Pier Paolo Pasolini

Claus Bredenbrock – Pier Paolo Pasolinis Reisen durch Italien AKA Pier Paolo Pasolini: An Italian Journey (2018)

The documentary retraces Pier Paolo Pasolini’s journey along the coast of Italy in 1959. His reportage was published on the magazine “Successo” alongside the pictures of photographer Paolo di Paolo, who had the original idea of the trip. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Sopralluoghi in Palestina per il vangelo secondo Matteo (1965)

Synopsis:
Director Pier Paolo Pasolini visits the original sites of the Gospel: Lake Tiberius, the Jordan River and Jerusalem., looking for the locations for The Gospel According To St. Matthew. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini & Giovanni Guareschi – La Rabbia (1963)

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La Rabbia employs documentary footage (from the 1950’s) and accompanying commentary to attempt to answer the existential question, Why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish, and fear? The film is in two completely separate parts, and the directors of these respective sections, left-wing Pier Paolo Pasolini and conservative Giovanni Guareschi, offer the viewer contrasting analyses of and prescriptions for modern society. Part I, by Pasolini, is a denunciation of the offenses of Western culture, particularly those against colonized Africa. It is at the same time a chronicle of the liberation and independence of the former African colonies, portraying these peoples as the new protagonists of the world stage, holding up Marxism as their “salvation,” and suggesting that their “innocent ferocity” will be the new religion of the era. Guareschi’s part, by contrast, constitutes a defense of Western civilization and a word of hope, couched in traditional Christian terms, for man’s future. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Comizi d’amore AKA Love Meetings (1964)

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Pasolini doesn’t so much ‘meet’ with people of all regions of his country as interrogate them, trying to investigate the sexual mores of his time in a typical melding of politics and sex, of Marx and Freud. Although dated, it’s vital as a time capsule of 60’s Italy and as a man-on-the-streets pseudo-sociological examination of then-prevalent attitudes towards homosexuality, marriage, prostitution and divorce. The execution and image quality is rough – even for Pasolini – thought it’s no doubt intentional and a visual reflection of the project’s spur-of-the-moment, pieces-sewn-together approach. I’m a lot less sure as to why he chose to self-censor some sections of the picture instead of merely trim the film down (perhaps to infer that the silenced sections are more risqué than they probably were) since the films he would make after this point in his career – his most notorious works, including Teorema and Arabian Nights – were anything but shy about sex. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – I racconti di Canterbury AKA The Canterbury Tales (1972)

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From sun-sparkled Naples to muddy medieval England for chapter two of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life — and with all the cornholing, golden showers, and silent-movie mugging Chaucer left out. The most amorphously anecdotal of the three, it’s also the one where the discrepancy between the movies’ notional life-affirmation and the brackish despairing of their execution emerges most grotesquely, every stab at “joyous” sexuality followed by the self-reflex of grotty degradation. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Accattone (1961)

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The poet as scrounger-pimp-saint, his life and death. “Long live us thieves… we always know where to go.” Accattone “the cardboard man” (Franco Citti) in the Roman lower depths of dirty sidewalks and angelic statues, a terrain at once squalid and exalted. He ambles around the slums, soaks in his own thick mythology, is reminded of shame by the wife he abandoned (Paola Guidi), and apologizes to his son with one hand while stealing from him with the other. Madonna (Adele Cambria) at home with armfuls of children and Mary Magdalene (Silvana Corsini) in the streets, beaten up for kicks by idle mugs with peculiarly ethereal voices. In this netherworld of exploitation and debasement, a fair muse (Franca Pasut) and a prophecy (“You won’t even have your eyes to cry with”). If Pier Paolo Pasolini’s first film displays the appearance of neo-realism, it’s only as a launching pad for the harshest, most stylized assembly of the profane and the sacred; if his terse panning shots bring to mind Cimabue and other old masters, it’s only as a way to bend them. (The central image finds the antihero wetting his face in the ocean, grinding it into the sand and offering it to the camera, a grinning fresco peppered with birdshot.) Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Mamma Roma (1962)

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Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Filmed in the great tradition of Italian neorealism, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy, and highlights director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed. Though banned upon its release in Italy for obscenity, today Mamma Roma remains a classic, featuring a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actresses and offering a glimpse at a country’s most controversial director in the process of finding his style. Read More »