What this basically does is give you a fictionalized account of the last days of Pier Paolo Pasolini, ending with his highly profilic murder. Pasolini of course was the director of the notorious 1975 film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Full disclosure, I have not actually seen Salo (though I’d be very interested) or any other picture Pasolini made. In fact, I wasn’t at all aware of Pasolini as a person until watching this. That might sound odd, considering that this was basically an extremely esoteric biographical movie, but there is a reason why I chose to devote my attention to this picture. Admittedly Willem Dafoe’s involvement was a major factor, but what really made me want to watch this was me reading about the circumstances surrounding Pasolini’s murder, that are rather fascinating, as well as scandalous. When his body was found, Pasolini was not only badly beaten, part of his genitals were crushed, he was also slightly burned as well as run over by a car, repeatedly if my memory serves me. Talk about brutal and highly unorthodox way to go. There was speculation it was a mob hit, though ultimatelly a 17-year old boy was convicted after confessing, the story being that Pasolini had taken him for a ride on his car, parked near the beach and asked to sodomize the boy, which resulted in a fight between the two that ended in Pasolini’s death. Suffice to say, my interest was piqued.
I would have most likely found this to be far more interesting as a whole had I been more familiar with Paolo’s life before watching the movie. As it stands now, Pasolini is watchable but doesn’t provide a very memorable narrative or much insight to Pasolini himself as a persona, though there is one interview scene that does try to address that. The main issue for me personally is that the movie is largely a collection of scenes that don’t in my eyes, form a fully satisfying package. It’s not a particularly exciting watch to yours truly, but I could see someone more into Pasiloni getting a kick out of it. It’s very artful and European and despite I, myself, feeling like an outsider by not ‘getting it’ I can’t say it ever made me bored. I feel like ought to have done my homework beforehand, to be able fully appreciate it completely. And that’s on me, rather than the blame going to the movie for being too impenetrable.
Still, it did have its moments. I found myself highly enjoying certain segment of the movie that detailed Pasolini’s next planned film. For example, it was meant to be a sort of contemporary parable of the birth of the messiah, that amongst other things was going to feature a giant heterosexual orgy by the city’s gay and lesbian population. You heard me, the gays and lesbian would have gathered to have wild sex together, in order to procreate with each other in an annual sex festival, featuring massive amount of hetero sex and fireworks that beautifully symbolized their mutual ecstasy and orgasms. The ending of the film where the two men are looking for Paradise that does not exist was also very amusing.
The movie gets an A for effor, and a B- for not quite managing to win me over.