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Pier Paolo Pasolini Pt. 4


By Miguel Ángel Barroso
Image (above) from the Film Society of Lincoln Center: “Porcile” by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Difficult situation Porcile (1969), in Pasolini’s work; shot following theorem, the Poetry Film exercise sincere of cineasta- immediately prior to Medea – full of common elements, but with different artistic orientation clearly fits into the most secretive of its author’s cinema and also in the more confusing; confusion, even ideological, although the forms are linked to the contents.

Porcile failed precisely because it is so obvious ideologically; not within the style of Pasolini speak of good and bad so simply. I dare say that excessive secrecy with which the author conceived his film, he is the wrong shape. The form, call it doomsday parable, story or moral issue, it makes no sense beyond the role or the script. It is also true that talking about Porcile is exciting beyond its projection in the theater: why? Because the idea of Pasolini is politically devastating. It tells us that Nazism still survives, it has been embodied in the neo-capitalism flourishing; those war criminals have been hidden in the shadows, but pulling the strings of the economy to stay afloat openly or respectable modesty as the new political class.

Pasolini realizes (Porcile remains totally isolated within his films) that his staging seems more akin to other filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Marie Straub, being aware that his film idiosyncrasy sculpts counter , out of the pamphlets, but these are radical; and always leaving absolute freedom to its contradictions, who disturb disturbed. The idea would be clearer by saying that Pasolini Porcile , seems to adhere to a kind of political-symbolic, own cinema of the sixties, unwittingly (or not wanting to realize) that it has nothing to do with him in a profound sense.

Porcile was a modest production, shot in a month with a meager budget; It was a stunning effort work for the director, who, despite the difficulties always found to produce his film, never threw in the towel and went always forward, as free Director and committed only with himself.

A joyful period in the films of Pasolini. The world of the picaresque recreated with neatness and brash; one Pasolini different, but consistent with his career. Never vulgar, never delivered to the vulgar commercialism of other products for frivolous consumption of sexuality. Il Decameron 1971 is a complete showcase of loving mockery of greedy intrigue, deceit and consensual sex as an engine of humanity. Pasolini, through the writer Giovanni Boccaccio, gives free to its more playful side, more playful rein; naked bodies showing their images serve to love the wicked world; passionate kissing lovers, off a little evil men; spontaneous laughter of teenagers returns purity to the hearts.

Pasolini weaves an erotic film, but a portrait of Italian medieval life, seen through her sensuality free of guilt. The world could be bitter, hostile, ruthless and contradictory; but also Pasolini knew the world was light, linear, pleasant and simply delivered to the act of living.

Tales of Boccaccio chosen by the director, seem to merge into a single creator: two writers who were destined to meet in the way of human random: who knows if Boccaccio had not wanted to be a director when she placed her pen on paper?

The, the most enigmatic in his capacity as creator above all, more beautiful character of the film is undoubtedly the painter Giotto. The interpretation that he did Pasolini, balances the whole film an almost miraculous way. His dress, designed by Danilo Donati (a regular in his films), not scrupulously follows the costumes of the time, but has the gift of making close to our contemporary eyes.

Giotto-Pasolini, melt and are not confused, because the poet respects the figure of the painter and tries to bite the reasons for his inspiration in working conditions so harsh as they were in those days.
Pasolini actor, applies its own personality (the big hit), and as often happens, the magic happens: our eyes forget the poet and filmmaker, and identify with the painter engaged in a dream, perhaps unattainable.

Almost the entire film is shot in Naples, and most of the actors are amateurs, chosen by Pasolini random, according walked the streets, or fixed on the terraces of restaurants; It was his way of working and gave optimum results.

The new cinema of Pasolini’s like lava overflows by the camera lens, is seething passion and buries his entire team, and later the viewer. In his own words: what my presence means Il Decameron? It means having ideological work through awareness of it: not purely aesthetic consciousness, but through the vehicle of corporeality, that is, my whole way of being, totally.

I Canterbury Tales is not a continuation of opportunistic Il Decameron, but a consistent continuation of the existing aesthetic needs of its author. The impish Italy, moved to England in the Middle Ages, seen through the eyes of the poet and writer Geoffrey Chaucer, whose work as a diplomat allowed her countless trips around the world: France. Flanders, the Kingdom of Navarre and, of course, Italy. In Milan he discovered the work of Giovanni Boccaccio and immediately baroque colorful and described in The Decameron was fascinated by the world. Chaucer, wanted to repeat the formula of his Italian colleague, but creating more rude aspect of behavior, bordering the scatological with total self – confidence and sense of humor. The writer won an unprecedented success with his book, like Pasolini succeeded this time, the most popular answer of your film.


Pasolini uses rightly the historical difference between the world of Boccaccio and Chaucer. Neapolitan society that describes Boccaccio, still keeps intact its archaic character, where the bourgeoisie has not yet been consolidated. Boccaccio loves his popular heroes with a clean feeling of guilt; men and women, can be ordinary, thieves or murderers, but their actions are not analyzed from a malicious view that distorts the sense of reality and fantasy described in his stories. Boccaccio is a big kid having fun with the noble part that is in every human being is exempted from the double moral.

The vision of English Chaucer, debate, however, between two waters: in his world lives all that wealth of popular life with certain anarchy, but also, there is a fully bourgeois feeling that accepts and enforces social norms as a maximum . Chaucer was born in the bad conscience of modern man; and this is the point that interests you portray Pasolini.

The most delicate aspect of Boccaccio, the most poetic part of their stories of love, replaced by Chaucer in his stories the reader a direct assault: Do you not want shameless sex? Do you not seek the pleasures of the flesh? Pasolini endorses the writer and is faithful to the end. He was identified as the director with Chaucer, who refers to him as “his new master” who takes the maxim: When you feel that nobody is listening, it is better to remain silent.

Pasolini wants to attack the Italian company wants to scandalize at all costs, but not in any way; his new film is not a “commercial” cinema, or the naked bodies are a way to integrate into the false tolerance granted a power that does not show its true face, which is more dangerous precisely because it is not recognizable as such. The film is shot entirely in England by express wish of the filmmaker; if Il Decameron was an Italian film, this must be genuinely English, with the smell and warmth of a different Italian people, but sharing sex and sense of humor.

The working method is always the same: people pulled off the streets, mixed with professional actors.
The adventure lasted nine weeks of filming, which Pasolini described as a period of unhappiness in her life, because of the pain that caused the engagement of Ninetto Davoli and what he sensed as a departure from his great love. But the grueling work may well be that Pasolini needed therapy to relieve his heart. During assembly, it was more complicated than in the past, given the amount of celluloid impressed, the order of the stories was modified several times and reassembled all over again.

The film won the Golden Bear top prize awarded by the Berlin Film Festival.
The film is judicially kidnapped in Italy on July 10, 1972 and finally acquitted on February 7, 1973. As with Il Decameron , the distribution of the film was not interrupted, but hampered by legal proceedings.

What the director dream was impossible; and this was filming his trilogy followed the life of a form and distribute it as a single film six hours. Commercial impositions advised that divide monumental fresco on an archaic world in three independent films where, yes, it would have absolute freedom of movement. Nobody manipulate assembly, nor his dubbing; elements that, over time, Conrad had a decisive role in his film work author. Pasolini detested the standard dubbing foreign films, nor defended subtitling, because escamoteaba images to the viewer for reading the subtitles; however, he accepted as a lesser evil than the latter option rather than a plane to cast doubt on the film dubbing. He did not accept the sound director, because he was a naturalist and he fiercely rejected any hint of reality.

Il fiore delle mille e una notte , 1974, is an envelope, rotating and unique film. Are a thousand and one nights of Pier Paolo Pasolini with his camera arriflex shoulder, giving form and life to his script; returning, unbeknownst to him, to the origins of its raw operates Accatone . He, better than anyone, he understood perfectly, that film was his best weapon and with which easily could be attacked. Il fiore delle mille e una notte was conceived in Yemen, during the filming of Il Decameron , a country he will return to shoot his oriental dream.

The trilogy of life was a great project by Pasolini, and nothing was left to chance or whim. While filming every movie he wrote the script for the next; a working system which, unfortunately, had to fold, given the constraints of production; but this was a lesser evil than at any time cut its full freedom as author.

Most originality of the film, and what makes it different from the previous ones, is its narrative originality. Pasolini invents nothing, but re-adapted to the movies with the risk involved seek new models of film writing. Scheherazade’s stories are written as a string of accidents caused by fate, and all are circularly: a story is born another, and this one, another and so on until the end of time. This tempting formula fascinates the writer Pasolini and provides new ideas regarding the film adaptation. It is not based on the book to the letter, nor choose the most familiar stories; He wants to be isolated from the topics and create your own oriental nights. Thus, a story gives way to the first-person narrative of another character, which, in turn, tells the story of another character; and gradually open valves of the narrative, are closing slowly, with infinite softness and elegance to complete the circle of fate.

Il fiore delle mille e una notte is a bunch of small films sewn together, that sometimes connect to other stories larger, which, stick as if by magic, a narrative central bodies and all this results in a masterpiece of cinema.

His new collaboration with legendary composer Ennio Morricone, gives the film one of the most beautiful and atypical soundtracks in film history. All the fascination of that old filmmaker, brutal and unprejudiced world is captured by Morricone with notes of a moving and minimalist serenity. The tragic story of the film, while the more poetic: the story of Aziz and his cousin Aziza, is enhanced in an unexpected way by that sad music, while disquieting, showing us the dark side of the soul and the inevitable shake destiny in our lives.

Cult Critic Film Magazine Deep Focus: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Canterbury Tales

Pasolini refuses to build any decorated and rolls in India, Yemen, Egypt and Eritrea; costumes, designed by Danilo Donati again, jaw-dropping Pasolini because of its colorful and striking; however, in the framing camera, the director prefers to avoid the luxury dresses distract the viewer’s attention, diminishing the stylistic and deep intentions of the film, which aims to show an everyday world with their worn by day objects day ; i.e. create in the viewer the feeling that those images actually photographed this world that we have written references only. Pasolini filmed with his usual speed and almost all the material is recorded without sound.


All selfless love that Pasolini had put in his trilogy of life, had destroyed a callous and greedy easy morbid society. The problem was not pornographic film or purely erotic genre; Pasolini did not care that people to consume these images; which led to the dramatic decision to abjure his trilogy was, according to him, the result of his “naivete” which provoked a wave of banal and rude erotic films that mimicked his films.

And so to his latest film, with which Pasolini wanted to attack and to scandalize with all his strength to that consumer society and the power consumed by “tolerate” and ends up engulfing everything.
Pasolini thought: Does the company did not want violence and sex? For Salo’o 120 giornate di Sodoma him he was going to give, but in a lethal way; violence and sex that the filmmaker proposed in Salo , were to stir against the viewer without their consent and with such virulence that no one could emerge unscathed from the theater. If society tolerating Pasolini expected of him “controlled” scandal which involved the trilogy of life, this time would have to face the rebellion of those who refuse to be “tolerated” and his message truly apocalyptic terror.

The work of the Marquis de Sade had been brought to the screen many times, but never in the way that he did Pasolini. In other versions, despite the outrageous and the rugged theme, society and the media they reveled finally with the sleaze that produced them sadistic acts and terrible sex. Pasolini, on the contrary, does speak to the divine Marquis, and extracts the essence of his book, which is not simply excessive violence, but the wreckers discourse accompanying justifying such violence and terror, resulting in reader – viewer. discomfort and aggression difficult to overcome. In Salo , unlike other films based on Sade, viewers do want eyes off the book – screen, to recover and dare again to continue.

The naked bodies preside over almost ninety percent of the film. Among them are distinctions; there are victims first and second victims. This is also in Sade: the bodies are strong or weak and no meat is free of the Holocaust.

Libertines who star in history (Pasolini adapted the novel to the Italy of fascism, as Mussolini lived his last days in the Republic of Salò, before the allied army take possession of the country), running the horror of their acts with discipline railway to reach the senses intact, the cultural space of the brain assimilates transgression and spreads as a great orgasm.

If in the trilogy of life, Pasolini consensual sex he used as a physical and spiritual liberation; as a full song of life without prejudice, in Saló he goes around the sexual act and becomes mechanical, tax, mandatory dl carrier humiliating for sex itself. Male and female genitalia are in the hands of a few: the powerful, and serve their pleasure just as the weakest animals are eaten by the strongest. Raw nature in excess of Salò , since only the wise distribution of natural forces is fair.

The casting of Salo was different from the usual way in the Pasolini film; the director did not want to participate their usual actors (his film family), as this “hell” did not want to share with your loved ones. None of them could stay in Salo , as it was a journey of no return, and a new film challenge that the staging changed radically.

Cult Critic Film Magazine Deep Focus: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Arabian Nights

Pasolini surprised everyone by the unique structure of the film, which is precise and sharp as a scalpel, and that is a frightening color formal beauty with death spread through speeches and murders. Thus, the choice of actors was choosing from hundreds of photomodels, that the director himself examined one by one, through catalogs casting agencies. Pasolini wanted perfect bodies, as well as claiming the shape of the film. Of the four libertines, only one Paolo Bonacelli, is an important professional actor, the rest is formed by a writer, an old friend, and a mediocre actor. Pasolini, as is usual with him, has chosen primarily for their faces, as in the later dubbing voices will Pasolini intellectual cinema or belonging to friends.

The narrators and pianist who entertains the terrible evenings are relevant actresses. Part of rolled film material, was stolen mysteriously lab, which made this film will Pasolini, acquired even more an aura of mystery, along with the terrible murder of the director on the beach of Ostia, shortly after it ended.


Cult Critic The Film MagazineMiguel Ángel Barroso is a dedicated and published Film Historian. His credits include organizing numerous international film festivals and authoring several books including “The Hundred Best Films of Italian Cinema History” (2008) and “The Hundred Best Films of the 20th Century” (2009). Miguel organized the videoconference, “The Unforgettable Anna Magnani”, in tribute to the actress Anna Magnani on the centenary of his birth, held at the Italian Cultural Instituto Madrid.


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