Abel Ferrara has always been one of the most eye-opening filmmakers in my cinematic career. His stark realism struck me at a young age when I first watched Bad Lieuntenant at what was probably far too young of an age for me to be watching it at. Nonetheless, Ferrara is a filmmaker that I find myself to always enjoy on first go-around, but I always find his work to linger on with me especially well as time goes on.
Pasolini is something that is so rich and full of information that I haven’t nearly began to unpack most of it 24 hours later. I have always considered Dafoe to be one of my favorite actors, so I was more than looking forwards to this. After I had watched this last night, I got carried away by watching countless interviews and footage of Pasolini. To say that Dafoe gives one of the most impressive performances of the decade here would be an immense understatement. Dafoe captures every nuance of who Pier Paolo Pasolini was with such elegance that it truly put me in a state of eternal awe while experiencing the wonders of Ferrara’s latest.
There is this mysterious aspect of Ferrara’s narrative that I am having a difficult time putting my finger on exactly what it is. There is an undeniable amount of foreshadowing to Pasolini’s death all the way up until the end of the film, but there is more to it, which is what I am having trouble gathering. It’s as if Ferrara is mirroring Pasolini’s creative work as this stylistic undertone into the end of his life. There are so many shots of architecture in the film that resemble that of Pasolini’s that I cannot help but conclude that Ferrara is trying to bridge Pasolini’s work to the end of his life.
Ferrara approaches Pasolini’s death just like any other scene in the film He doesn’t make it out to be this grand event or even capitalize on the tragic death of Pasolini to draw out an emotional response from his viewers. Everything from start to finish feels genuinely authentic without every trying to garner any sort of emotional response from his viewers. It’s as if Ferrara is making the film for Pasolini with no one else in mind. It’s extraordinary