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Theme Tuesday - Pier Paolo Pasolini - Accattone (1961)

I have never seen a single film from this iconoclastic and controversial director, so April 2019 seemed as good a time as any other to rectify this.


I have a distinct feeling that this movie in the neorealist tradition will be the outlier in Pasolini’s work, from what I know about him. I can’t say I really connected to this film. I suppose it was daring to use non-actors to portray most of the characters in a film that takes place among the more impoverished stratum of society. Yet Italy has a rich and hugely influential neorealist tradition that would influence nearly all of film, including the French New Wave, arguably the most influential of all film movements. It was hard to see this film as anything special considering the likes of De Sica or Rossellini. The film is also very dialogue-driven as opposed to narrative or even visually. If I had seen this film when it came out, I would have really thought nothing about it and the director. I certainly wouldn’t have expected him to make anything remotely like other films I have heard about from him like the infamous Salo (a film I am both dreading and looking forward to.) Perhaps as I explore more of Pasolini’s work, it will be easier to see what stands out about him.

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