Willem Dafoe is Pasolini in Abel Ferrara’s long-delayed biopic of the murdered artist

May 09, 2019 2086

The murder of the Italian director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini on November 2, 1975—just weeks before the scheduled premiere of what would turn out to be his final and most notorious film, Salò, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom, the first part of a planned “trilogy of death”—remains a subject of morbid interest, speculation, and conspiracy theories. Did Pino Pelosi, the teenage hustler who confessed to and was convicted of the killing, really act alone? Or were there others involved? Certainly, Pasolini had enemies.

An openly gay communist intellectual who didn’t always follow the party line, he had faced censorship and charges of obscenity since the publication of his first novel, Ragazzi Di Vita, in 1955, and had become a prominent figure in Italy’s culture wars. At the time of his death, he was also being extorted by an unknown party that had stolen several reels of the Salò negative from the Technicolor lab in Rome. (The same group is believed to have been behind the theft of original Venetian carnival sequence from Federico Fellini’s Casanova.) But even in the contentious and conspiratorial climate of mid-1970s Italian politics, who would go so far as to kill an artist?

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SOURCE: https://film.avclub.com/

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