Padre Padrone (1977) – Taviani brothers

Padre Padrone (1977) – Taviani brothers
This is the scene where Gavino is hauled away from school at the age of 7, and wets his pants.

Padre Padrone (1975) – Gavino Ledda
A cover of the autobiographical novel on which the story is based

I watched the 1977 Padre Padrone on Canvas last night. This slow and surreal Italian artfilm is typical of 1970s government-funded cinematic modernism, with its emphasis on alienation, sordidness and loneliness. Although not without its merits the film is an unpleasant viewing experience. Some of the highlights included talking sheep, swelling music, on screen text, boys molesting animals and weird sound effects. For a similar but more enjoyable portrayal of Italian rural backwardness, check Christ Stopped at Eboli. [Dec 2006]

Jim Gay of Amazon notes on the minimalism and theatricalness of the film which make it an excellent example of the contemplative cinema category:

… the Tavianis have abstracted their characters past all recognition. There is no time in the film when a scene is not a carefully controlled abstraction. Now the characters are all gestures and tableaux, swallowed by pastoral landscapes, markers in its historical sweep rather than flesh-and-blood people. While this might appeal to an audience’s sense of intellectual cool, it also deprives them of the richer joys of being allowed under a character’s skin. –Jim Gay

More notes on government funding and art films:

Independent media production in the U.S. illustrates most vividly the clash between commerce and art. As last winter’s stalled GATT negotiations over Hollywood’s dominance of European film markets illustrates, the European model of filmmaking has always viewed films more as cultural than commercial products. From the very beginning, there were “films d’art,” which often documented great performers such as Bernhardt, Loie Fuller and Pavlova. Private patronage allowed many artists, including Man Ray, Picabia and Duchamp to create films. State-subsidized filmmaking provided the impetus for the careers of many European filmmakers, among them Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut and the Taviani Brothers. –by Daryl Chin, 1994 via

See also: patron