Vancouver International Film Festival

Scott Wood

On Saturday October 6th, Scott Wood, host of the interview show, attended the Vancouver International Film Festival’s screening of One Hundred Nails.

One Hundred Nails 

Italy, 2007, 92 min, 35mm

Directed By Ermanno Olmi

In One Hundred Nails, the police investigate a bizarre crime where someone has taken all the books in university library and nailed them to the floor. (The crime scene alone makes for a beautiful and startling image.) The crime devastates the aging librarian-monsignor who regards the collection as his duty—and the books as his best friends. The authorities have only one suspect, the heartthrob university professor who has just entered the priesthood.

Our cryptic and handsome vandal has fled the city for the country, where he fakes his suicide and takes up residence in an abandoned hut on the side of the Po river. He befriends the local postman. His pursued by the crazy yet vibrant bakery shop girl. He is embraced by the small town folk as a sort of Jesus type. They help him repair his home and he learns to enjoy their simple life.

The professor-priest of the film goes on to portray an extremely cheesy stand-in as a modern Christ figure. This may have been acceptable in a film made in 1970, but it is 2007. I require a far more sophisticated message in narrative films.

The director does paint a beautiful picture of a small town idyll. However, this makes you want to see more of the villager’s stories and makes you cringe each time you see the priest’s face. Director Olmi has vowed that this film will be his last narrative feature. I wish he had decided to go out with a story that was not a heavy-handed and tired 1972-era polemic.

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  • Posted on: 11 March 2016
  • By: Administrator