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Monday, July 2, 2012


Italian producer Gastone Ferranti had the perfectly awful idea of asking filmmaker/political provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini & journalist/humorist Giovanni Guareschi to take sides for a Far Left/Far Right essay film on the roots of discontent in the modern world. Each man narrates a documentary mash-up of newsreel footage with Paolo begining in a poetic mode and Giovanni ending the argument on a sardonic note. But the footage of worldwide terror, violence & political conference tables could have served just about any purpose as well as it does Pasolini in his ill-focused look on the hopes of People of Color (mostly Cuban & African) or the Guareschi Follies against Iron Curtain dictatorship & for racially insensitive vaudeville. Guareschi manages a bit of organization, but give Pasolini points for daring Pop non-sequiturs with shots of the recently deceased Marilyn Monroe mixed in with Stalin, Castro & phony Lenins. The film died a quick death, but has been pieced back together with splicing tape & intuition. Your Film Restoration Dollars (er . . . Euros) At Work.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Before Pasolini found cinematic profundity, he actually made a pretty good debut on ACCATONE/’61, a sort of an urban I VITELLONI/’53, which undoubtedly benefitted from having Bernardo Bertolucci as Assistant Director. Guareschi’s international rep consists almost entirely in the delightful DON CAMILLO pics (starting with THE LITTLE WORLD OF DON CAMILLO/’52) charmingly helmed by Julien Duvivier and with far more to say about the political Left, Right & Human Condition then anything in LA RABBIA.

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