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...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Pasolini Uncovered

(Arrgh. Blogger.com was again down long after their "sorry" page was supposed to expire)

It's been almost 30 years since Pier Paolo Pasolini's murdered body was found in the low-rent Roman beach suburb known as Ostia.

At the time, it was labelled a "homocide" by the weary Italian public, since it seemed a street-hustler by the name of Pino Pelosi (no relation to Nancy...I think) had run him over several times with his car.

Italy in the 1970's was awash with salacious news stories, political crisises, and high-profile kidnappings and murders, many of them at the hands of the "Brigada Rossa" whose aim was to bring down the Italian system of government, seemingly daily.

That a gay Marxist director, no matter how infamous in life, had been killed at the hands of a possible deranged lover caused more than a ripple in the news, since to some he was the heir of De Sica, Rossellini and Fellini, but ultimately (rather like the ongoing Michael Jackson saga today), the details of the director's life were not easily stomached during the subsequent trial.

This past Saturday, however, Pelosi gave an interview from his cell to television channel, Rai Tre, saying that "3 young people with Southern accents" were the ones who actually killed Pasolini -- he was just the patsy.

Fellow cineaste Sergio Citti threw another spanner in the works by telling La Repubblica, the influencial daily, that the motives for his killing were far from sensual, but rather political.

"His death was convenient to many, to all those who were afraid of his mind and free spirit."

(Geez. You'd think we were talking of Gandhi)

It may be his far-left ideals shone through in his films, but I certainly rarely if ever saw evidence of this. They were political like Woody Allen's films may be termed political -- if they are, it's only secondary to his life's observations, rather than any forced ideological agenda. Visconti, yes. Pasolini, no.

Most of PPP's works, from Porcile (Pigsty), to the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, or the most renowned of his films, Salò: or the 120 Days of Sodom, veered from the boringly self-indulgent to frenzied gutter schlock.

In fact, back in the early days when DVD's were still relatively new things, around 1999/2000, one could find DVD copies of Salò being hocked on eBay for no less than U$500; and still today, it's difficult for you to find them going under U$125.

This to me is the ultimate and most delicious irony of them all.

That grasping speculators are making a killing reselling this film in the free-market whirligig that is eBay, is some kind of wonderful.

Similar to the well-known anecdote of his father, back when he was a leftist Friulian soldier in Mussolini's army, was credited with saving Benito from certain death one day.

The moral of the story is, as ever:

Not only is there a God, but He has a wicked sense of humour.


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