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Pier Paolo Pasolini: when Cinema meets Poetry - Full retrospective on the centenary of his birth



Pier Paolo Pasolini: when Cinema meets Poetry - Full retrospective on the centenary of his birth

The Cinema of Pier Paolo Pasolini

The word that Pier Paolo Pasolini always used when referring to his films was “reality”: “Cinema has forced me to work at the level of reality, “inside” reality: when I make a film I am always inside a reality, among the trees, among the people (…); there isn’t a filter made up of symbols or conventions between me and reality, like there is in literature”.

His love of film - of the craft of film-making as the creation of images, not so much as a spectacle for a viewing audience - was like a love of what is real, because cinema “is a non-symbolic, non-conventional language, unlike spoken or written language, and it expresses reality not through symbols but as reality itself.”

In cinema, even in the personal, direct, hands-on operation of the camera, Pasolini therefore found an art-form that allowed him to take possession of reality without any filtering or intermediation. His passion for the form led him to undertake an intense, non-stop period of film-making - twenty-three films, including short and medium-length work, in fourteen years, accompanied by his uninterrupted work as a poet, story-teller, essayist and playwright.

The “reality” Pasolini is talking about is the world of ordinary people, their bodies and the places they inhabit, their verbal and corporeal language that he searched for and filmed wherever it continued to exist, still separate from bourgeois “normalisation”, on the outskirts of Rome, in southern Italy, Africa, Asia: an ancient, unpretentious world, that had preserved its identity through the ages and that Pasolini defended and dignified (without ever downplaying its violence) through film, bringing the images of that world, which had been generally rejected or ignored, to the film theatres of the urban bourgeoisie.

Reality was not a “pure”, ascetic concept, but was always born of the contamination of contradictory elements. It was always soiled material and for this very reason was fertile.

With his use of the “reality” word Pasolini also meant to describe the mystery of the real, that is, the obscurity of the passion and the irrationality of the individual, the unspoken existence hidden in the history and the identity of the ego, which cinema is able to express in the close up of a face, or with a physical gesture which subtly reveals a secret impulse that escapes logic.

We have mapped a pathway through Pasolini’s cinematic works via a number of groupings in which his films are juxtaposed with those of other authors who inspired him or were inspired by his work.

Il cinema della crudeltà / (The Cinema of Cruelty), in line with André Bazin’s aesthetic, ruthlessly tackles the portrayal of instinctive, carnal, visceral desires, partly through the exploration of dreamworlds.

Periferie del mondo (The World’s Fringe), brings together the films that depict slum life, often violent, on the outskirts of the metropolis.

Erotismo eversione merce / (Eroticism Subversion Merchandise) on the theme of a conference organised by the Cineteca di Bologna, examines films which in the 1970s represented eroticism and its dynamic, challenging contemporary standards of censorship.

La reinvenzione del mito / Reinventing Myth instead is a collection of films inspired by Greek mythology that Pasolini significantly reinvented both thematically and figuratively.

Il Cristo degli ultimi / (The Christ of the lasts) explores the passion of Christ through the vision of Pasolini, an atheist who was fascinated by certain aspects of Christianity, such as mercy and love for the poor.

Roberto Chiesi

Download the Retrospective Calendar here.

 Pier Paolo Pasolini: un cinema di poesia Cineteca nazionaleThe Astor Theatre


Curated by Roberto Chiesi, Angelo Gioè and Andrea Morini in collaboration with Francesca Zammit, Giovanna Giordani and Luca Maria Esposito.

The retrospective is organized and promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute of Melbourne - logo - in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna Foundation - logo - and Astor Theater-Palace Cinema logo.

The following collaborated in the realization: CSC - Cineteca Nazionale (Rome),Rai Teche, Film Archives (Cineteca di Bologna), Study Center - Pier Paolo Pasolini Archive (Bologna), L'Immagine Ritrovata - cinematrographic restoration laboratory (Bologna), Cinemazero (Pordenone), Cinémathèque Française (Paris), Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (Brussels), KAVI - National Audiovisual Institute (Helsinki), Danish Film Institute (Copenhagen), NFSA - National Film and Sound Archive (Canberra), The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project (New York), Dream Film Ila Palma (Palermo ), Janus Films (New York), IIF - Lucisano Media Group (Rome), Minerva RaroVideo (Rome), AAMOD - Audiovisual Archive of the Labor and Democratic Movement (Rome), Polo Biblio-museale of Lecce - Carmelo Bene Archive, Apulia Foundation Film Commission (Bari), Unzerofilms (France), Cineteca del Friuli (Gemona), Kimerafilm (Rome), Milestone Films (New York), Kino Lorber (New York), INA - Institut National de l'audiovisuel (Paris), Park Circus (Glasgow), Movie Time (Rome), Umbrella Entertain ment (Melbourne), Tamasa Distribution (Paris), Contemporary Films (London), Fundación Televisa (Mexico City), Gaumont (France), Compass Film (Rome), Mondo TV (Rome), Surf Film (Rome), Viggo ( Rome).

Thanks to: Carmen Accaputo, Erika Angiolini, Sophie Bachmann, Jack Bell, Brian Belovarac, Laurence Berbon, Andrea Borgia, Elise Boudjema, Castello Serrano Duani ,, Yannis Chibani, Isabella Chiffi, Thomas Christensen, Cecilia Cenciarelli, Maria Coletti, Riccardo Costantini, Elisabetta Cova, Luigi De Luca, Antonino Di Prinzio, Dennis Doros, Bronwyn Dowdall, Gian Luca Farinelli, Flavia Ferrucci, Monica Gianotti, Antonio Gigante, Matthieu Grimault, Reece Goodwin, Ari Harrison, Zak Hepburn, Simone Isola, Marianne Jerris, Louise Kerouanton , Ornella Lamberti, Maria Lanfranchi, Nicole Libassi, Eric Liknaitzky, Teemour Mambéty, Isabella Malaguti, Filippo Masti, Rean Mazzone, Jurij Meden, Andrea Meneghelli, Rossana Mordini, Annamaria Napoli, Alessia Navantieri, Van Papadopoulos, Paolo Pellicano, Luana Perrero, Kalliomäki Petteri, Davide Pietrantoni, Jed Rapfogel, Roberta Ricciardelli, Andrew Rolfe, Federica Rossi, Germana Ruscio, George Schmalz, Chris Smith, Elena Tammaccaro, Antonio Zenti.

Download the Retrospective Calendar here.

 Pier Paolo Pasolini: un cinema di poesia Cineteca nazionaleThe Astor Theatre


Date: Da Saturday, April 02, 2022 a Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Organized by : IIC Melbourne

Entrance : With fee


The Astor Theatre - 1 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC 3182