A tender coming-of-age story and a sharp observation of dehumanizing corporate enterprise, Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto is a touching and hilarious tale of one young man’s stumbling entrance into the perils of modern adulthood.
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Like poetry to me. In its simplicity Il posto says too much. Olmi succeds showing how dehumanizing big corporations can be: all those endless corridors, the monotony, the gulf between people. Terribly true and poignant. But what really captivated me in this coming-of-age film is how everything is shown through the expressivity of Panseri's eyes: naive, lost, scared, passionate. The last 20 minutes are unforgettable.
For his first fiction film, Olmi drew on personal experience for this wryly humorous work. Indebted to the neo-realist style, the anguish and loneliness of a young man who applies for an office job is examined. The film employs non-professional actors and the lugubrious features of Panseri in the lead role are reminiscent of Keaton as he gradually becomes aware of the boredom of the years stretching out before him...
The moments of happiness of life are the little things and the moments in when we expect something great may happen (projects, relationships, work, studies etc..), it's not a pessimistic thought that things will normally not be as we ideally expected, it's the reality, but we need to keep expecting those moments to feel alive.
I recently re-watched this film in order to recapture something I felt the first time I saw it. That simple beautiful poetry was still there. What I value so dearly is the film's quiet confidence that an audience can be spellbound merely by witnessing truthful human behaviour.