Mar 12, 2015

Pasolini




Aside from finding their political beliefs to be autistically naïve, unwaveringly faith-based, or just plain disingenuous, I tend to have a natural instinct towards hating communist artists and commie-created art, yet I have always regarded gay Guido Marxist Renaissance man Pier Paolo Pasolini (The Gospel According to Matthew, The Decameron) as one of my favorite artists and see him as the sort of Jean Cocteau of his nation and zeitgeist, but of course he was no ordinary pinko poof as a man who had a deep respect for his cultural and spiritual heritage as reflected in quotes like, “If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief.” Of course, Pasolini's rather idiosyncratic brand of filmmaking, not unlike that of many popular Mao-fetishizing Italian and French arthouse filmmakers of the late-1960s and 1970s like Godard and Bertolucci, was hardly in tune with the banal commie art movements of real so-called socialist ‘utopias’ like Soviet Social Realism or the East German DEFA films, but like many great artists, the Italian filmmaker was a man of great contradictions as one certainly realizes while watching American McGuido auteur Abel Ferrara’s long in the making and eagerly awaited quasi-biopic Pasolini (2014) starring Willem Dafoe as the eponymous lead. Set mostly during the last day of Pasolini’s life on 2 November 1975 when he was murdered and run over with his own car under dubious circumstances by a 17-year-old hustler named Pino Pelosi (who in 2005 retracted his murder confession) on the beach of Ostia on the outskirts of Rome, Ferrara’s work is not the first film depicting the tragic and mystifying, if not strangely fitting, death of the ill-fated filmmaker, but it is certainly the most aesthetically and thematically ambitious, structurally intricate, perversely poetic, strangely respectful, and relatively adequately budgeted. Excluding documentaries, the first film about the death of Pasolini was the reasonably worthwhile yet glaringly amateurish homo-heavy British student short Ostia (1991) directed by Julian Cole (who later went on to direct the doc With Gilbert & George (2008) about the eponymous degenerate queer ‘living statues’) and starring English auteur filmmaker Derek Jarman as the lead in a role where one great filmmaker ultimately pays tribute to another filmmaker who is ultimately depicted as being barbarically assassinated by homme fatale Pelosi and some older bat-wielding and fag-bashing ‘breeder’ thugs. The second film about the poet’s grisly demise is the made-for-TV French-Italian crime-drama-thriller Who Killed Pasolini? (1995) aka Pasolini, un delitto italiano aka Pasolini, an Italian Crime directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, which is based on Enzo Siciliano’s celebrated biography and apparently inspired the reopening of the murder case in light of the new evidence it revealed. A sort of meta-biopic featuring both a film-within-a-film and novel-within-a-film, Pasolini is certainly ambitious in that it adapts excerpts from the filmmaker’s final two unrealized works that include his unfinished posthumously released novel Petrolio and film Porno-Teo-Kolossal (1976), which was a quasi-sequel to Uccellacci e uccellini (1966) aka The Hawks and the Sparrows starring veteran actor, writer, and director Eduardo De Filippo and the director's one-time boy toy Ninetto Davoli that never reached past pre-production. While Ferrara is probably my favorite crackhead and an artist I have always liked, I do not think he has ever directed anything approximating a true cinematic masterpiece, at least by art fag standards, and the same can be certainly said of his Pasolini biopic, but as a cinephile and diehard fan of the cocksucking commie artistic genius I could not help but love the film, which was clearly directed by a mensch who deeply respects his subject. As a man who once described Pasolini as the filmmaker who was most influential to him, “because he filmed his visions and did it without qualifications,” it should be no surprise that Ferrara was somewhat hesitant about even directing the virtually lifelong dream project, even once confessing to fellow NYC-based filmmaker Julian Schnabel in an interview featured in Interview magazine, “Sometimes I think, why am I doing this? Here’s this guy who’s dead, didn’t know me, never met me – where do I come off robbing this guy’s grave? I mean would you want someone making movies of your life?”  Of course, considering the superlatively sleazy subject matter and the strong Roman Catholic roots of both the legendary Italian poet and the American auteur, there probably was no better suited person to direct Pasolini than Mr. Ferrara.





 Featuring Willem Dafoe in an undeniably iconic role that Ferrara apparently originally planned to cast model-turned-actress Zoë Lund for (as revealed in Brad Stevens’ book Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision (2004), Lund apparently felt a close connection to Pasolini because her ex-lover Edouard DeLaurot was supposed to meet with the filmmaker the night he was killed), Pasolini is like a cinphile’s wet dream that unfortunately climaxes too early (the film is only about 80 minutes but could have easily been twice as long). To prepare himself both spiritually and culturally for the film, Ferrara frequently visited Italy over the past decade or so and even shot a couple movies there, including Mary (2005), which was partly filmed in Rome, and the gritty documentary Napoli, Napoli, Napoli (2009). I think Ferrara’s time in Italy, especially Rome, paid off as Pasolini does not feel like a contrived Hollywood-esque outsider’s view of the city that you would typically expect from an American filmmaker, but instead a work that acts as a sort of aesthetic antidote to the pseudo-chic pageantry-plagued goombah buffoonery of Paolo Sorrentino’s obscenely overrated work The Great Beauty (2013) aka La grande bellezz, which is more or less La Dolce Vita 2.0 with none of the organic beauty, character, or substance of the classic Fellini flick.  Notably, the writer, cinematographer, and editor of the work were all indigenous dagos, thus also adding to the film's authenticity.  Although seemingly ‘softcore’ for a Ferrara flick in some regards (though it does feature a somewhat rough blowjob scene, as well as a Bacchanalian orgy), Pasolini was unequivocally made with buckets of blood, sweat, and tears and is a work that, despite its various flaws, is surely one of the greatest and most sensitive tributes from one filmmaker to another. Directed by a half-breed Amero-wop that ultimately managed to create a direct celluloid link to the old world of his paternal ancestors, Ferrara’s filmic micro-odyssey is also a testament to the fact that blood trumps everything else, though one must also not discount the guilt-tripping power of Guido style Roman Catholicism. After all, Ferrara’s previous effort Welcome to New York (2014) failed because he attempted to interpret the carnal crimes of a powerful kosher creep with a Catholic lens. In Pasolini, Catholicism is just as important to the film as it was to the works of the titular ‘nostalgic atheist’  filmmaker.





 One thing that might seem odd to viewers watching Pasolini is that the film sometimes has a ‘fascistic’ aesthetic tone about it due to its almost Riefenstahl-esque shots of neo-classical sculptures and architecture, but it is certainly something the Italian poet turned filmmaker experienced every day as a Marxist that strangely opted to live in such an aesthetic environment. Indeed, somewhat curiously, Pasolini lived right next to the EUR, which is a district in Rome featuring fascist architecture that was planned by Benito Mussolini in celebration of twenty years of fascism (the 1942 world's fair was supposed to be held there but World War II put an end to that). Also not mentioned in the film is the fact that P.P.P.’s army lieutenant father Carlo Alberto Pasolini became famous for saving Mussolini’s life after a 15-year-old anarchist named Anteo Zamboni attempted to assassinate him in 1926. Of course, fascism is constantly in the air in Ferrara’s Pasolini, which depicts the protagonist as having a perpetual forlorn feeling regarding his own demise, with both fascist and commie terrorism haunting him wherever he goes, be it while reading a newspaper on his couch or while talking to one of his friends at his favorite restaurant. While being interviewed by an obnoxiously arrogant French journalist at the beginning of the film, Pasolini stoically declares, “I think to scandalize is a right…to be scandalized is a pleasure, and those who refuse to be scandalized are moralists. The so called moralists.” Somewhat inexplicably, the French journalist attends a dubbing of Pasolini’s latest and most controversial work Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), yet he has the gall to accuse the auteur of being soft and no longer politically transgressive. Not only does Pasolini confirm that people still attack and insult him for his politics, but that he also thrives on such attacks, thus reflecting his undeniable sadomasochistic essence (notably, Genoese writer/poet Edoardo Sanguineti once described Pasolini's death as “delegated suicide” and even the filmmaker's own fellow gay poet cousin Nico Naldini said something along the same lines). In a letter to a friend, Pasolini states regarding the novel he is working on that it “…is of no use to my life anymore…it is not a proclamation. It is the preamble to a testament…the testimony of that little bit of knowledge that a man has gathered, a totally different knowledge from what he had expected it to be or wondered.” In the novel, the glaringly sexually depraved protagonist Carlo (Roberto Zibetti) smiles with a sort of wickedly debauched masochistic glee after being violently fucked in the mouth by a degenerate longhaired leather-clad hustler. Quite notably, when the hustler whips his cock out, unsavory sod Carlo stares at it with a huge maniacal smile and says “love,” thus reflecting Pasolini's own warped sense of sexuality. Indeed, anyone who thinks sucking the very potentially STD-ridden cocks of random hustler criminals that routinely debase themselves with strangers for money is a form of “love” has a seriously unhinged view of romance and human emotions. Ultimately, this seemingly random excerpt from the novel will ultimately foreshadow Pasolini’s own death on the beaches of Ostia at the hands of a leather-clad hustler and his equally pernicious homo-hating comrades. 





 Like many gay men, Pasolini is depicted as a mama’s boy and despite being a middle-aged man, he lives with his overindulgent mother Susanna (Adriana Asti), who wakes him up in the morning as if he is still an adolescent schoolboy who still needs help living his day-to-day life. Of course, being a handsome, charming, kind and highly intelligent queer, Pasolini also has diva-like muses as is especially epitomized by the rather raunchy goombah blonde Laura Betti (Maria De Medeiros), who pays a visit to the filmmaker’s apartment and humorously states regarding her experience working on Miklós Jancsó’s Yugoslav production Private Vices, Public Pleasures (1976) aka Vizi privati, pubbliche virtù, “Ah socialist actresses, such a wonder, eh…I adore them, they’re real professionals! They put this hemorrhoid cream on their pussies to hide the wrinkles.” Unquestionably, the most sensitive and introverted woman in Pasolini’s life is his housekeeper/secretary cousin Graziella Chiarcossi (fittingly played by Dafoe’s Italian wife Giada Colagrande), who is more or less like the protagonist’s female alter-ego. Indeed, despite being responsible for carrying out meager jobs for her cousin like pouring him cups of coffee and whatnot, Graziella is a woman whose intellect Pasolini clearly respects as demonstrated by the fact that he recommends that she borrow his copy of far-left anti-mafia novelist Leonardo Sciascia’s latest work. Graziella is also responsible for managing Pasolini's personal and professional relationships as indicated by the fact that she informs him that Jewish anti-fascist painter Carlo Levi called to say hi (notably, Levi was already dead at the time). If Pasolini was not a poof, Graziella would almost certainly be his wife. 





 One of the things I appreciated most about Ferrara’s film is that it exposes Pasolini’s vulnerability and seemingly masked melancholia, which was hidden by an oftentimes glacial borderline scowl. Unquestionably one of the most penetratingly somber and dejecting scenes in the entire film is when Pasolini holds the newborn baby of his ‘great love’ Ninetto Davoli (portrayed by Riccardo Scamarcio in a ridiculously moody and broody hipster-esque fashion in what is indubitably an annoyingly miscast role), who is now living the life of a bourgeois heterosexual father. While Pasolini and the baby are smiling during the scene, it is apparent that the protagonist is just smiling to disguise his perennial sadness as he probably realizes that he will never know the joys and happiness of being a father and that his great love has moved on to live the sort of life that he is innately incapable of living.  Of course, it should be no surprise that Pasolini cruises around Rome's red light district right after his meeting with Ninetto and his family. It is a well known fact that Pasolini had a pathological predilection for criminally-inclined teenage proletarian boys who were mostly heterosexual and, unlike the protagonist, would go on to get married and have children after growing out of their poverty-induced ‘hustler’ stage. In that sense, it is as if Pasolini never matured beyond his teenage years, at least as far as his romantic life was concerned. This becomes especially clear in a brief  yet strangely charming scene where Pasolini plays soccer with a bunch of teenage boys as if he is just one of the gang and not some middle-aged Marxist intellectual that still lives with his mother. Another scene I found to be particularly awkward and dejecting is when Pasolini is eating with his murderer, teenage hustler Pino Pelosi (Damiano Tamilia), and he asks the boy about his girlfriend as if jealous of the girl yet at the same time completely ignoring the fact that he plans to fuck the lad later that night. Ultimately, Pasolini is murdered by Pelosi with the help of three comrades who randomly show up on the beach in Ostia while the protagonist is caressing the two-faced hustler. After getting his cock and balls stomped in by one of the brutes (who screams, “Imma gonna break your dick” at his victim in between incessantly calling him a “faggot”) and taking a deleterious blow to the face with a piece a wood by Pelosi, Pasolini is finished off when his ‘date’ runs him over with his own car. Naturally, Pasolini’s beloved mother is completely hysterical when she hears the news. 






 Using the filmmaker’s unrealized final film Porno-Teo-Kolossal as a template, Pasolini intriguingly attempts to depict the Italian Renaissance man’s sense of spirituality and post-Catholic interpretation of the afterlife. In an unintentionally absurd scenario featuring the real Ninetto Davoli portraying a goofy elderly Guido prole named Epifanio who believes the messiah has come and has left his morbidly obese bitch of a wife to take a pilgrimage to a sexually sacred city with the poorly played fictional young Ninetto portrayed by Riccardo Scamarcio, Pasolini's idea of a utopia is depicted in the form of an all-gay Dionysian micro-metropolis called Sodomia where “gays make out with gays and lesbians make out with lesbians, all year long,” except during the annual fertility festival where the fags and dykes have sex with one another for reproductive purposes to preserve the human race. During the festival, handsome yet hysterical homos stand on one side and shout, “Cunt, cunt, fuck you!” while busty yet bitchy bean-flickers stand on the other side and shout back “Dick, dick, fuck you!” as both rival groups watch their respective comrades perform ceremonial heterosexual coitus. Ultimately, Ninetto and pseudo-Ninetto, who is actually an angel, attempt to reach heaven but never get there because, as the latter states, “There’s no such thing as an end.” Indeed, one gets the sense while watching Pasolini that the filmmaker’s greatest fear was death and the nothingness upon nothingness that accompanies it as reflected in a scene where old man Ninetto stares down at earth while standing on a literal endless stairway-to-heaven and finally realizes the intrinsic value of the irreplaceable mortal human life he so eagerly and foolishly left behind. 






 While by no means an immaculate masterpiece, Pasolini certainly features Abel Ferrara at his peak in maturity as both a filmmaker and an individual. Considering the rampantly heterosexual nature of virtually all his previous cinematic works, it seems almost inconceivable that Ferrara would be able to put himself in the surely strange-fitting shoes of an eccentric gay middle-aged Marxist momma’s boy that just happened to be one of the finest and most uncompromising Italian artists of his zeitgeist. Certainly, Pasolini is also Ferrara’s most ‘cryptic’ and subtextual work to date as it seems almost impossible to truly appreciate the film without at least having a general understanding of the eponymous subject and his work. I also must admit that I respect Ferrara for not attempting to ape the Italian filmmaker by making an overtly ‘Pasolinian’ work. Indeed, in its subtle implementation of heroic fascist imagery and fairly visceral as opposed to hyper-intellectual execution, Pasolini features an aesthetically subversive approach to its subject that few, if any, other filmmakers would have the testicular fortitude to try to pull off. Not unlike Frank White in King of New York (1990), the titular corrupt cop of Bad Lieutenant (1992), or even the crazed killer ‘Reno Miller’ played by Ferrara himself in The Driller Killer (1979), P.P.P is ultimately portrayed in Ferrara's biopic as a sort of tragic and self-destructive antihero whose subversive behavior and charismatic persona is only transcended by his perennial sense of loneliness and metaphysical detachment from the world.  Indeed, while Pasolini surely hated the fascist era, he certainly found the 1970s to be even worse as revealed in outlandish statements he made like, “I consider consumerism to be a worse form of fascism than the classic variety” (unfortunately, it seems that, like many commies, Pasolini would oftentimes label things he didn't like as being ‘fascist’). Personally, I see it as only fitting that Bronx-bred filmmaker Abel Ferrara—a true American proletarian filmmaker if there ever was one as less than eloquently expressed in candid personal remarks like, “I grew up in a very idyllic, beautiful neighborhood full of Mafiosi, and was raised to be a nasty motherfucker. Everyone’s your enemy, it’s a siege mentality. Fuck everybody. If you gotta kill them, great. Kill them before they come back and kill you. That kind of idiocy. So I’m sure it’s reflected in my work”—would ultimately be the person to direct the most lavish and important film about a man that had a lifelong obsession with the (sub)lumpenproletariat and who, unlike most card-carrying commies, actually helped members of peasantry as indicted by his jumpstarting of the careers of Ninetto Davoli and the Citti brothers (notably, Sergio Citti, who once stated, “If I hadn't met Pier Paolo I'd have probably ended up as a delinquent,” was the one and only true disciple of the Pasolinian style of filmmaker). Of course, while it might be in poor taste to admit, it is also only fitting that Pasolini died at the hands of one of his teenage twink fuckboys, for there could be no sweeter or more symbolic death for a man who had a nihilistic self-destructive lust for discernibly dangerous sub-literate juvenile delinquents who ironically gave him the feeling of being fearless and invincible.  Indeed, if there is anything to be learned from watching Pasolini, it is that the truth behind the Italian filmmaker's death does not really matter as he probably would have inevitably died some other way around the same time, as no one that could direct a film such as Salò could have been in a healthy state of mind, which is something that Ferrara—a man with his own fair share of personal demons who started his filmmaking career directing a porn flick where he actually paid some guy to fuck his then-girlfriend—surely recognized..



-Ty E

7 comments:

Tony Brubaker said...

Gilbert and George are bloody odious and disgusting Limey faggot filth, the hideously nauseating queer fairy cunts. KILL THE BASTARDS.

Tony Brubaker said...

Today i was gonna` buy a DVD of the 2011 sci-fi actioner "Battle: Los Angeles" for only $4 but then i noticed that the picture on the cover was of a soldier with his back to the camera (more sickening attempted subliminal fag-enabling by the queer scum that unfortunately runs Hollywood and the media) and it put me right off of buying it. I wonder if the woofters in Hollywood realise what an incredibly high number of DVD sales they`re missing out on specifically because of the way they alienate and offend their male HETEROSEXUAL audience. BLOODY DISGUSTING FAGGOTS, KILL `EM ALL.

Tony Brubaker said...

The rampagingly heterosexual Willem Dafoe should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for playing a woofter in this movie, doesn`t he realise that by doing that hes becoming a fag-enabler, the bloody turn-coat fairy loving idiot.

Tony Brubaker said...

Why did you show the picture of the woofter statue twice ?. ALL FAGGOTS MUST DIE.

Tony Brubaker said...

ALL FAGGOTS MUST BE SYSTEMATICALLY ANNIHILATED.

Tony Brubaker said...

Queer Italians like Pasolini bring such shame to what is an otherwise rampagingly heterosexual nation, thats why ALL FAGGOTS MUST BE DESTROYED ! ! !.

Debbie Rochon said...

I love all these homo-phobic com-girl-ts, they`re marvellous, more power to Tony Brubaker. Its just that you should`ve also published that very true state-girl-t from Abel Ferrara himself, you know, the one about his lust for JonBenet Ramsey look-a-likes, to not publish that com-girl-t was to 'wuss out', as it were.