Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Future Life, Part 1

January 4 to January 17

Filmmaker, poet, composer, public intellectual, and provocateur, Pier Paolo Pasolini was a cyclone of vitality, rebellion and, very often, contradictions: a Catholic and Communist; an urban, homosexual defender of traditional agrarian culture; a modernist with an eye to ancient myths. Pasolini created an oeuvre distinguished by an unerring eye for composition and tone and a stylistic fluidity that allowed him to work with equal potency within a variety of filmmaking traditions, from Neorealist-inflected verité to the savagely surrealist.

Spread across three calendars, Metrograph’s retrospective of Pasolini’s works will begin at the only logical place to start exploring the career of the brilliant filmmaker—at the end. Pasolini thought constantly of his own demise and of the earth’s imperilment, especially as, entering middle-age, he became increasingly
influenced by Antonin Artaud and the Marquis de Sade. Regarding his adaptation of de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom, Pasolini explained that it was a film that would make him “A new director. Ready for the modern.” Three weeks before its premiere, however, Pasolini was dead, murdered on the beach at Ostia, under shadowy circumstances believed by many to be politically motivated. Decades later, Pasolini looms larger than ever in in our cultural consciousness as one of the most radical, uncompromising artists who ever lived. “Death,” he once said, “is not being unable to communicate; but no longer being able to be understood.” He is speaking to us still.

Previously Screened