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Paolo Pasolini - Poet of Ashes

Enrique Irazoqui as Christ in <EM>The Gospel According to St. Matthew / Il Vangelo secondo Matteo</EM>Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy/France, 1964; 137mPhoto Credit: ARCO/LUX / THE KOBAL COLLECTION Photo courtesy of Films Society of Lincoln Center
Enrique Irazoqui as Christ in
The Gospel According to St. Matthew / Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy/France, 1964; 137m
Photo courtesy of Films Society of Lincoln Center
Paolo Pasolini - Poet of Ashes
NEW YORK  •  various venues  •  Ongoing

Pier Paolo Pasolini's murder at the age of 53 transformed an already controversial and extraordinary Italian artist into an iconic figure of the Twentieth Century. The Italian Cultural Institute, Fondazione Aida and the Film Society of  Lincoln Center present a series of events that explore the many  facets of Pasolini's work, including cinema, theater, poetry and music at locations that include The Italian Cultural Institute, the Film Society's  Walter Reade Theater and Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Joe's Pub at  The Public Theater, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and Casa Italiana  Zerilli Marimò.

The series features Readings and Lectures: Pasolini's Poetry and Literature by Pasolini's cousin, Graziella  Chiarcossi, and Vincenzo Cerami (November 26 at the Italian Cultural  Institute).  Cerami, who received an Oscar nomination for his  story/screenplay of Life's Beautiful, was a student and later a collaborator with  Pasolini.

The Exhibition, Pier Paolo Pasolini: the Body's Truth, (from
November 27 to December 15 at the Italian Cultural Institute) which presents Angelo Novi's photos and images taken on the sets of Pasolini's  films from Mamma Roma (1962) to Teorema (1968).

A Documentary Series: Tuesday night @ the Movies (at the Italian Cultural Institute from  December 4 to December 18), which features six short films on the director, including Sopralluoghi in Palestina (1964), Pasolini l'enragé (1966), Una disperata vitalità (1998), III B facciamo l'appello (1971), Pasolini e la forma della citta (1974), and Pasolini e il cinema: al cuore  della realtà (1974).  A major showing of previously un-exhibited promotional material, entitled, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Cinema Affiches, will run from November 2 - December 2, 2007 at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery.  The exhibit comprises film posters and affiches, which were prepared by painters and artisans who had to complete their works even before filming was completed.

Facets of the tribute also include the music concert, The Songs of Pier Paolo Pasolini - Le Canzoni di Pasolini, which takes place at the  Public Theater - Joe's Pub (Nov. 27).  The concert features the performances of Aisha Cerami, voice; Nuccio Siano, voice and guitar; Andrea Colocci, double bass; Roberto Marino, piano; and Salvatore Zambataro, accordion and clarinet.  The theatrical performance Trash, directed by Andrea Mancini and Lorenzo Bassotto and inspired by Pasolini, will be performed at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (Nov. 29, 30 & Dec. 1), with featured performances by Lorenzo Bassotto and Rhonda Moore.

The closing night of the series will be the United States premiere of Accattone in Jazz - A Homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini, at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 9:00 p.m. This musical performance is realized in collaboration with Kairos Italy Theater Inc. and features Italian jazz musicians-Roberto Gatto on drums and Danilo Rea on piano-with one of Italian actor, Valerio Mastrandrea, reciting passages from the director's script for Accattone (1960).

Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1922, to a military father, Pier Paolo Pasolini grew up in various small towns throughout Northern Italy. After his  parents separated, he spent long periods of time in his mother's  native region of Casarsa, where he cultivated a respect for the area's  peasant culture and wrote poetry in Friulian, its distinctive dialect. He  studied literature and art history under the renowned historian Roberto  Longhi at the University of Bologna and was drafted into the army during World War II, during which Communist partisans executed his younger  brother Guido. Following the war, he settled in Casarsa and worked as a  teacher and, despite the nature of his brother's death, became a leading  member of the area's Communist party.

Allegations of homosexual activity with students resulted in his expulsion from the party and his move to the Roman borgate in 1949. Almost  immediately, Pasolini became entranced by the seedy lifestyle of the borgate, resulting in several volumes of poetry and two novels, The Ragazzi  (1955) and A Violent Life (1959). While he continued to write-including the fictional novel Teorema (1968), the unfinished epic Petrolio, and  nine collections of poetry, most notably The Ashes of Gramsci (1957)-his richly detailed, highly graphic depiction of the Roman underworld soon brought writing offers from some of Italy's leading filmmakers, including Mauro Bolognini, Luciano Emmer and Federico Fellini, and eventually moved Pasolini into the director's chair himself.

The artist's scandalous end was seen by many as a reflection of a life  in the fringes of Italian society and at the front of the nation's  cultural debate.

Paolo Pasolini - Poet of Ashes Web Site


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