Pier Paolo Pasolini
On the 40th anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (1922-1975) death, Pera Film in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul is organizing a film program commemorating him and his work. Pasolini, a filmmaker, a poet, a novelist, a playwright, a painter, a critic and intellectual, was not only one of Italy’s most prominent figures for much of his life, he remains that, but, more importantly, he is a figure who belongs to the world.
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ability to simultaneously embrace conflicting philosophies—he was both a Catholic and a Marxist; modern-minded, openly gay; who looked to the distant past for inspiration and comfort. What he is best known for is undoubtedly his subversive body of film work. He was a student of the written word, and among his earliest movie jobs was writing additional dialogue for Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957). Soon he was directing his first film, Accattone (1961), a tale of street crime whose style and content greatly influenced the debut feature of his friend Bernardo Bertolucci, La commare secca (1962), for which Pasolini also supplied the original story. The outspoken and always political Pasolini’s films became increasingly scandalous—even, to some minds, blasphemous—from the gritty reimagining of the Christ story The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) to the bawdy medieval tales in his Trilogy of Life (1971–1974). Tragically, Pasolini was found brutally murdered weeks before the release of his final work, the grotesque, Marquis de Sade–derived Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) provides a violent essay on Italy's Nazi-fascist past and still is one of the world’s most controversial films. Writer Ed Vulliamy, in his Guardian article meticulously remarks: “Pasolini had died, so history insists, as though in a scene from one of his films. ‘It is only at the point of death,’ Pasolini had said in 1967, ‘that our life, to that point ambiguous, undecipherable, suspended – acquires a meaning.’’’
This program’s screenings are free of admissions. Drop in, no reservations.