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Il Posto

By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted

Young, quiet Domenico Cantoni (Sandro Panseri) heads into the big city for a job interview with a massive corporation. There he jumps through an elaborate series of hoops, including a truly bizarre questionnaire, in the hopes of becoming one of the few to earn a position. In a waiting room that first day, Domenico spies beautiful Antonietta Masetti (Loredana Detto), and the pair exchange commiserating smiles. Both get hired by the company, and Domenico begins shyly courting the young lady. Italian director Ermanno Olmi's 1961 feature stands as a coming of age story as exceptional as François Truffaut's The 400 Blows, although it's a very different story very differently told. Polite, obedient Domenico takes in the world around him with wide-eyed wonder; the unforgiving urban landscape in which he finds himself is almost beyond his understanding, as is the notion that most people who take jobs with this corporation seem to work there until they die. Il Posto's phenomenal black and white cinematography communicates these harsh realities with silent precision, offset by the nervous innocence of Domenico's pursuit of Antonietta. A heartbreakingly universal story from Olmi, who now specializes in meticulously detailed historical epics, often with religious themes.

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