Fox Lorber DVD...experience the worst DVD transfer
(1 out of 5 stars)
"a true story, about living under unbelievable paternal cruelty. the landscape must be beutiful, but this dvd transfer manages to obscure all that. this is the type of product you get when vulgar and dishonest people are involved in its making; this becomes more apparent when it involve the production of art-related materials, where ultimate crftmanship is required. I hope that a remastered version well be published sometimes in the future. avoid this dvd and all Fox Lorber dvd."
MY FATHER , MY MASTER...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a landmark film of the seventies , a film with a great dramatic intensity , it has its roots in neo-realism yet so beautiful and lyrical. The 5 stars are for Paolo and Vittorio Taviani , Omero Antonuti and the rest of the crew. For Fox Lorber a zero on a transfer job so poorly done , the VHS tape plays better; they did the same with "Ran" , by Kurosawa . Let us hope someone will hear our voices screaming bloody murder , and hoping for a decent digital transfer on these and similar "butchered" masterpieces."
Well-done, some strange moments if you don't object
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No matter how preserving, redemptive, or moving, this 1977 Cannes Festival winner comes across, it has it's weird moments. Padre Padrone is translated to Father, the Boss. The story encompasses abuse, brutality, bestiality, religion, oppression, etc. The directors, the Taviani brothers, are intent at depicting this barbaric existence.
Based on the autobiographical story of Gavino Ledda, an illiterate sheepherder who escaped his father's rule, joined the military, was self-taught and became professor of linguistics.
Gavino is hauled away from school at the age of 7 by his father who needs his son to watch the sheep, and that his education will come at 18 years of age. He orders the boy to live in the fields day and night. We see the abusive treatment his father imposes and we are privy to some sickening bestiality moments (by the younger children who are also sheepherders).
But the childhood scenes are quickly relayed to Gavino years later, as a young man. And there are more strange interactions within his family. Too many scenes are left to your imagination as to what is happening or we are left with little clue as to why.
When he escapes life as a sheepherder, Gavino joins the military. It is here that his speech doesn't compare to the others he becomes self-educated in phonetics and he becomes a radio operator, I believe it is. Then, he goes back home to the village and confronts his father. Here, we get a better understanding of the conflict to come. This review is from the videotape.
Harsh but exhilirating
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 09/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's no shortage of grit and unpleasantness in Padre Padrone, the kind of film you really couldn't make today - violent child beatings, animals beaten, killed or worse on screen (I really wasn't expecting the montage of donkey and chicken molesting) and a distinct lack of any sentimentality. But the Taviani Brothers' film is still one of the best I've seen this year, turning what could easily have been an exercise in miserablism into a remarkable and occasionally anarchic but always imaginative piece of pure filmmaking. From its great opening, where the real Gavino hands the actor playing his father the stick he will use to beat him as a child, there's an intelligent audacity that manifests itself in a world where animals and even music have voices if you know how to listen: the battle of wills between Gavino and a goat played out in voice over, or the voice overs of the school children whose laughter at Gavino's fate turns to horror as they realize they are next are just two great examples. Some shots manage to be strangely beautiful in spite of their context or even, odd as it sounds, their visual quality - the tracking shot of leaving the village, the long take of the father hurrying home to kill his son. The film also has a superlative use of sound, creating a sense of place out of the sounds as much of the sights in Gavino's first night in the pasture.
The two hours fly by, but burn themelves into your memory. It's just a shame that Fox Lorber's DVD is such poor quality. "
Trevor Willsmer | 12/08/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ignore Maltin. He's out of his league when it comes to reviewing movies of any substance or ambition. This is an unbelievably powerful story of an illiterate shepherd who survives a brutal upbringing through the power of education. It's a movie about redemption through the written and spoken word. It's as stylistically audacious as anything Scorsese ever made. It's bawdy, beautifully acted, terrifying and whimsical. There's nothing quite like it, except maybe the Taviani Brothers' other movies (The Meadow, Kaos, Good Morning, Babylon). It's one of my favorites."