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Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Filmmaker's Life1971

  • 3.4
A FILMMAKER'S LIFE explores the political rumblings and philosophical challenges behind the work of auteur and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini. This short documentary, made in the middle of Pasolini's film career, features interviews with Franco Citti, Alberto Moravia and the director himself, as well as insights into the making of ACCATTONE, OEDIPUS REX and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW. Marxism, Catholicism and Italian peasantry dovetailed into an astonishing career that, while cut short by Pasolini's murder four years after the release of this documentary, remains just as unrelenting and provocative today. - Tom Fritsche

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4 members like this review

Recognized as an intellectual, and a man of words, this brief documentary attests to the world Pasolini crafted for himself in the castle of words. But what most moved me watching this film were the images of the slums, and the young men he drafted for his films. The tenderness they have for the respect he gave them is visible. My favorite image is of Ninetto Davoli leaning on Pasolini while he is being interviewed by a journalist. This speaks more truth to me than the documentary's determined narrative to encapsulate the obvious.

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Member Reviews (4)

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top reviewer

Recognized as an intellectual, and a man of words, this brief documentary attests to the world Pasolini crafted for himself in the castle of words. But what most moved me watching this film were the images of the slums, and the young men he drafted for his films. The tenderness they have for the respect he gave them is visible. My favorite image is of Ninetto Davoli leaning on Pasolini while he is being interviewed by a journalist. This speaks more truth to me than the documentary's determined narrative to encapsulate the obvious.

4 members like this review
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If you know anything about Pasolini's life, you won't recognize it in this film, which is a publicity film about The Artiste Pasolini.

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I loved the look of this film. Interviews taking place in desolate parking lots, sitting on uprooted palm trees. Dusty roads. Peasants. The narration is funny sometimes, and so uber praising of Pasolini, that I swear I heard his name spoken 6 out of 10 words sometimes - you'll see what I mean, and laugh. The music is warm and reminiscent of another era of filmmaking. Most of the talk is political. I liked it, but would have liked a little more talk about the creative process and actual filmmaking.

It feels a little unsatisfactory watching this 1971 made documentary about Pier Paolo Pasolini in this day and age. It's very much in media res, and as such doesn't give much context. The film consists very much of interviews done with fellow artists in Italian, laboriously translated into English, and of Pasolini himself who communicates in dogma, and leaves more question marks than answers.