Fifth about The Seventh

The Hole (Il Buco)

The Hole: Michelangelo Frammartino is more interested in paying homage to the speleologists that explored the cave in Southern Italy than it is in telling a story. The film is a reenactment of sorts of that exploration, jumping from the cave to their encampment to the nearby house of local shepherds, shot as if the film was an observational documentary. It is extremely ponderous, barely has any dialogues, and has only a couple of recognizable characters. All that said, it is visually a wonder. The images from inside the cave are almost hypnotic, as they go from complete darkness to bits and pieces being lit by the helmet lights of the explorers. Outside, cinematographer Renato Berta tries a different approach: unconstrained by the tight cave, the camera is placed very far from the action, capturing the environment and the action almost from a bird’s-eye view. The landscape (the valley, the mountains, the small nearby village, the shepherds’ shack) is wonderfully bucolic. Sound is also of great relevance, as the pastoral sounds outside and the work sounds within are often all that is happening.

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