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Pasolini Double Bill

MUBI Special

At once filmmaker, poet and novelist, Pier Paolo Pasolini remains one of the most controversial intellectuals to emerge from post-war Italy circa 1960s. He crafted a cinema that felt both innovative and political, esoteric and dissenting.

As part of this Double Bill, we’re happy to showcase two of his earliest forays into cinema; works that feel deeply influenced by the Italian neorealist movement of the time, yet remain singular in the radical tone and style they achieve. This creative urge feels crucially at play in his devoted role as storyteller; whether he is shedding light on the daily pains and hopes of a local community (Mamma Roma) or offering his very own reading of a Biblical text (The Gospel According to St. Matthew), his eye is often caught drifting between sincerity and affection, rational investigation and artistic freedom.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Pier Paolo Pasolini France, 1964

Our double-bill devoted to the iconoclastic and poetic cinema of Pier Paolo Pasolini begins with an unexpectedly reverent account of the life and last days of Jesus Christ. Undeniably powerful and mysterious, reflecting and reckoning with the 1960s era in which it was made.

Mamma Roma

Pier Paolo Pasolini Italy, 1962

Next in our Pasolini double-bill is the director’s often overlooked sophomore feature, dedicated both to filmmaker Roberto Rossellini and to depicting the struggles of a changing society (and sub-proletariat) after 1945. With a sensational Anna Magnani as sex worker Mamma Roma, the film’s heroine.

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