Accattone / Comizi d'Amore (Masters of Cinema) DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Produced in 1961
Main Language - Italian with English subtitles
Pasolini's tale of a pimp set on the seamy, sun-scorched slums of suburban Rome is an unusually confident debut says Michael Brooke. Also includes Pasolini's 1964 documentary, Love Meetings.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an established novelist, poet and screenwriter when he turned to filmmaking in his late thirties, and so Accattone isn't like most other debuts. Indeed, his assistant Bernardo Bertolucci observed that Pasolini seemed to be reinventing film grammar from scratch: he'd treat a close-up as though it was the first ever shot, justifying to himself why he was doing it. All of which makes Accattone an unusually confident piece of work for a notional beginner: set in the sun-scorched slums of suburban Rome, it's named after the title character ('Sponger'), a pimp who is forced to re-evaluate his life after his only source of income is arrested, but who refuses to even consider working for a living.
A return to the same milieu as Pasolini's novels 'Ragazzi di vita' and 'Una vita violenta', the neo-realists would have favoured this material too, but Pasolini doesn't moralise or sentimentalise. Accattone is who he is, aided considerably by a vivid performance by the non-professional Franco Citti, who drew heavily on his own street background.
Michael Brooke on 23rd February 2012
Author of 135 reviews
The debut feature of Italian filmmaker, novelist, poet and provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini, Accattone is set on the seamy streets of Rome, where the eponymous pimp (played by Franco Citti, one of a remarkable cast of local non-professionals) leads a hand-to-mouth existence on the very margins of society: prostituting, scrounging, exploiting. When his prize prostitute Maddalena is arrested and jailed, the pimp's fortunes dwindle, and he is forced to confront his own existence.
The film's raw and elegant depictions of the underside of Roman street life seemed to announce a new direction for Italian films: a neo-neorealism if you like.
Also includes Comizi d'Amore (Love Meetings, 1964), a documentary in which Pasolini wanders through Rome interviewing people about their attitides towards marriage, divorce, prostitution, homosexuality and infidelity.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 117 mins
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Cat No: EKA70045
Format: DVD+Blu-ray B&W
- 2 discs
- New high-definition transfer of Accattone in the film’s original aspect ratio
- Pasolini’s 1965 feature-length documentary Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings], on the complementary theme of Italian attitudes towards sex, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1
- Original Italian theatrical trailers for both films
- Feature-length audio commentary on Accattone by critic Tony Rayns
- Newly translated optional English subtitles for both films
- 36-page booklet featuring a translation of Pasolini’s 1958 poem “To a Pope”
- excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini on Accattone and Comizi d’amore by Oswald Stack
- a 1975 essay on the film by Pasolini
- Pasolini’s original 1964 treatment for Comizi d’amore and rare archival imagery.