Echoes Of Pier Paolo Pasolini In Contemporary Italian Cinema: The Cases Of Marco Tullio Giordana And Aurelio Grimaldi

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In this dissertation, I examine the legacy of Pier Paolo Pasolini's life, artistic production and political engagement in contemporary Italian cinema. I focus on films by Marco Tullio Giordana (Maledetti vi amer [Bastards, I will Love You, 1980]; Pasolini: Un delitto italiano [Pasolini: An Italian Crime, 1995]; I cento passi [One Hundred Steps, 2000]) and by Aurelio Grimaldi (Nerolio: Sputer su mio padre [Nerolio: I Will Spit on My Father, 1996]; Un mondo d'amore [A World of Love, 2002]). Through their references to and reappraisal of Pasolini, these films re-appropriate thematics dear to him, acquire a more powerful sociopolitical meaning and rethink the aesthetic possibilities of Italian contemporary cinema. I focus on Giordana and Grimaldi because they exemplify two different treatments of Pasolini. Giordana shows absolute admiration for Pasolini, focuses on his socio-political struggles, and deals with his death as a result of a conspiracy. Grimaldi instead takes a more critical stance vis-a-vis Pasolini's merits and flaws, represents specifically the different stages of Pasolini's homosexual life, and interprets his death as a consequence of the homosexual encounters in hidden, often degraded places. In Grimaldi's view, Pasolini's (homo)sexuality has been overlooked by those who have sought to monumentalize him, and in this way, the power of Pasolini's word and his public engagement have been neutralized. While Pasolini's presence is self-evident in Giordana's Pasolini: Un delitto italiano, and in Grimaldi's Nerolio and Un mondo d'amore where Pasolini is the protagonist, in Giordana's Maledetti vi amer and I cento passi, Pasolini appears in a few citations of his poems (particularly those referring to Antonio Gramsci's politics and to Pasolini's relationship with his mother). I maintain that if spectators miss the significance of those citations, they also miss the political and social nuances present in the films. In exploring the presence of Pasolini in Giordana's and Grimaldi's films, I also touch upon their understanding of cinematic realism, their encouragement to reflect on what it means today to look for and talk about truth, the role of the intellectual in Italy, and finally homosexuality as an important social question in contemporary Italy.

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2009-08-19T16:19:19Z
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