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?
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 »
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
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
4 short films by a quartet of directors. Rosselini's 'Chastity' ('Illibatezza') deals with an attractive air hostess who receives the unwelcome attentions of a middle aged American. ... See full summary »
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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Just wanted to point out that in the final scenes, Pasolini shows Ettore in jail (for stealing), strapped to a table, and it's very much like Andrea Mantegna's painting, "The Dead Christ." This might say a lot about what Pasolini thought about Christ's crucifixion, and how we might view Mamma Roma the whore and her son Ettore (perhaps not as mother and son, but as Mary Magdalene and Christ?). This final scene also makes one recall how the opening scene, the marriage of Carmine (the pimp) and his bride, looks so much like DaVinci's painting, "The Last Supper"... and so the film opens with a visual reference to Christ the pimp before he dies, and ends with one of Christ the thief after he dies.
So many things about this film have elements of the story of Christ, only they're turned on their head. Ettore's relationship with the loose woman Bruna, his familiar dealing with moneylenders, his lazy and thieving followers, his lack of a trade, his stealing -- it's as if he's the opposite of Christ. And yet Ettore is blessed: he's rooted in nature (he grew up on a farm, he recognizes birds by their songs, acts spontaneously on his natural feelings of anger or lust) and he's set within a story that's essentially about the power of morality and redemption. Mamma Roma is a flawed woman but a good woman who's trying to do the right thing, to mend her ways. And Ettore is not so much an anti-Christ as he is a proto-Christ -- a pre-Christian figure. The film 'Mamma Roma' may have more to do with being a pagan story than a Christian one...
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