Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?
This consists of four short films by different directors. Rosselini's 'Chastity' ('Illibatezza') deals with an attractive air hostess who receives the unwelcome attentions of a middle aged ... See full summary »
After his quest to retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. However, when the king banishes her, it's only human that Medea plots her furious revenge. Can they escape her wrath?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »
Two dramatic stories. In an undetermined past, a young cannibal (who killed his own father) is condemned to be torn to pieces by some wild beasts. In the second story, Julian, the young son... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Ancient Arabia. A youth is chosen by a beautiful slave girl to be her new master; she is kidnapped and they must search for each other. Stories are told within stories; love, travel and the whims of destiny.
"La Rabbia" employs documentary footage (from the 1950s) and accompanying commentary to attempt to answer the existential question, Why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish, ... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
With a fervent yearning for respectability and enough money to buy herself a brand-new life in Rome, the uninhibited, fearless, and determined former streetwalker, Mamma Roma, renounces her ignominious past to reunite with her loafing sixteen-year-old son, Ettore. Free at last from her disgusting pimp and ex-lover, Carmine, Roma is bent on making an honest living running a humble vegetable stall; however, a malicious extortion scheme and the equally insidious menace of exposure threaten to put an end to her zealous aspirations for a decent bourgeois existence. For his own sake, Ettore must be spared the violence of the grown-up world; nevertheless, can a single mother alone protect her only son from the same snares that wounded her youth?Written by
At the films premiere in the Quattro Fontane Cinema (Rome, 22nd September 1962), Mr. Pier Paolo Pasolini was attacked by fascists who protested against the film. See more »
In the opening titles, the music that is playing over the titles is noted as "Concerto in Do maggiore di Vivaldi," which translates in English as "Concerto in C major by Vivaldi." The music actually playing is the Largo (slow) movement from Vivaldi's Concerto in D minor (catalog number RV 540) See more »
Have you ever been with a woman?
[Ettore shakes his head no]
Then you don't even know how women are made.
How are you made?
If you only knew.
Where are we going? To America?
Can't wait, can you? Your heart's pounding, right? I bet your heart's beating hard.
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As my first Pasolini film, Mamma Roma is as good an introduction as I could have wished. The plot is terrific and heartbreaking, and the depth and range that Mamma Roma's character calls for is delivered in full by Magnani. One must only consider the two separate occasions we see Mamma walk the line after dark. What a force! Her figure attracts so many men, almost like a light in an otherwise dark night would attract insects. But none of these men can keep up with her--the past she recounts, although lightheartedly, is too troublesome a road for anyone to walk down. Indeed, she herself never finds an escape from it.
And this is the genius of Pasolini's film. That we have the two figures of Ettore and Mamma Roma, who each emerge in the film at the hour of their seeming liberation-- Mamma freed from her pimp and Ettore from his "hicks" in the country--who nonetheless crumble under the weight of history. All they are left to do is wonder, to paraphrase Ettore during the end, "why so many people are torturing (them)," when all they (Mamma Roma and Ettore) want to do is good. Existential despair that resonates today amidst grave financial uncertainty and uncertain class ascendancy.
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