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For a Pythagorean, posthumanist, transcendental cinema: An Analysis of Michelangelo Frammartino's Le quattro volte

Gimenez Cavallo, Maria

How does Frammartino's "Le quattro volte," a minimalist-seeming narrative with hardly any dialogue, no single protagonist, and without a focus on humans, manage to connect with viewers on such a profound level? The film follows an old man, a goat, a tree, and a piece of charcoal, successfully creating spectator identification beyond the human realm. The film raises the stakes for how we interact as individuals with the material world by showing the existence of the animals and minerals that are hardly ever given a voice in media. The idea for the film stems from the Ovidean (and Pythagorean) conception of the interchangeable relation between humans and animals, showing the transference of the soul through the technique of montage. Frammartino starts with a base in Greek philosophy and the Italian traditional ways of life in order to question the post-human in the contemporary era and to present a truly universal film transcending language, time, and species. The political implications of these filmic aspects are explored through the theories of Cesare Zavattini, Paul Schrader, and André Bazin. By aesthetically and narratively decentralizing humans, Frammartino reveals Being and makes the invisible visible on the screen. This essay will use a phenomenological lens to uncover the transcendental aspects of Le quattro volte, analysing how Frammartino uses film language to convey a Pythagorean posthumanism to present the unseen world.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Italian
Thesis Advisors
Leake, Elizabeth
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
October 1, 2014
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