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La Rabbia di Pasolini (Anger) (1963)

Director: Giuseppe Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini
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Studio: Music Box Films Home Entertainment
Genre: Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, Italy, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 104 min.
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English

With his 1963 Rabbia (Rage), Pier Paolo Pasolini sought to construct an essay film out of found footage, that would enable him to impose his extreme Marxist ideological framework on some seminal events of the 20th century, thus telling history "his way." Using clips of such subjects as the Congo in the early 60s, atomic blasts from 1956, a celebrity visit by Sophia Loren to an eel festival, and exploitation of workers at a Fiat plant - accompanied by a prose poem, authored by Pasolini and then read by him on the soundtrack - Pasolini speaks out against bigotry, intolerance, middle-class hypocrisies, human complacency and a host of other ills that concerned him. His unusual method of juxtaposing unrelated images (and short-circuiting the audience's reactions in this way) anticipates his contributions to Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie in the mid-1970s, which employs similar associative techniques but waxes far more shocking. This film incurred a massive amount of trouble almost immediately after it went into production; its original producer, Gastone Ferrante, had the wild and antagonistic idea of turning the project into an episode film, of which Pasolini's segment would constitute 1/2; Ferrante asked the ultra-rightwing ideologue Giovanni Guareschi to do the other half, planning to "pit" the two halves against one another in the same program. This, of course, drew ire from Pasolini, who so detested Guareschi's philosophies that he wanted nothing to do with the conservative. The picture was nevertheless released as planned, to dismal box office draws, and thereafter disappeared for 45 years. In 2008, a second, "reconstructed" version emerged (33 years after Pasolini's murder) and played at the Venice Film Festival, minus the Guareschi elements; retitled La Rabbia di Pasolini, it was supervised by Giuseppe Bertolucci, who receives co-directing credit with Pasolini and does a two-minute filmed introduction.

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