On Sunday afternoon, in memory of Italian auteur Ermanno Olmi, who passed away earlier this year at the age of eighty-six, the Cleveland Museum of Art will present a screening one of the director’s greatest films, 1961’s Il posto, in 35 mm. After beginning his career making corporate documentaries on such subjects as dams and power plants, Olmi turned to fiction filmmaking, applying a unique blend of neorealism and poetic realism to intimate stories of everyday life. And like many of his movies, the touching and wisely funny Il posto, his second feature, takes on the topic of work: a young man from the provinces (nonactor Sandro Panseri) arrives in Milan in search of a job, and though the position that he lands proves soul crushing, he does find some hope of fulfillment as he falls for a colleague (Loredana Detto, another nonprofessional, whom Olmi would marry in 1963). For a testament to the unassuming magic of the film, check out our Under the Influence video with 20th Century Women director Mike Mills, in which he pays tribute to Olmi and the tonal delicacy and quietly radical humanism of the “charming, weird” Il posto.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.