Pier Paolo Pasolini. Photo: Sesc publicity.
Pier Paolo Pasolini. Photo: Sesc publicity.
Pier Paolo Pasolini. Reproduction Wikimedia Commons.
Pier Paolo Pasolini. Reproduction Wikimedia Commons.

Until August 17, films, meetings and debates – organized by Sesc São Paulo together with the Instituto Italiano di Cultura – honor Pier Paolo Pasolini, an emblematic Italian filmmaker whose 100 years would have been completed in 2022. In all, 19 films will be screened at the CineSesc, in 2k and 4K restored copies and a special 35mm session. A cycle of online lectures with the presence of professors and critics will be held by the Research and Training Center of Sesc. In addition, two master classes on Pasolini with Italian researchers will be made available online. On August 17, five titles directed by Pasolini will be available for free on the Sesc Digital platform, where they are available for 30 days or until the viewing limits are exhausted.

For Michele Gialdroni, director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in São Paulo, Pasolini's centenary is an opportunity to honor the life and work of an inevitable author. “Everyone has their Pasolini, the apocalyptic and the elegiac, the violent and the delicate, the communist and the Catholic, the traditionalist and the very modern, the classic and the avant-garde, the sophisticated intellectual and the suburban street-goer, the philologist and the filmmaker, the poet and the columnist. I also have my own Pasolini,” he declares.

Born on March 5, 1922, in Bologna, northern Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini was gay, Catholic and communist. He graduated in Literary Studies from the University of Bologna, published books of poetry, short stories and novels. He was a poet, editor, essayist, screenwriter, journalist and cultural critic. He became a filmmaker around his forties, gaining international recognition and a work attacked from all sides. Inevitable in her was the criticism of the consumer society and the bourgeoisie. 

Among the program highlights (click here to access it in full), the public in São Paulo will be able to watch the director's first feature film, Accattone – Social Misfit (1961); Mom Rome (1962) – about a middle-aged prostitute who dreams of changing her social class in order to return to live with her teenage son, Ettore; The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964) – Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival; to the trilogy of life, made shortly before his early death, in 1975, and formed by the films Decameron (1971) Canterbury Tales (1972) and The one thousand and one nights (1974); and your latest production Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), adaptation of the work of the Marquis de Sade, where the filmmaker presents his vision of power, sexuality, conformism and the Italian youth of the 1970s.

Still from the documentary "La rabbia di Pasolini". Credit: © Cinecittà SpA Published by Sesc.
Still from the documentary “La rabbia di Pasolini”. Credit: © Cinecittà SpA Published by Sesc.

Lecture series

In order to account for the extensive work and thought of Pier Paolo Pasolini, a cycle of four lectures presents different aspects and interpretations of his work. The lectures take place online, always from 15 pm to 17 pm, in youtube.com/cpfsesc.

Pasolini's modern cinema

08/08, from 15:00 pm to 17:00 pm

An approach to Pasolini's conception of modern cinema as a “cinema of poetry”; a formulation that supposes that this cinema, when expressing the world view of its author, at the same time places all emphasis on the “poetic function of language”. In other words, that formal construction that makes the work of art draw attention to itself, unlike classic cinema, which seeks to make the screen a transparent window to the world. With this premise in place, the objective is to present a reflection on its most original notion: that of “free indirect subjective” formulated from a reflection that starts from the so-called “free indirect style”, a concept used by the theory of the novel to qualify a procedure of the narrator in his expression from the point of view of a particular character. With Ismail Xavier, researcher, critic and film teacher. Associate professor at the University of São Paulo, he has published several books and articles that are a reference in the field of cinema in Brazil and internationally.

The mud of other eras: anachronism as resistance in Pasolini's cinema

09/08, from 15:00 pm to 17:00 pm

Often referred to as a great polemicist, Pasolini assumed artistically and biographically the fight against a pervasive form of fascism that was gaining scale in Italian society in the 1960s and 1970s: the omnipresence of consumption. Thus, he engenders a poetic universe that manifests a political stance: figurativizations of ancestral and peripheral forms of social life represent a way of resistance against the homogenization of cultural differences. The filmmaker's apocalyptic aesthetic thus establishes the dynamics of anachronism: within the bourgeois industrial logic itself, the disruptive temporalities and mentalities of an archaic world that cannot be reduced to market assimilation emerge. With Mariana Duccini, PhD in Communication Sciences from ECA/USP. She is co-organizer of the books “Film and audiovisual genres: contemporary perspectives” (volume 2 and volume 3, press release).

Pasolini's influence on Brazilian cultural life

15/08, from 15:00 pm to 17:00 pm

Pier Paolo Pasolini, poet, novelist, filmmaker, critic, semiologist, interventionist intellectual, would be 100 years old in 2022. The thread of the class is summarized in the words of Roberto Esposito: “Pasolini's thought thrives in the densest areas of social matter : politics, history and life”. Both the poems and narratives, the films and their critical essays will be seen in a constant movement of experimentation that land, in waves, in Brazilian cultural life from the Cinema Novo, in the 60s, to the most recent translations such as those of the poems of “As Gramsci's Ashes" and the urgent essay of the book Escritos corsários (Editora 34, 2020). With Maria Betânia Amoroso, collaborating professor at the Department of Literary Theory at Unicamp, Free Lecturer in the area of ​​Comparative Literature. Among the authors studied, the set of productions by Pier Paolo Pasolini is central.

Pasolini's semiology of reality

16/08, from 15:00 pm to 17:00 pm

The lecture starts from a speculative exercise: what interpretation would Pasolini have of current reality, would he see the emergence of a third type of fascism there? While making hermetic films that caused scandal and were the target of censorship and homophobia, the filmmaker formulated a theory of life based on his study of the language of cinema. Just as editing organizes and gives meaning to the film, Pasolini attributed to death the power to organize the meaning of existence. From this insight, he begins to read reality as a living discourse, attributing an anthropological revolution to consumption, capable of producing the mutation of an entire people. Such a form of fascism, called consumerism, was even more insidious than historical fascism. With Luiz Nazário, professor of Cinema at the School of Fine Arts at UFMG, PhD in History from USP. Writer and essayist, he has published, among others, the books “Todos os corpo de Pasolini” (2007) and “O cinema errante” (2013).

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