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The Post-human Sound: an Interview with Michelangelo Frammartino

Alessandro Lanfranchi

Abstract


Michelangelo Frammartino is an Italian director capable of producing a major change in international cinema: his extensive experience with video art has been the beginning of a long philosophical and artistic reflection, which included his first full-length film, Il dono (The Gift), presented at Locarno Film Festival in 2003; a path that lead him to rethink the role that cinematography has had, since its origins, in the relation with non-human otherness. His great masterpiece, Le quattro volte (The Four Times, 2010), praised by the critics in many festivals, including Cannes, presents a relational, modal and deeply dialogic notion of human identity. Frammartino abandons the stereotypical, traditional view that conceives of man as a rigid, introverted entity, trapped in a paradigm that postulates his innate superiority (a vision favored by a certain, antiquated, humanist tradition). He therefore welcomes in his works very diverse perspectives and needs: non-human ones, that can radically modify our point of view through a long process of mutual blending, that can allow us to reach a renewed understanding of what is “human”. In fact, the film tells four stories intertwined together: the story of a shepherd, of a baby goat, of a tree and, eventually, of some coal. Inspired by the Pythagorean view of metempsychosis, that postulates four different phases of the journey of the soul through life (human, animal, plant, mineral), Frammartino underlines how any life form, despite their different rhythms and processes, has in itself a baffling but precious potential. This awareness leads toward a dialogical attitude, that can question the notion of an unmovable identity, making it exceed the boundaries of humanity and blend with the surrounding non-human otherness. The following article is an interview that attempts to decipher and understand the poetics of the young Calabrian director, starting from his last movie, Le quattro volte.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2016-002-lanf






Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196


Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo