1961-1970Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtArthouseDramaItalyPier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Porcile aka Pigsty [+Extras] (1969)


One of Pasolini’s most enigmatic films, it extends his cinematic obsessions into the realms of cannibalism and bestiality with two interweaving stories of two young men who become sacrificial victims of their different societies. One of them is a soldier and cannibal (Clementi) in a medieval wasteland and the other a son (Léaud) of an ex-Nazi industrialist (Tognazzi) in modern-day Germany. The young German is more attracted to pigs than to his fiancée (Wiazemsky). This rather silly parable, very much a product of the late 1960s, in which the bourgeoisie is caricatured, is filmed with such calm beauty and underlying disgust that it seems to gain in significance. Theorem (1968) and Pigsty were the only films in which the Marxist Pasolini dealt directly with the hated middle classes; thereafter he left the 20th-century behind until his final film, Salo (1975), which looks at even more extreme human actions.

I killed my father, I ate human flesh, and I quiver with joy.



included: English idx/sub
no pass

One Comment

  1. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Pigpen/Pigsty/La
    is a detailed
    politico-philosophical statement in visual images about the sad state of what
    could be a moral evolution of the human specie. The film consists of two parts
    echoing one another. One depicts the destiny of a group of young cannibals
    surviving on the periphery of medieval country life, while the other (connected
    with the first through parallel montage) represents the life of a wealthy
    family in post-WWII Germany. Pasolini compares the ordeals of the medieval bums
    mad from hunger, with that of the son of a leading German corporate profit-maker,
    and his fiancée. His juxtaposition of the two historical periods produces astonishing
    results. The young leader of the local cannibals and son of the wealthy businessman,
    appear like brothers, even like twins by destiny. With unique images Pasolini sculpts
    the very logic of his medieval and modern young heroes’ intuitive perception of
    the reality, and explains how cannibalism (in the medieval part of the film),
    and bestiality of the son of the modern financial magnate come into existence. The
    director depicts these deviations not as “naturalistic” phenomena for the
    technicians of psychiatric diagnosis to brood about, but as a result of attempts
    by these two major characters to make sense of the world that surrounds them – each
    spontaneously metaphorizes his understanding of the reality, one into his cannibalism
    and the other into his bestiality correspondingly. In other words, their perversions
    are not reflection of their psychology as such or their “genes” but are results
    of their intellectual function that makes metaphors of their world (instead of
    just imitating it/adapting to it) by their very behavior. Pasolini’s representation of two types
    of grand-scale businessmen – the more traditional (trying to take into
    consideration the human and natural environment of their entrepreneurship), and
    the purely instrumental (oriented only on profit by any price), is shocking in
    its clairvoyance – by having predicted what we today observe in Europe and US:
    the morbid growth of profit-making practices neglecting concern for its social
    and environmental consequences. Director’s comparison of how differently
    language was used in medieval Europe and today is informing and stimulating. The exceptional performances of Pierre
    Clementi, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Anne Wiazemsky, Ugo Tognazzi, Ninetto Davoli and
    Alberto Lionello are character-, not circumstance-oriented. This style of
    acting is not suitable for passive/immediate identification of the audience with
    the personages that usually gives viewers a lot of easy, cheap and empty
    pleasure. The actors of “Pigpen”, on the other hand, discover their characters’
    unique reactions even on seemingly trivial impressions. By
    Victor Enyutin

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