Le Quattro Volte (U)

Starring: Giuseppe Fuda, Bruno Timpano

Michelangelo Frammartino's film sounds very like an arthouse parody – a meditation on the life of a Calabrian goatherd based on the Pythagorean doctrine of the soul's migration.

And yet, in its way, it is the least pretentious and most joyous celebration of nature. Couched in quasi-documentary style, without commentary, it examines the cycle of life and death in a tiny Italian village where the only noise to be heard is the bleating of goats and the bark of a dog. Its master, the goatherd, seems to have been there from time immemorial, his longevity the result (he believes) of a sprinkling of church dust stirred into his glass of water before bedtime. His cough sounds nasty, though.... It's hard to convey the quiet beauty and strange wit of Frammartino's portrait of the changing seasons. Just watch, and wonder.