The Slow Pace Of The Faithful
R. J MOSS | Alice Springs, Australia | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Keep Walking' finds Ermanno Olmi in top form on the heels(sorry) of his masterful,'Tree Of Wooden Clogs'. I have great affection for Olmi's aspirations, a checklist of which might read; the working man as artist through his ordinary labours; recognition that seasonal weather and geography are not spectacularly 'other' than us but part of our fabric; the experience of time's slowness in a pre or non-technological world; that our self-awareness is more evident through active contemplation. You couldn't, of course, expect mouthpieces cranking out these ideologies in his films. Least of all his dim-witted magi, who more by accident than divination, stumble on the Holy stable, only to unceremoniously quit the scene when Herod's troops are pressing. Events move at an appropriate donkey's pace and the faith of Mel(chior) is tested by his acolyte, Rupo. And he is shaken by another of his party who stingingly accuses him of cowardice, and denounces his idea of building a temple where he'd buried a loaf given to him by Joseph, as a celebration of Jesus's death. Insecurities abound, caught in faltering, close-up glances between cart stays, branches, lightening storms and encounters with strangers. This great film arouses memories of Michel Tournier's brilliant novel,'the Fourth Wise Man'."