Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Depending on who you ask, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom is either the most depraved film ever made or a necessary — if very hard to watch — reminder of human cruelty. While Salò is an extreme case, this polarization is generally the rule of thumb when it comes to the films of cinema’s preeminent gay, Italian, Catholic, Marxist provocateur, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Either you stay clear, or you taste the forbidden fruit.
Whether you agree with what he says or how he says it is one thing. But it’s hard to deny the man’s ability to harness the transgressive power of cinema. His films are filthy. But so is the real world. And Pasolini wants to make sure we don’t let ourselves off the hook. So he provokes us into questioning the status quo, the ruling class, and even cinema itself. In the video essay below, we’re encouraged to consider the power and purpose of cinematic transgression. How there is power in disobedience when the establishment would prefer we look away.
Watch “Pier Paolo Pasolini: cinema as transgression“:
Who made this?
Luiza Liz, a.k.a. Art Regard, is a U.K.-based video essayist and a co-creator of Cinema Cartography. Her videos investigate the intersections of film and philosophy. You can check out Cinema Cartography’s website here. You can check out their back catalog of videos here.
More Videos Like This
- Want a twenty-four-minute look at Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Decameron?— here you go
- Personally, when I think about transgression, I think about Lars von Trier. Here’s another video from Cinema Cartography on how Lars von Trier deconstructs cinema by making us uncomfortable
- Here’s the garbage king himself, John Waters, on why Salò is beautiful and you should watch more filth
- Here’s an interview, on Criterion’s YouTube page, where Pier Paolo Pasolini discusses marxism, faith, and his favorite kind of person
- Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die: a Dutch documentary on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini
- Another documentary: Salò: Fade to Black, a twenty-three-minute film featuring Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, and John Maybury, as well as scholar David Forgacs on the film Salò
- Here’s Style is Substance with a breakdown of how Salò explores the beauty of humanism amidst the human capacity for ugliness