In his Palme d’Or–winning masterpiece The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Ermanno Olmi depicts both the hardship and the beauty of late nineteenth-century agrarian life in the Italian province of Bergamo, telling the story of four families that live and work on an estate controlled by an exploitative landowner. Inspired by Olmi’s own experience of moving away from the hustle and bustle of Milan to the tranquility of the Dolomite foothills, the film pays homage to a disappearing peasant world, one that Olmi was familiar with from the stories his grandmother told him as a child. In this excerpt from Ermanno Olmi: The Roots of the Tree, a 1981 episode of the British television program The Southbank Show featured on our new edition of the film, Olmi explains how a “whisper of the generations” connects us to a deeper awareness of human experience.
The Hope That Fueled Bowling for Columbine
How much can a film turn the tide on American violence? Michael Moore and archivist Carl Deal reflect on the moral urgency that gave rise to one of the most talked-about documentaries of all time.
Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema
For Philippine master Lino Brocka, casting a mix of nonprofessional and professional actors was key to achieving his brand of unvarnished naturalism.
This Kiss: Filming an Intimate Moment in The Virgin Suicides
What goes into staging the perfect on-screen kiss? Director Sofia Coppola and actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett look back on shooting a passionate make-out session in The Virgin Suicides.
“Perfect Imperfection”: Neil Young Improvises Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch filmed Neil Young recording the score for his 1995 revisionist western. Watch a bit of the never-released footage here.