The Process of a Life: Pasolini at 100

  • Pasolini_1960

Past Event

This event was on Thur 31 March, 7pm

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“I think he doubted many things about himself, but never his gift of prophecy which was, perhaps, the one thing he would have liked to have doubted… [the film] arrives like a proverbial message put in a bottle and washed up forty years later on our beach.”John Berger

Marking the birth centenary of Pier Paolo Pasolini – one of the most committed, prolific and complex artists of the twentieth century – join us for an evening of film, poetry, reading and discussion with specially invited guests, the poets and translators Cristina Viti and Stephen Watts.

We are delighted to be showing a little known, but remarkable and all too necessary essay film by Pasolini, the one referred to by John Berger. La Rabbia di Pasolini (83 mins) is a reconstruction of Pasolini’s contribution to the 1963 diptych La Rabbia. “Documentary footage (from the 1950s) and accompanying commentary… attempt to answer the existential question, Why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish, and fear?

The film is in two completely separate parts, and the directors of these respective sections, Pasolini and the extreme conservative Giovanni Guareschi, offer the viewer contrasting analyses of and prescriptions for modern society. Part I, by Pasolini, is a denunciation of the offenses of Western culture, particularly those against colonised Africa. It is at the same time a chronicle of the liberation and independence of the former African colonies, portraying these peoples as the new protagonists of the world stage. Guareschi’s part, by contrast, constitutes a defense of Western civilisation and a word of hope, couched in traditional Christian terms, for man’s future.” (from Letterboxd). The latter part, hugely problematic, disappeared from circulation. Pasolini’s section was restored and extended in 2008.

This event is part of our season Ways of Knowing: Work/Process.