After 15th edition
Festival Spotlight
27 July 2015
27.07 - Iconoclasts

Ian Haydn Smith


Pier Paolo Pasolini and Abel Ferrara might not seem the most natural of bedfellows. Pasolini is one of Italy's greatest filmmakers and an acclaimed poet and political activist, while Ferrara is known for his graphically violent films.

One began their directing career with "Accattone" (1961), a drama indebted to the Neorealist movement, while the other exploded on to the New York filmmaking scene with "The Driller Killer" (1979).

However, closer inspection of both directors' work reveals common themes: the search for redemption; grappling with the tenets of Catholicism in a modern world and an examination of the depths humanity can descend to.

Pasolini's final feature was the controversial "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom" (1975). It's a film Ferrara admires, as his own "Pasolini" (2014), which recreates the last day of the Italian director's life, reveals.

Ferarra's masterpiece is "Bad Lieutenant "(1992).

Though it might seem to stand in stark contrast with Pasolini's finest, "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" (1964) - which screens alongside "Pasolini"in the festival - both films highlight the lengths their makers are willing to go in grappling with the complexities of human desire and the rapture of religious faith.

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