Watched it as part of Michael Haneke's Carte Blanche at the Filmmuseum Frankfurt. Brings you to the border of cinematic experience, but I didn't feel really shocked afterwards. After all I sense too much of Pasolini's excitement for the sexual parts and it becomes repetitive and boring.
Difficult film to rate. Is it beautifully made — yes. Does it draw you in like a magnet, and forces you to be a willing, if not even an encouraging, spectator to acts of mindless violence — yes. Does it make you question humanity in a novel way — not sure. I understand the allusion to fascism, especially the betrayals and nonchalant waltz at the end, but I just feel this film has more bravery than depth.
The ultimate depraved movie? It tells about the evil actions people do when they come into power and can treat people like animals forcing teenagers into perverted sex and sick fantasies. The closest a film gaze into the evil of man's soul. If you finish the film you should congratulate yourself for surviving it together with your "masters" and "executioners" but don't expect to feel happy with life afterwards.
Pasolini reaches an innumerable amount of rich metaphors surrounding fascism. The final scene contains the most powerful one, in which the villains take turns to watch the obscenity they have staged, reaching their final pleasure only by the safety of being separated by a window, as if ejecting themselves of the production of violence, hypocritically consuming it as mere theater, attenuating its severity.
Pasolini's last work is a must-see to every youngs out there, to realise the importance of rights as human beings and what can mean to lose our freedom in the hands of a few persons. Salo showed through Sade's main work, becomes a place without dignity for life, where death becomes the unique salvation. Important to watch.
All throughout is this undercurrent of looming impotence; these half-flaccid old men in their world of dilapidated opulence, so clearly desperate - despite their apparent power - for a way to keep it up... The dynamic isn't unfamiliar. For us so sure we'd never collaborate: Don't we, though? And aren't we sadist, and victim? Truths as distasteful as what's on the screen. Bonus: Watching fascists eat (literal) shit.