Roman life and the imaginary worlds of Pier Paolo Pasolini intermingle
in Abel Ferrara’s retelling of the final days in the life of the
fifty-year-old filmmaker and writer, in a lovely, haunting film that
draws on his last interview and envisages scenes from an unmade final
film and his incomplete novel, Petrolio.
Willem Dafoe, regally exhausted, is the spitting image of the
murdered director, and Pasolini’s beloved muse Ninetto Davoli returns to
“finish” his friend’s work, but Ferrara wisely never attempts to merely
ape Pasolini’s style, instead offering one iconoclastic artist’s
tribute to another, a biopic that busts the boundaries of the form and a
passion project decades in the imagining that gives Pasolini’s final
moments on the beach at Ostia the terrible sanctity of the Passion.
Nominated for a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“One of the most intuitive and mysterious movie biographies made in a while.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com