London Film Festival 2014: Pasolini



by Alexa Dalby

Expect darkness and fireworks from Abel Ferrara’s thought-provoking biopic (with a fabulously diverse soundtrack) of the last 24 hours in the life of Pier Paolo Pasolini – director of both the extreme Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom, yet also The Gospel According to St Matthew – before his brutal murder by a rentboy or homophobic gang on a beach outside Rome in 1975. Willem Dafoe inhabits the role of the visionary, director, writer, militant and Marxist with intelligence and Ferrara seems to identify with an intellectual able to reconcile the light world of family and friendship with the dark worlds of his imagination and sexuality. By day, Pasolini lives in a bourgeois Roman apartment in a close, loving relationship with his mother and housekeeper. By night, he cruises mean streets and rough gay bars in his Alfa Romeo, yet aware of the risks he is courting. For him, embracing the shit and the sublime are not incompatible. Ferrara’s vision is multi-layered. Pasolini speaks about the relationship of the author to the form he creates, so Ferrara expresses this by intercutting the events of his last day with scenes from the unfinished novel and film script he is working on, which illuminate his state of mind and his creative process. “We are all in danger,” Pasolini says. “To scandalise is a right: to be scandalised is a pleasure.”

Pasolini is showing on Oct 10th, 11th & 13th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival

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