[ENTERTAINMENT]Pasolini retrospective: bracing for shocks

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[ENTERTAINMENT]Pasolini retrospective: bracing for shocks

The Italian artist Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) won acclaim in a great many fields over his lifetime ?as a movie director, actor, poet, painter, scholar and more. Born in Bologna, Pasolini led a life as infamous as it was famous, never tiring of shocking the world, especially with his films. He was murdered in 1975 in Ostia, near Rome, supposedly by a teenage boy, but the circumstances of his death remain cloaked in mystery.

From Friday to May 9, a retrospective of the Italian virtuoso, titled "Violence and the Sacred," will take place in Seoul, followed by another at the Jeonju International Film Festival 2002 in Jeonju, North Jeolla province. The retrospective in Seoul will be held at the Artsonje Center in Jongno.

Pasolini, also a semiotics scholar, wrote in 1965 that "Cinema is a nonconventional and nonsymbolic language." Torn between realism and the poetic, he used Marxism, Roman Catholicism, sexuality and homosexuality to create a prolific tapestry of film images, metaphors and criticism. He preferred to use natural lighting and to cast amateur actors. Already a published poet at the age of 19, Pasolini made his first film, "Accattone" (1961), at 39, based on his own writings.

Kim Hong-rok, a member of the Film Institute of Seoul in charge of the event, told the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition, "This retrospective focuses on those Pasolini films that came out in the latter half of his career." Including one of the most controversial films, "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" (1975), eight Pasolini films will be screened. A forum will be held at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday after the screening of a documentary on Pasolini's death, "Who Killed Pasolini?" (1995), directed by Marco Tullio Giordana.

"The Gospel According to Matthew" (1964) features a Jesus portrayed with respect, but also with humanity, according to the director Martin Sorscese. Certainly Scorsese knows something about the subject, having himself made the controversial Jesus film "The Last Temptation of Christ."

Also featured in the retrospective is Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life," adaptations of the classic story collections "Decameron" (1971), "The Canterbury Tales" (1971) and "Arabian Nights" (1974).

Marquis de Sade and fascism combined in one of the most hotly debated films ever made, "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom." Completed only three weeks before his murder, "Salo" is the famous de Sade novel transplanted into the Italy of World War II. In the film, four lecherous Italian noblemen gather 16 "perfect" young people at a remote villa together with guards, servants and other debauchers, all in the name of good clean fun.

Each screening at the Artsonje Center costs 5,000 won ($3.85), while a ticket for all eight films can be had for 35,000 won.

To reach the Artsonje Center, take subway No. 3 line, get off at Anguk station and take exit No. 1. For more information, call the Film Institute Seoul at 02-533-3316, or visit the Web site, www.cinephile.co.kr.

by Chun Su-jin

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