its residents—an elderly shepherd who dies and is reborn as a goat, then a tree and, finally, a piece of wood coal. Impeccable sound design and beautiful photography—dust floating in a beam of sunlight looks 3-D translucent—can't counteract the nagging feeling that all the details fit together a bit too neatly.—Keith Uhlich

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