re: Pasolini segment
I once caught 15 minutes on Italian tv of Pasolini's contribution and was completely fascinated by it. Having now also seen his film "Uccellacci e uccellini," made the same year as "Le Streghe" and in much the same absurdist style, I understand even more fully the political commentary being made in both films. The social and political commentary in Pasolini's work is delivered obliquely and with great humor but is nonetheless vital to an understanding of both the style and content of his films. Even after having lived in Italy for some time, speaking the language fluently and learning as much as I could about the complicated political events of the fifties, sixties and seventies, I am aware that as a foreigner I am still at a disadvantage to fully "getting" the point that's being made in these two films. I would think it would be nearly impossible to find them anything other than strange and disconnected without some familiarity with the Italian political milieu of that period. However, that said, I think the beauty of the stylization - successfully realized and united on every level, design, costumes, cinematography and most particularly, acting - works irregardless and is entertaining in and of itself. It's especially interesting to see a comic performer as beloved and mainstream as Toto was at that time, so willingly and completely giving himself over to a director as completely experimental and also so controversial in an extremely volatile political climate as was Pasolini. My only negative comment about "Le streghe" is that I wish it weren't so impossible to get hold of as I would love to see this very beautiful film in its entirety.
- Aug 12, 2003
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