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Pier Paolo Pasolini
Set in the Nazi-controlled, northern Italian state of Salo in 1944, four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and take them together with guards, servants and studs to a palace near Marzabotto. In addition, there are four middle-aged women: three of whom recount arousing stories whilst the fourth accompanies on the piano. The story is largely taken up with their recounting the stories of Dante and De Sade: the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. Following this, the youths are executed whilst each libertine takes his turn as voyeur. Written by
Essential Bibliography: Roland Barthes: 'Sade, Fourier, Loyola' (Editions du Seuil); Maurice Blanchot: "Lautréamont et Sade' (Editions de Minuit; in Italy Dedalo Libri); Simone de Beauvoir: 'Faut-il brûler Sade' (Editions Gaimard); Pierre Klossowski: 'Sade mon prochain, le philosophe scélérat' (Editions du Seuil; in Italy SugarCo Edizioni); Philippe Sollers: 'L'écriture et l'experience des limites' (Editions du Seuil) See more »
This is a tough one. Pasolini was a very complicated man. He was murdered in still-unexplained circumstances shortly after the film was completed. I was 10 years old when this movie was finished, but I only saw it now. Despite being almost 30 years old, Salo is probably the most cruel and repulsive film ever made, not just here in Italy but in the whole world. It depicts the worse atrocities inflicted to humans by humans. The true dark side of human nature: When evil is born out of simple boredom, when it comes naturally. It is a film that I don't want to see ever again, but at the same time I'm glad it was made. I thought hated it at first, but I now I realized is not true. Of course I don't love it either. I can't decide how to judge it. I don't like the cinematography or the acting. But it was definitely one of the most profound emotional experiences of revulsion I've had in a film. It is a necessary evil if you can endure it.
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