With a movie camera against inequality
Anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini
March 5, 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975), an outstanding Italian film director, writer and left-wing public figure close to the Italian Communist Party.
Pier Paolo Pasolini at the camera
P.P. Pasolini was born and raised in an intelligent and deeply pious Catholic family. As a teenager, he began to write poetry. After leaving school, he entered the College of Literature at the University of Bologna, dreaming of becoming a writer in the future. In 1942 , he published at his own expense the first collection of his poems.
Until 1949, P.P. Pasolini worked as a teacher of Italian language and literature. In 1949 , he quit his teaching job, left for Rome and lived on the free, but unreliable bread of a professional writer.
Pasolini writes extensively and actively publishes his poetry. In 1955 , his novel Dashing Guys (another name is Shpana) was published, and in 1959 the novel Cruel Life. Both novels tell about the life of the social bottom of a large Italian city. The novels caused a storm of indignation among the respectable public, both in their content and in their language.
In 1957 P.P. Pasolini publishes the collection of poems "The Ashes of Gramsci", dedicated to the memory of the founder of the Italian Communist Party, comrade Antonio Gramsci (1891 - 1937).
P.P. Pasolini at the grave of A. Gramsci
In the mid-1950s, P.P. Pasolini began writing film scripts. At first he did it solely for the sake of earning money, but then he got carried away seriously. Pasolini wrote scripts for more than 10 films, the most famous of which was The Long Night of 1943 (1961). This film was directed by Florestano Vancini (1926-2008) and based on a story by Giorgio Bassano (1916-2000).
After the Second World War in Italy, a brilliant take-off of cinema began. A new direction appeared, called "Italian neorealism", which then spread to other countries, including the USSR. Cinematography of neorealism showed the audience the life of ordinary people, very often against the backdrop of great historical events. The most striking work of Soviet neo-realism is the film "The Ballad of a Soldier", created by Grigory Naumovich Chukhrai (1921 - 2001) in 1959.
Neorealism destroyed the notion of cinematography as a dream factory. Films of neorealism showed the real and very difficult life of the working people, with its joys and sorrows. And made me think about a lot.
In a number of films (for example, in the film by Luigi Zampa (1905 - 1991) "Deputy Angelina" (1947)) socially active heroes appear who are able to rouse the working people to fight for their rights, and neorealism begins to acquire some features of socialist realism.
Shot from the film "Deputy Angelina". Angelina Bianchi - Anna Magnani
The cinema of Italian neorealism was kind. It saw the shortcomings of people, but also saw their virtues. Both real and potential. The petty crook Emanuele Bardone from General Della Rovere (1959) died like a hero with the words "Long live Free Italy!"
Films of Italian neorealism were created by such outstanding film directors as Vittorio Rossellini (1906 - 1977) ("Rome Open City" (1945), "General Della Rovere" (1959)), Vittorio de Sica (1901 - 1974) ("Bicycle Thieves" ( 1948)), Luchino Visconti (1906 - 1976) ("Rocco and his brothers" (1960)), Giuseppe de Santis (1917 - 1997) ("No Peace Under the Olives" (1950), "Rome at 11 o'clock"). Federico Fellini (1920 - 1993) ("Nights of Cabiria" (1957)) and others.
The cinematography of Italian neo-realism brought forward ultra-high-level film actors such as Anna Magnani (1908 - 1973), Giulietta Masina (1921 - 1994), Marcello Mastroianni (1924 - 1996), Claudia Cardinale (born 1938). But non-professional actors also played in neorealist films. So, the main role in the film "Bicycle Thieves" was played by an ordinary worker Lamberto Maggiorani (1909 - 1983). After the end of filming, L. Maggiorani tried to get a job at the factory again, but due to unemployment he could not. Therefore, he had to willy-nilly become a professional actor.
A scene from the movie Bicycle Thieves. Lamberto Maggiorani as Antonio Ricci, Enzo Staiola as his son Bruno
Many of the founders of Italian neo-realism (L. Visconti, D. de Santis) were members of the Italian Communist Party. Films of Italian neorealism were willingly purchased by the Soviet Union and widely shown in the Soviet film distribution. Their role in the education of the Soviet people of my generation can, perhaps, be compared with the role of Russian classical literature.
Work on film scripts did not fully satisfy P.P. Pasolini. He dreamed of not only writing scripts, but also directing films. And he managed to realize his dream.
Pasolini directed his first film Accatone in 1961 based on his own novel A Cruel Life. Initially, it was assumed that he would work on the film together with F. Fellini, but the latter refused to participate in the work.
In 1962 P.P. Pasolini is making Mama Roma, a film about a former prostitute trying to start a new life. But she doesn't succeed. The main role in the film was played by the great Italian actress Anna Magnani (1908 - 1973). This film was widely shown in the USSR, where it enjoyed great success.
Shot from the film "Mama Roma"
In 1964, Pasolini directed the film The Gospel According to Matthew, based on the Gospel. The role of Jesus Christ in the film was played not by a professional actor, but by a student from Spain, a communist activist Enrique Irasoki (1944 - 2020), who looks like Ernesto Che Guevara (1928 - 1967). In the future, he abandoned the cinematic career and became a literary critic. The director's mother Susanna Pasolini (1891-1981) starred as the Mother of God . P.P. Pazodini was an atheist and in the history of Jesus Christ he was interested not in religious, but in human content. The interpretation of the "Gospel" in Pasolini's film is close to the ideas of Latin American liberation theology.
Frame from the film "The Gospel of Matthew"
Later P.P. Pasolini made films based on his own scripts (Birds Large and Small (1966), Theorem (1968), Pigsty (1969)).
The film "Theorem" tells how a mysterious stranger appeared in a respectable family of a Milanese manufacturer who changed the life of the family. After that, its head gave his factories to the workers. In life, of course, this does not happen, but as an artistic experiment it is quite acceptable.
And in the movie "Pigsty" the son of a wealthy manufacturer is described, experiencing a pathological sexual attraction ... to pigs! What can be seen as a very irreverent allusion to capitalist society.
According to the works of world classics P.P. Pasolini creates films Oedipus Rex (1967), Medea (1969). The Decameron (1971), The Canterbury Tales (1972), The Flower of a Thousand and One Nights (1974).
In his last film, Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (1975), sadistic experiments on teenagers in Nazi-occupied Italy in 1944 are described.
P.P. Pasolini had great respect for Russian classical and Soviet culture, most carefully studied the work of our compatriots, which undoubtedly had a great influence on the work of the great Italian film director. In 1958, Pasolini visited the Soviet Union, which made a strong impression on him.
P.P. Pasolini reacted sharply negatively to the student protests of 1968. He saw in them a rebellion of bourgeois offspring who did not know real life.
Sorbonne University busy with students. May 14, 1968
He expressed his attitude to the current events in the poem “The Communist Party to Youth!”:
You have the faces of daddy's sons.
A good breed doesn't lie.
You are still shortsighted.
You are frightened, unsteady, desperate
(very good!), but at the same time you know how to appear
bullying, blackmailers, braggarts:
this is the prerogative of the petty bourgeoisie, friends. When you fought the cops
in Valle Giulia yesterday , I sympathized with the cops! Because the police are the children of the poor. People from the periphery, rural or urban. As for me, I know quite well how they lived in childhood and adolescence. ……………………………. I see impotent ambition in your beards, hopeless snobbery in your pallor, sexual corruption in your shifting eyes,
in your good health, arrogance;
in your bad health, contempt.
And only in a few of you, those who come
from the lower bourgeoisie, or from working-class families,
these shortcomings carry some nobility.
At the end of his poem, P.P. Pasolini encourages young people who really want to fight capitalism to fight it in the ranks of the Italian Communist Party.
Student demonstration in Rome. Photo ©Manfred Vollmer / Suddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Vostock Photo
There was a lot of truth in this poem. But the left-wing public of 1968, for the most part, did not accept it. The leftist and student environment reacted negatively to this poem. The leadership of the Italian Komsomol also condemned him.
The reaction to left-wing extremism was right-wing extremism. As early as 1968, revolutionary slogans in Italy were being voiced not only by leftists, but also by ultra-right students. In the autumn of 1970, in the city of Reggio di Calabria, neo-fascists revolted, proclaimed an independent state, and held power in their hands for several months. In the end, the uprising was crushed, but its organizers did not suffer any punishment. Ciccio Franco (1930 - 1991), neo-fascist leader from Reggio di Calabria , was subsequently elected to parliament on several occasions. A plot to stage a coup d'état was reported, which was attempted by the far right, led by a retired second-rank captain, Prince Vittorio Borghese(1906 - 1974) on the night of December 8, 1970. How serious the conspirators' plans were remains unclear.
The ultra-lefts also turned to terror. In August 1970, the underground Red Brigades arose, the number of which at one time reached 25 thousand people. The pinnacle of the activities of the Red Brigades was the kidnapping and murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro (1916-1978).
The years of rampant political terrorism in Italy later became known as the "lead seventies". Pasolini also became a victim of the "lead seventies". His corpse would have been found in the street on the night of November 2, 1975. Before his death, Pasolini was severely beaten: his arm and ten ribs were broken. The dying filmmaker was run over by a car several times. For the murder of P.P. Pazoini was convicted of a seventeen-year-old teenager Pino Pelosi , but several people were clearly involved in the murder, who could not be found. There are serious reasons to believe that the murder of P.P. Pasolini is the work of neo-fascists. According to another version, this murder was connected with the work of Pasolini on the novel "Oil", in which the unseemly affairs of Italian corporations were revealed.
The body of the murdered P.P. Pasolini
Films created by Pier Paolo Pazoini are considered to be an outstanding contribution not only to Italian but also to world culture. And his political position deserves deep respect from the left public.
https://www.rotfront.su/s-kinokameroj-p ... ravenstva/
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