Revel in the passion of Pier Paolo Pasolini, who pushed the boundaries of politics, art and sexuality. Five classic films will unspool September 10, the 100th anniversary of Pasolini’s birth.
The retrospective will feature a special screening of Pasolini’s Medea starring soprano Maria Callas, and, in celebration of the joint centenaries of San Francisco Opera (OperaSF100) and Pasolini (Pasolini100), San Francisco Opera will present a performance by Soprano Mikayla Sager, accompanied by pianist Andrew King, prior to the Medea screening.
This program is presented by Cinecittà, the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, CinemaItaliaSF, and Artistic Soul Association, under auspices of the Italian Consulate General of San Francisco.
If you are a current member of the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, contact them to receive the discount code: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a current member of the Museo Italo Americano of San Francisco, contact them to receive the discount code: email@example.com or 415.673.2200.
Director: Abel Ferrara, 2014, 84 min
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Ninetto Davoli, Valerio Mastandrea, Riccardo Scamarcio
Willem Dafoe stars in Abel Ferrara’s dramatic English-language film Pasolini, about the mysterious final days of the renowned Italian film director. This haunting biopic draws on Pasolini’s last interview and scenes from his unfinished novel Petrolio. Dafoe’s charisma shines as he embodies the intellect and passion of the murdered director.
12:30pm | MAMMA ROMA
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1962, 107 min
Cast: Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo, Franco Citti, Silvana Corsini
The immortal Anna Magnani is equally vulnerable and volcanic as the titular character in Pasolini’s gritty tale of a mother determined to rise above poverty. The writer-director returns to the desolate outskirts of Rome for this tale of doomed maternal love.
3:00pm | ACCATTONE
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961, 117 min
Cast: Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini, Paola Guidi
After writing a pair of novels, Ragazzi di vita and Una vita violenta, set in the urban periphery of Rome, Pasolini decided to turn to cinema to continue exploring the world of a young loafer (Franco Citti) roaming the hardscrabble Roman slum of Pigneto. Accattonereimagines Neorealism by eschewing any sentimentality for the poetry of the everyday.
6:00pm | MEDEA
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969, 110 min
Cast: Maria Callas, Massimo Girotti, Laurent Terzieff, Giuseppe Gentile
In Medea, Greek-American soprano Maria Callas stars in a rare nonoperatic role as the title character in Pasolini’s haunting adaptation of the tragedy by Euripides, about a woman scorned by her husband (Jason of the Argonauts) who avenges herself with fierce abandon. The film owes its ravishing visual imagery to fantastic costumes and the ancient sites of Italy, Turkey, and Syria where it was shot.
8:00-10:00pm | La Roma di Pasolini Mezzanine Reception
Rudy of C’era Una Volta restaurant will re-create the Roman atmosphere for selected guests in the Castro Mezzanine.
10:00pm | SALÒ OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1976, 116 min
Cast: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi. Umberto P. Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti
Pasolini’s infamous final film transposes the Marquis de Sade’s 18th century treatise on torture to Mussolini’s Italy circa 1944. A group of representatives of the wealthy upper classes—a Duke, a Bishop, a Magistrate, and naturally, the President—have holed themselves up in a palatial estate in the titular city of Salò, where they have imprisoned a horde of young men and women to torment for their pleasure. The story, rife with political implications, is in four segments, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.
(Viewer discretion is strongly advised)
This special homage to Pasolini follows the complete retrospective that Cinecittà premiered at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Pasolini’s birth. This is Cinema Italia San Francisco’s 11th program of classic Italian cinema in San Francisco.