Thursday, 23 April 2015


Currently reading Pasolini’s 1956 novel Ragazzi di Vita, a neorealist account of a group of street urchins growing up in the slums of Rome, whose lives are shaped by poverty, boredom, crime and violence. Ragazzi di Vita is not an easy read, the narrative feels as aimless as its teenage protagonists, and the book’s documentary style is taxing - Pasolini’s attention to detail when it comes to places and place names is such that one could almost construct a map from the book of this less frequented side of The Eternal City. And yet the novel is fascinating in the light of Pasolini’s early films, his observations on slum life are echoed in Accattone, and Mamma Roma and his screenplay for Bertolucci’s La Commare Secca. All this Pasolini business was prompted by Abel Ferrara’s biopic which I’m looking forward to seeing at some stage. It’s not good to ruminate on a film that I'm perhaps months away from seeing, most likely on Blu-Ray (I wonder will the film be held back until November to tie in with the 40th anniversary of Pasolini’s death), but if the striking image of Willem Dafoe, wearing Pasolini’s trademark horn rimmed glasses is anything to go by, I’m hugely excited for the film. Be sure to check out the excellent trailer (nsfw) which uses appropriately enough “Erbarme dich, mein Gott” from Bach’s St Matthew Passion...

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