“You mentioned earlier that you’ve been developing a screenplay about Pier Paolo Pasolini.
We wrote it, and now my producer, who was supposed to be here, has had bypass surgery. This happened two days ago.
What interests you about Pasolini’s films?
He’s the man, you know? He really is. But again, this is a project that already has financing. Somebody is already going with it. Where do the ideas come from? Well, if you got money behind something, that’s a good start. It’s an economic deal, man. We’re trying to make a living here. Willem Dafoe will play Pasolini. They won’t do a film about Pasolini unless an American actor is in it.
So it’s going to be in English?
That’s a real point, right? OK, so that I’ve been fighting about since I got to Italy. Any Italian story needs Italian actors, right? And there are great Italian actors. But they don’t want to use them. It’s impossible. At this point, I’m throwing in the towel, because I’m tired of arguing. They can’t show an Italian movie. A movie that’s in Italian can’t be financed if you’re trying to recreate 1975. "
heh I just watched Nanni Moretti’s 1993 Caro Diario where he goes to the site of Pasolini’s assassination.
There is decrepit marker at the site.
Tell us more Matt !
Was hoping someone else had heard something about this.
“Like okay, I just came back from Rome where we’re working on film about Pasolini. It’s about the last day of his life. It’s a narrative. It’s about the murder. It’s kind of a Rashomon meets All That Jazz sort of thing . . . I don’t think that guy he was with in the park was capable of killing him. Pasolini was a tough dude, you know what I mean? . . . we’re going after the Rashomon approach where will show that version, but then there’s the version where it’s a political assassination, and then there’s the version of the bad director, where the guy got alittle bit out of control. You play with fire, you get burned.”
Is he the right guy?His films, many of which are uneven and outlandish, will stay with you, serving as a bizarre but welcome reminder that a spiritually or intellectually engaged work can also be smutty and lurid.
He’s not the first guy I would think of to do a conventional biopic. Then again, Pasolini’s not exactly a conventional subject.
“Here’s a guy who was a journalist, a beautiful poet, a muckraking journalist, a troublemaking motherfucker, who was basically writing for the Italian version of the New York Times and named names, all during a heavy period. You know this is around when Allende was killed and the CIA was all over everything, Vietnam was winding down, at the same time he’s making Salo, and you got people who are stealing the negative. And at the same time he’s cruising the fucking train stations looking for sexual satisfaction. This was one serious motherfucker.”
Out of english language actors, Dafoe is a really brilliant choice. This has to be one of my most anticipated films now.
Pasolini is one the directors (along with Cassavetes and Fassbinder) that Ferrara has frequently expressed admiration for, so it will be interesting to see where he takes this.
Awesome! Let’s hope it actually gets made.
“It’s about the last day of his life. It’s a narrative. It’s about the murder. It’s kind of a Rashomon meets All That Jazz sort of thing.”
“What interests you about Pasolini’s films?
He’s the man, you know? He really is."
both comments bode well. The opening chapter of PASOLINI: REQUIEM about his final day is incredibly dramatic, and it’s a great way to make this story. High hopes.
I’ve heard about this project. If it’s really happening, I couldn’t be more excited.
He has been trying to make this film for well over a decade now.
not sure if i’m looking forward to it. he doesn’t seem to have much distance from the subject.
Always the skeptic, Joks. ;)
Well this is gonna be amazing.
“serving as a bizarre but welcome reminder that a spiritually or intellectually engaged work can also be smutty and lurid.”
I remember reading somewhere that Ferrara started thinking about this project around the time of King of New York and actually started writing it around the time of Bad Lieutenant – Dangerous Game.
Anyways, I’m actually more excited for this project more than 4:44. Dafoe is a brilliant choice as well; he even looks sort of like Pasolini. Awesome to know that there is already financing in place too. Hopefully this doesn’t go the way of Jekyll and Hyde, The Last Crew, or Carmella.
To celebrate this great day:
“Always the skeptic, Joks. ;)”
haha. you are getting to know me quite well young jedi ;-)
“he doesn’t seem to have much distance from the subject.”
For Ferrara I’m not sure distance would be a good thing.
This is fantastic! I’ve long wanted a biopic of Pasolini and a Nicholas Ray one as well. Hope someone tries that.
The thing that unites the two is that they operate on the margins, or at least explore the margins of the scared and the profane as they relate to Catholicism. I wonder if Ferrara has it in him to make the film that would shine a light on Pasolini in this small window.
Yeah, this should be fantastic. Ferrara always seems to have smart things to say about the filmmakers he admires (Cassavetes, Rossellini, Ray, etc.).
I’d say “bad interviewer.” Conan doesn’t even know which film is which. I like that Ferrara got all cooked up to do something as stupid and boring as a TV talk show.
I actually LOVE that interview. It’s chaotic, sure, but it’s hilarious. “I want to start off nude and work my way up to fully dressed.”
It seems that there is a consensus on this being more about Ferrara than Pasolini.
A project that will polarize the community, is definitely good for Ferrara.
I mean, no one is expecting a profound statement to be made, are they?
Dafoe is pasolini’s height and overall build so hes a good choice. However there’s nothing “Rashomon” like about pasolini’s muder. It was planned and executed byy right-wing thugs who he had attacked in his newspaper columns for some tiem before. When they heard he was making “Salo” and that he was drawing parallels between Sade’s torturers and moderns sadists they thought it was goign to bhe abotu them. That’s why they broke into the lab and stole a suite of rushes. They also took rushes from “Fellini Casanova” which were in the same lab. This forced Fellini to reconfigure his film, and eliminate a sequence that would have featured Barbara Steele. Pasolini, being more flexible, foudn it simpler to re-shoot what was stolen. In any event the fascists in the film were from the Mussoilini era not the then-prsent (the 1970’s)
That night Pasolini had dinner with Ninetto Davoli and then ent off to the beach at ostia to cruise (a very popular spot for gay men ) The kid who was charged with an served time for the muder was a hstler theurderers used as bait to get Pasolini alone so he could be killed. They ran him over with his own car.
I met Pasolini twice. The first time at the 1966 New York Film Festival where “Accatone” and “The Hawks and the Sparrows” were shown. The second time was in 1969 when he screened “Teorema” at the Museum of Modern Art, where I had a chance to interview him at length.
He was a lovely man, utterly incapable of violence.
The sculpture seen in that sequence from Nanni Moretti’s film was built on the very spot where Pasolini’s body was found as a memorial to him.
No one knows who made the sculpture.
Jarman did a short on this as a young man.
Marco Tullio Giordano has done a serious docufiction, but even that has its problems which are to do with audience requirements and what a narrative has to have. He also published his research and that has infinitely more to say. But at least his film’s Italian and has the sense not to cast anyone as Pasolini.
I am not impressed. This should NOT be done in any circumstances which impose commercial production requirements, and the first one here (English actor) is by itself disqualifying, if you ask me.
@ David where I had a chance to interview him at length
Is it available on-line?
“It seems that there is a consensus on this being more about Ferrara than Pasolini.”
Yeah. Ferrara has long since stopped casting himself in his films,
but there’s still a tremendous permeability to his work.