Short films on loop:
Pasolini’s made three short films that were part of three omnibus films. The Earth as Seen from the Moon / La terra vista dalla luna is from the omnibus The Witches/ Le streghe. What Are the Clouds? / Che cosa sono le nuvole? is from the omnibus Caprice Italian Style / Capriccio all’italiana and The Paper Flower Sequence / La sequenza del fiore di carta is from the omnibus Love and Anger / Amore e rabbia.
The Earth as Seen from the Moon (1966, 30 min)
The Earth as Seen from the Moon is Pasolini’s episode in The Witches. Pasolini casts the two central characters of Hawks and Sparrows, Totò and Ninetto Davoli, as an eccentric old widower and his half-wit son. The widower finds a deaf girl to remarry with a bizarre plan to raise funds to build a house. The Earth as Seen from the Moon is a surrealist fable with absurd hairstyles, stark colours, exagerated gestures, clownish acts and magical moments.
What Are the Clouds? (1967, 22 min)
What Are the Clouds?, Pasolini’s segment in Caprice Italian Style, again features Totò and Ninetto Davoli this time as Iago and Othello, but appearing as human puppets. Many other popular Italian comics are cast in this film that draws on popular puppet theater in retelling the story of Othello. The puppets are shown before and after the play and end up in the bin and looking up at the sky. This evocative and provocative end reveals Pasolini’s intiution regarding the connections between death, life and film.
The Paper Flower Sequence (1968, 12 min)
The Paper Flower Sequence, Pasolini’s episode in Love and Anger, is based on the Gospel parable of the innocent fig tree which is cursed by Christ. Ninetto Davoli is cast again this time as an innocent happy youth. The World War is happening but he walks without a thought in his head until he is struck by lightning. Pasolini feels that like the fig tree the boy is unaware but there are moments in history when innocence is tantamount to guilt.
A Filmmaker’s Life by Carlo Hayman-Chaffey (1971, 29 min)
This film explores the political rumblings and philosophical challenges behind the work of Pasolini. This tantalising short documentary, made in the middle of Pasolini’s film career, features interviews with Franco Citti, Alberto Moravia and the director himself, as well as insights into the making of Accattone, Oedipus Rex and The Gospel According to St. Matthew.
Italian cinema has produced some of the greatest films that have been hailed as international classics. Even a cursory look at the film posters of filmmakers like Rossellini, De Sica, Rosi, Visconti, Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini give us a glimpse into a provocative and profound filmography. On display are ten prints of the original posters of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini. The posters are from different parts of Europe and together tell a story of the issues and people that Passolini was involved with. They also reflect the distinctive aesthetics of film posters in the 60s and 70s, now considered an art aesthetic in its own right. The posters stand as a celebration of this rich and remarkable period in Italian cinema.
The photographic exhibition:
Roberto Villa took hundreds of photoes as the official photographer of Arabian Nights. The photographs tell the story of the shoot and convey its journey from arriving in aeroplanes to mounting camels with gear and trekking into remote locations. The photographer also gives a sense of the stunning landscape, of the local people and of the location. Striking in its subject matter, the images also convey a sense of timelessness that marks the Eastern films of Pasolini. But at the heart of it all, Villa captures a man at work making a film. The focus of the exhibition is this man – on Pasolini in the sets of Arabian Nights. The images reveal something of the method of Pasolini: looking through the lens, quiet words with actors, commanding crowds on location, deep in thought. A man simultaneously in a concentrated moment and at ease, at work and at play. Villa’s photographs feel real as they bring to life fleeting moments of creation of a work of art.
Roberto Villa, the photographer:
In 1973, Pier Paolo Pasolini invited Roberto Villa on to the sets of The Arabian Nights to be the offcial film photographer. The young photographer captured the zest of Pasolini for filmmaking and his deep connection with the local people and culture. Roberto Villa went on to become a renowned photographer and director. A forerunner in the use of media technology, he founded his own media agency and has served as a technical director for numerous design magazines. His works have featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and National Geographic, to name a few. He is based in Milan.