The Tree of Wooden Clogs

August 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Posted in Movies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In the final scene from The Tree of Wooden Clogs a man silently packs up his family’s possessions into a cart and then his wife, holding a new-born and his other two small children hop on and they leave the small little peasant compound in Lombardy, Italy in 1900.We know that they don’t know where they are going; they’ve been kicked out  for the smallest and heartbreaking  of infractions by the owner. Saddest of all, the other two families look out from their windows as they prepare to leave and they don’t come out to say good-bye. Just a week or two before the now homeless family man was the Best Man at the wedding of the beautiful daughter of his neighbor. They are scared that it could happen to them.

My brother Marty, movie-man par excellence, clued me into this movie and I had not even heard about it. In 1978 it won the Best Movie Award at Cannes and was reviewed glowingly in the NY Times. Perhaps it is so little known because there are no actors, local peasants were used instead. I call upon all the over-actors, Pacino, Hoffman, Walken and now, sadly, DeNiro to study the performances of  these magnificent peasants.

The movie is three hours long and I first thought it slow but that was my impatience, my inattention. I now think it one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.

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