Showing posts with label Pier Paolo Pasolini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pier Paolo Pasolini. Show all posts

27 May 2013

Theorem (Teorema) Blu-Ray Review

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Theorem is very important film in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s career in many different ways. It was the first time he had worked with primarily with professional actors (and international actors), first film he did with dealt explicitly with homosexuality and the influence of Luis Buñuel was evident.

Theorem is about a mysterious visitor (played by Terrence Stamp) who appears in the lives of an Italian bourgeois family. He has sexual affairs with all of family… the religious maid, the son, the sexually repressed mother, the daughter and lastly the father. The first half of the film is basically that but about half way thought the film he disappears as mysteriously as he appears. The rest of film is about what happens to the family and how the live their lives after the visitor have touched them in some way.

The film is quite clearly about divine intervention and Terrence Stamp is clearly playing a angel of some kind. Curiously the film was given a special award by the International Catholic Film Office at the Venice Film Festival but was quickly withdrawn when the Vatican protested for obviously reasons. The film has long been talked about because of the ambiguousness of the film. It has been interpreted as statement as a disgust at bourgeois society and the emergence of consumerism in Italian Society. Other interpretations are it’s both a critique of bourgeois society and the working class maid and Pasolini’s other struggle with his homosexuality.

It’s a fascinating film from one of Cinema’s great enigma’s Pasolini who was of course brutally murdered soon after the release of his still shocking Salo. He worked in neo-realism, films based on mythology, surrealism, and social satire and often in the same film. He was full of many contractions but his body of work is one of the most fascinating in post-war European cinema.


Ian Schultz

Rating: 15
DVD/BD Release Date: 27th May 2013 (UK)
DirectorPier Paolo Pasolini
Cast: Terence StampMassimo GirottiAnne WiazemskySilvana Mangano

Buy: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray)

15 April 2013

BFI Adding Pasolini's Theorem (Teorema) To Home Release This May

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Following its theatrical release this month, the BFI will bring Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Theorem (1968) to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK when it is released complete and uncut in a Dual Format Edition (includes a DVD disc) on 27 May 2013. The new high definition digital transfer has restored picture and sound. Special features include a filmed interview with Terence Stamp, a feature commentary and an optional English language soundtrack.

A handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) arrives at a bourgeois household in Milan and successively seduces each family member, not forgetting the maid. Then, as abruptly and mysteriously as he arrived, he departs, leaving the distraught members of the household to make what sense they can of their lives in the void of his absence.

In this cool, richly complex and provocative political allegory, Pasolini uses his schematic plot to explore family dynamics, the intersection of class and sex, and the nature of different sexualities. After winning a prize at the Venice Film Festival, Theorem was subsequently banned on an obscenity charge, but Pasolini later won an acquittal on the grounds of the film’s ‘high artistic value’.

Theorem is visually ravishing, with superb performances from its international cast and a brilliantly eclectic soundtrack featuring music by composers ranging from Mozart to Morricone.

Special Features
• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition;
• Optional alternative English language soundtrack;
• Audio commentary by Italian film expert Robert Gordon;
• An Interview with Terence Stamp (2007, 34 mins, DVD only);
• 2013 theatrical release trailer;
• Illustrated booklet with an essay by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, a review by Philip Strick and biographies of Pasolini and Stamp.

Pe-order/buy:Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray)

31 July 2012

Hawks And Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini) - Masters Of Cinema Review

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Hawks and Sparrows is another in Masters of Cinema’s continuing series of Pasolini re-issues with more to come later in the year. The film stars Toto who not know to most people outside of Italy know who he is but he was the huge star in Italy and was sort of the Italian Chaplin. The fim co-stars Pasolini’s collaborator and lover Ninetto Davoli.

The film’s story is a rather strange crossbred of a fairy tale and mid 60s leftist filmmaking. It’s about these 2 characters who meet a talking Marxist crow. The crow tells them the story of these 2 old Franciscan Monks (naturally played by Ninetto and Toto) and they preach to the Hawks and Sparrows and try to convert them to Christianity. They rest of the film consist of them wandering having episodic adventures includes meeting beautiful girls, they get chased away by angry farmers and dancing teenagers.

The film touches on Life, Religion, Birth, Sex, Aging and Death. It’s all done with humour and a touch of almost Monty Python silliness. The talking crow talks almost like thrift store Godard revolutionary speak but The Crow symbolize death eventually. The film features a wonderful Ennio Morricone score, which features Domenico Modugno singing the opening credits in an ironic fashion. The score itself is almost a Leone score which is unsurprising cause it was done around the same time as his scores for Leone.

The film is an extremely enjoyable if very strange piece of Bunuelian esq comedy even though the humour at time is very broad. The film seems to be considered a lesser work of Pasolini’s even though he considered it the only film of his that he wasn’t disappointed with. A knowledge of mid 60s Italian politics may help for some but for a person like me who has no knowledge it stills works as a very enjoyable film.

Ian Schultz

Rating: PG
UK Re-release Date: July 2012
Directed By: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Cast: Totò, Ninetto Davoli , Femi Benussi
Buy:Hawks and Sparrows [Masters of Cinema] On DVD [1966]

30 July 2012

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex To Get UK Masters Of Cinema September Release

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Pier Paolo Pasolini’s OEDIPUS REX [EDIPO RE] is to be released in the UK in a Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) edition as part of Eureka Entertainment’s MASTERS OF CINEMA Series on 24 September 2012. DVD edition also available! The release on Blu-Ray will mark the film's debut on the format anywhere is the world and the long successful relationship Eureka Entertainment has with the director's popular filmography with the Golden Lion nominated film (1967 Venice Film Festival) joining Accatone, Hawks And Sparrows, Pigsty, Gospel According To Matthew, RoGoPag.

Three years after The Gospel According to Matthew, Pier Paolo Pasolini resumed his series of classical adaptations with a savage, highly personal take on Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex [Edipo Re]. As his first colour feature, Oedipus Rex makes brilliant use of wildly alternating Moroccan landscapes to transpose collective myth into a particular vision that is at once tender, sensual, and wholly unsparing.

The film is divided into three sections set in different eras. The opening takes place in 1920s Italy, and recounts a birth that echoes that of the director himself, the product of a beautiful bourgeoise's affair with a military officer. The mid section depicts a time "outside of history" – it is here that the myth of Oedipus (portrayed by Franco Citti of Accattone and Coppola's The Godfather), one of patricide and incest, plays out opposite the young man's mother/lover (Silvana Mangano). An epilogue shot on the streets of present-day Bologna finds Oedipus playing his flute for a bustling citizenry.

With its kinetic handheld camerawork and strikingly primeval costumes, Pasolini's film rattles its art-genre framework in the enduring quest to exorcise repressive emotional forces. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Pier Paolo Pasolini's Oedipus Rex for the very first time on Blu-ray, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition, released on 24 September 2012. DVD edition also available!


• Gorgeous new HD restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray
• Newly translated optional English subtitles
• Original Italian theatrical trailer
• 28-page booklet featuring vintage writing by Pasolini, excerpts from an interview with the director by Oswald Stack about the film, and rare archival imagery

Available to pre-order from:

Amazon (Dual Format Edition) (DVD Edition)
HMV (Dual Format Edition)
Play (Dual Format Edition)
The Hut (Dual Format Edition)  


24 July 2012

Pigsty (Porcile) DVD Review (Masters Of Cinema Release)

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Pigsty is a relatively obscure film made by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1969. It has been very hard to find until Eureka has released a part of their “Masters of Cinema” range. It was previously released in Tartan Pasolini’s films.

It consists of 2 concurrent stories. One features a man who is runs around in a timeless barren wasteland and becomes a cannibal. The man joins forces with a thug and ravages the landscape. The other story is about a fascistic tycoon Herr Klotz (who has a Hitler tash) and his son Julian’s interest in developing relationships with pigs more than his left leaning fiancé, the young couple are played by French actors Jean-Pierre Léaud (most famously portrayed Antoine Doinel in Truffaut’s films) and Anne Wiazemsky (starred in some Godard films and was married Jean-Luc as well).

The film is almost Bunùelian satire about capitalism, fascism, suggested bestiality and cannibalism. Léaud and Wiazemsky previously starred in Godard’s La Chinoise and the leftist banter between them defiantly has echoes of that film which Pasolini would have certainly been aware of. The completely silent until the last scene story of the man in the timeless wasteland is arguably the more effective story. That segment is all about the extremes humanity can get to which of course Pasolini went back to in his most famous/infamous film Salò. The more conventional story about the young couple and the man’s father is a amusing and ultimately is quite as dark or funny as it could be. However it still works with a nice twist at the very end.

Pigsty is a very interesting film in Pasolini’s cannon. It’s a film that is very much a early attempt to deal with the themes he would later in do in “Salò like fascism, the abuse of power etc. It works quite well as a surrealist black comedy and an important film in the development of Pasolini.

Ian Schultz

UK Rating: 15
(Re-)Release Date: July 2012
Directed By: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Cast: Pierre Clémenti, , Jean-Pierre Léaud, Anne Wiazemsky
Buy:Pigsty [Porcile] [Masters of Cinema] (DVD) [1969]