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?
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 »
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.
The tragic and self-destructive sexual battle between a man and his wife. A drama for the desperate struggle of those who are different against the normality that rejects the margins. The ... 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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #236. 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 »
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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