Review: A Man Confronts a Mountain in ‘Monte’


Andrea Sartoretti in “Monte.”

Amir Naderi

The globe-trotting, stylistically varied career of the Iranian filmmaker Amir Naderi resists easy comparison. His terrific “The Runner,” an exemplar of neorealist-style storytelling first shown within the 1980s, should be more widely available. “A, B, C … Manhattan,” part of a trilogy inspired by his life in fresh York, experiments with lengthy Steadicam shots in a wandering, day-spanning narrative. You might never identify the item as the work of the same filmmaker.

A current retrospective of Mr. Naderi’s movies at the Museum of Modern Art includes a run of his latest film, “Monte” — which again tries something totally different. Set within the Middle Ages, This particular Italian-language feature opens that has a funeral. After the protagonist, Agostino (Andrea Sartoretti), a farmer, as well as his wife, Nina (Claudia Potenza), bury their daughter, his cousins soon depart the settlement. although Agostino wishes to remain where his ancestors lived, as well as Nina won’t leave their daughter’s grave.

Like Albert Serra’s “Quixotic/Honor de Cavalleria,” “Monte” demonstrates how to suggest an epic scale without the means of a Hollywood production. The natural scenery becomes a character. The howl of the wind (as well as in one brief moment, what sounds jarringly like air traffic) stands in place of a score. “Monte” weds these straightforward elements to a fittingly stark narrative: Agostino sets out to conquer the mountain which keeps his farm barren by chipping away at the item bit by bit.

The film is actually limited by its central metaphor, although the item is actually never less than absorbing or original.

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