A four-film, Monday-night series of films by controversial Italian filmmaker, poet, writer and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini kicks off tonight at UC Irvine with his first film, 1961's Accatone.
“Sex, Money, Fascism: A Pasolini Film Series” comes ahead of the January opening of artist Yoshua Okón's new commissioned film installation on the filmmaker's murder for UCI's Contemporary Arts Center Gallery.
Giuseppe Pelosi, a 17-year-old hustler, was arrested and confessed to murdering Pasolini in 1975. But in 2005, he retracted his confession, and that renewed interest in Pasolini's life, death and work, which was regularly the subject of censorship.
His first novel, Ragazzi di Vita (1955), which dealt with the Roman lumpenproletariat, resulted in obscenity charges. His final work, Salò (1975), was a scathing critique of fascism that allegorically employed explicit scenes of sadistic violence. Based on the novel 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade, Salò was named the most controversial film of all time by Time Out's Film Guide.
This summer it was announced that American filmmaker (and fellow provocateur) Abel Ferrara is directing a biopic simply titled Pasolini. Ferrara's frequent collaborator Willem Dafoe was cast for the title role of the film that will chronicle the last day of Pasolini's life. Ferrara has said the film will not be an investigation into Pasolini's death but an examination of the man himself and his place in cinema. Ferrara mentioned the possibility of mixing in never-seen footage from Salò.
Okón's film installation also returns to the murder scene, both literally (Pasolini's death) and figuratively (the controversy surrounding his final film), “to consider the interstice between aesthetics and obscenity as a space in which artists 'speak truth to power,'” explain UCI gallery directors.
But before that, they are teaming with the university's Department of Art to kick off the film series with Accatone, which is a story of pimps, prostitutes and thieves. You can guess the final film in the series without looking at the schedule below.
Monday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. ACCATONE (1961)
Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. MAMMA ROMA (1962)
Monday, Nov. 25, 7 p.m. PIGSTY (1969)
Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. SALO (1975)