Review: ‘Passages Of Time: The Voyage Of Sonos E Memoria’

Unearthed celluloid clips of Sardinia's past stir the creative juices of a group of local musicians, who jam as the images unspool, in documentary "Passages of Time." Resonance with world-music aficionados is assured, making docu ideal for festivals, specialized tube slots and homevid.

Unearthed celluloid clips of Sardinia’s past stir the creative juices of a group of local musicians, who jam as the images unspool, in documentary “Passages of Time.” This engaging depiction of how the multimedia project unfolded — by its creator, indigenous musicologist and helmer Gianfranco Cabiddu — interweaves the isle’s ancestral legacy with a fresh contempo vibe. Resonance with world-music aficionados is assured, making docu ideal for festivals, specialized tube slots and homevid.

The discovery in Italy’s Istituto Luce archives of mostly Fascist-era, B&W footage of peasants, miners, religious rites and wild horse races, initially prompted plans by Cabiddu for a regular docu, to be scored by Sardinian jazz trumpeter Paolo Fresu. However, struck by the material’s energy, Cabiddu and Fresu instead recruited an ensemble of local performers — including Luigi Lai, master player of the 2,000-year-old triple pipe known as launeddas — to come up with a sort of Sardinian symphony, combining music with images and aiming to transcend the heavy hand of tradition. Docu reflects this spirit, splicing together old and new, as with a rural, single-car train shown in past and present (graffiti-strewn) states. Tech aspects are serviceable.

Passages Of Time: The Voyage Of Sonos E Memoria

Italy

Production

An Istituto Luce release of a Lantia Cinema, Maganos, Istituto Luce production. Directed, written by Gianfranco Cabiddu.

Crew

Camera (color, Sony HD, DigiBeta, Super 8-to-35mm), Enzo Carpineta; editor, Letizia Caudullo; music, Paolo Fresu. Reviewed at Filmstudio, Rome, March 6, 2005. (Also in 2004 Venice Film Festival, Venice Days.) Running time: 85 MIN.
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