Screenings:Tuesdays 2-5 pm, The Ballroom, Culture Lab.
Nov 3 Craigie Horsfield presents Uccellini e Uccellacci / Hawks and Sparrows (1966, 100min)
Post-film discussion moderated by Daniel Bird
Hawks and Sparrows is a deceptively light-hearted introduction to Pasolini’s works. A startling political film, right from singing titles to an adventurous journey in two time periods, Pasolini uses humour to critique the changes brought about by Italy’s industrial boom and to continue his unique dialogue between Catholicism and Marxism. Craigie Horsfield’s talk on the film will be about, in his own words, “politics, poetry, and a delicacy of sensibility and loving attention that is lost in many of today’s descriptions of Pasolini’s work, at least outside Italy. It will be about engagement, rage, and affection; about a complex time, and how Italy killed, through surrogates, men of change like Mattei, Aldo Moro, … and Pasolini himself. It will be about the state, society and the individual. It will be about Pasolini seen from Italy today, and from outside.”
Craigie Horsfield is an internationally renowned artist and curator who works with film, photography, sound work and collaborative social projects. Considered one of Britain’s most original artists his work was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996.
Daniel Bird has worked as a BFI curator and is a DVD and Blu-ray producer. His insightful documentaries on filmmakers are included in DVD/Blu-Ray issues of European and East European cinema.
Nov 10 Agata Pyzik presents Accattone (1961, 120min)
Post-film discussion moderated by Alessandro Vincentelli
Pasolini was a leading novelist and intellectual when he made his debut film. Accattone, a story of pimps, prostitutes and thieves, focuses on the life of the Roman borgate or shantytowns that Pasolini knew well. With a cast of non-professional actors hailing from where the film is set and thematic emphasis on impoverished individuals, we see in Accattone the filmmaker employing what would later be seen as trademark Pasolini characteristics. Accattone divided the public but in this first film can be seen a maturity and artistic sensibility springing from his other works of art. Agata Pyzik will elaborate on the lyrical ode to the apparently seedy world of poverty and violence, misery and amorality that for Pasolini nevertheless remains one of the few sites of resistance to bourgeois morality and consumerism, a world marginalized by development and progress.
Agata Pyzik is a Polish-British journalist and author of Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West. She is an established writer on art, politics and culture for various magazines, including The Wire, Guardian, New Statesman, New Humanist.
Alessandro Vincentelli is curator based in the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. He has a particular interest in the revisiting of modernist movements in both artist and curatorial practices and film and sound within gallery installations.
Nov 17 Neil Young presents La Riccotta (1963, 35min) plus clips from The Gospel According to St. Matthew(1964)
Post-film discussion moderated by Simon Rushton
A short film by Pasolini, La Riccotta is part of the omnibus film Ro.Go.Pa.G. with directors Godard, Gregoretti and Rossellini. It is often considered the most memorable portion of Ro.Go.Pa.G. and the sharpest of Pasolini’s social criticism. La Riccotta is a film about a film about the Crucifixion that shows Christianity’s central symbolic event being staged within a circus of depravity. Neil Young will link the resurrection scene to Pasolini’s later The Gospel According to St. Matthew to talk about La Riccotta as “A skilful combination of the comic and the tragic, focusing on the travails of a harassed director attempting to shoot the crucifixion of Christ in a scruffy peri-urban wilderness, it marks the only collaboration of Pasolini with another giant of world cinema–Orson Welles, who takes the central role. “He played himself,” said Pasolini, “and he brought it off well…”
Neil Young is a prolific and well-known film critic and curator based in Sunderland. He writes regularly for The Hollywood Reporter, Sight & Sound, Senses of Cinema as well as other film journals. He is also a consultant to various film festivals.
Simon Rushton is working on a doctoral thesis on the sacramental aspects of cinema including Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew. He is a Teaching Fellow in film practice at Newcastle University.
Nov 24 Federico Campagna presents Le Mura di Sana’a / The Walls of Sana’a (1971, 16min) & Arabian Nights (1974, 125min)
Post-film discussion moderated by Giuliano Vivaldi
Pasolini’s ‘trilogy of life’ included cinematic renderings of three masterpieces from medieval literature: Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights. Shocking, stunning and sensuous, set in dream like landscapes across Africa, India and the Middle East, the stories from The Thousand and One Nights are woven together to tell a tale of uninhibited desire and wild provocations. Pasolini described his relationship with the original book as one of ‘critical abandonment’ to the text, as filtered through memory and re-appropriation. Pasolini saw the trilogy as a way of critiquing what he most hated in contemporary society especially the commodification of sex. Campagna will talk about Il Fiore delle Mille e Una Notte together with the short ‘video letter’ Le Mura di Sana’a, to pose at the forefront the question of what it means to have a fruitful (however critical) relationship with the past and particularly with ancient culture.
Federico Campagna is a Sicilian philosopher based in London. He writes on the challenges posed by contemporary nihilism and the possibility of a fundamental philosophical architecture of emancipation. He is well known for his book: The Last Night: Anti-Work, Atheism Adventure.
Giuliano Vivaldi is an independent scholar living alternatively in Moscow and Brighton. He is a cultural commentator on Russian society with a focus on Soviet cinema. He also researches Italian cinema.