9 items from 2012
Above: Giotto, Meeting at the Golden Gate, 1305.
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò (1975) was released by Criterion in 1998 and in 2004 they released Mamma Roma (1962). This past month they released a much belated box-set of his six-hour Trilogy of Life (1971-1974), in a beautiful restoration and accompanied with an awesome heap of great docs, essays and other goodies. On December 13 MoMA started a month-long retrospective dedicated to his work.
I. Defending Pasolini Against His Devotees
The prevailing view of Pier Paolo Pasolini has become subjugated to the misshapen reputation of his most infamous film, Salò (1975). The film’s unyielding serial descent into ever more severe cycles of mutilation, sodomy, coprophagia, and chronic rape of a group of 12-15 year olds has scandalized and influenced a culture that is frantic for any stimuli that can remind its constituents of their humanity. The film has furnished ample fodder for generations of filmmakers intent on »
- Gabriel Abrantes
If you haven’t already seen it, chances are you may have heard of Barbet Schroeder’s twisted love story swamped in sadomasochism via online cinematic lists and articles aimed at transgressive cinema.
It’s often placed in the same group as those other 70’s New European works like Salò Or 120 Days Of Sodom and Last Tango In Paris – films which pushed the boundaries with their taboo subject matter and explicit content. Put aside the graphic scenes on display here (which admittedly, isn’t an easy thing to do) and what separates Maîtresse from the others is the oddly touching central relationship which emerges, and the sometimes uncomfortable jet black humour which is inherent in the film’s bizarre milieu.
A pre-grizzled 28-year-old Gérard Depardieu is Olivier, a husky thief who, alongside a criminal associate, break into the lavish flat of a woman they believe to be away. Riffling through her personal belongings, »
- Adam Lowes
Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.
As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Written by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff. »
Taken together, the above two cues underscore the opening 5 minutes of Pupi Avati's The House with the Laughing Windows (1976).
It’s a miracle that any movie would even have the guts to attempt an unironic shift between such irreconcilable emotional tones as these in under 30 seconds, but Avati's giallo sleeper classic is just that kind of miracle. The film's first cue accompanies the material perfectly. Visually, the opening title sequence is a punishingly blunt, unannounced salvo of graphic violence. Grainy, sepia-tinted, stuttering slo-mo photography obsesses over a bloodcurdling depiction of an aestheticized ritual torture. Though what else would you expect from Avati? He co-wrote Salò! Considering the intensity of these images, he was lucky to find a fittingly sadistic composer to compliment them. Amedeo Tommasi crafted a soundscape that is proportionally grisly to Avati’s titles, utilizing little more than a simple piano refrain, one repeatedly sampled scream, and »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 13, 2012
Price: DVD $79.95, Blu-ray $79.95
Italian poet, philosopher and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (Salò) Trilogy of Life, from the early 1970s, consists of his film renditions of a trio of masterpieces of pre-modern world literature: Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and One Thousand and One Nights (which is often referred to as The Arabian Nights).
The late Pasolini’s comedy-drama movies are now considered to be most uninhibited and extravagant works, a brazen and bawdy triptych that sets out to challenge consumer capitalism and celebrate the human body while commenting on contemporary sexual and religious mores and hypocrisies.
Definitely not for all tastes, the films offer heaping doses of Pasolini’s scatological humor and his rough-hewn sensuality, most of which leave all modern standards of decency behind. »
★★★★☆ Recently rereleased alongside comedic classic Hawks and Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini, 1966) courtesy of Eureka's esteemed Masters of Cinema home entertainment label, Pier Paolo Pasolini's immeasurably dark satire Pigsty (Porcile, 1969) parallels two equably disturbing and disparate worlds which come together for a suitably bleak, yet ultimately satisfying finale. Though not quite plumbing the same depths as the depraved Salò (1975), Pasolini's austere exploration of pig-like greed resonates now more than ever.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
Each year, the Oscars recognize A-list talent we regularly see on-screen, on the red carpet, and in tabloids. But the Academy Awards also reward those who work behind the scenes: the writers, editors, costume designers, and others who help create trophy-worthy movie magic. This Oscars season, we’ll be toasting those off-screen artists by delving into the hidden secrets that helped create the on-screen magic that we — and the Academy — fell in love with. For more access backstage during this Oscars season, click here for EW.com’s Oscars Behind the Scenes coverage.
When you talk about range, Dante Ferretti should be Exhibit A. »
- Christian Blauvelt
On October 30, 1975, three days before he was murdered, Pier Paolo Pasolini was in Stockholm to present what was to be his last film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, to Swedish critics. A roundtable discussion was recorded with the intent of turning it into a radio broadcast but news of the filmmaker's death oddly resulted in the withholding of the recording rather than, as would surely happen today, an immediate publication. Eventually, the recording was lost, but as Eric Loret and Robert Maggiori tell the story in Libération, Pasolini's Swedish translator, Carl Henrik Svenstedt, a passionate archivist, recently discovered his own private copy. In December, the Italian newsweekly L'espresso posted the audio recording and published an Italian transcript. Here, for the first time, is an English translation. After a couple of informal questions, the roundtable officially opens with "Ladies and gentlemen…"
What do you know about Swedish cinema?
I know Bergman, »
Best Contemporary Titles
Winner: "The Tree of Life"
Runner-up: "Black Swan"
Love it or hate it, Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is visually the most luscious film of the year and Blu-ray transfer recreates this in perfect detail. No digital artifacts or enhancements are done here, there is a bit of grain but that's expected with the photography on offer, while the IMAX 65mm sequences are true visual wonders.
Coming in second is my favourite film of last year, Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller "Black Swan". Here is a challenge of a different sort, a film shot on both 16mm film and off the shelf Dslr video cameras. The result is a deliberately soft and grainy handheld-style image which lends a realistic documentary feel to proceedings and could look terrible if the Blu-ray transfer was handled poorly. Full kudos to Fox for a high quality presentation lacking in »
- Garth Franklin
9 items from 2012
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