'October 30, 1975, three days before being murdered, Pier Paolo Pasolini was in Stockholm to present what was to be his last film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, to Swedish critics. A roundtable discussion was recorded with the intent of turning it into a radio broadcast. News of the filmmaker's death oddly resulted in the withholding of the recording rather than, as would surely happen today, an immediate publication.
Eventually, the recording was lost; as Eric Loret and Robert Maggiori tell the story in Libération, Pasolini's Swedish translator, Carl Henrik Svenstedt, a passionate archivist, discovered his own private copy recently. In December, the Italian newsweekly L'espresso posted the audio recording and published an Italian transcript. Here, for the first time, is an English translation.
After a couple of informal questions, the roundtable officially opens with "Ladies and gentlemen…"
What do you know about Swedish cinema?
I know Bergman, like all other Italian intellectuals. I don't know anyone else. I've heard the names of other Swedish filmmakers but I don't know their films.
Never seen them?
Never. Rome is a terrible city. There are independent cinemas but the occasions to watch them are very rare.
You don't have independent cinemas in Rome?
We do, just a couple. It's not like Paris.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Pasolini is here to present his new film. He just finished it and it's about Sodom…
I think this is the first time I've made a film for which the original idea wasn't mine. The film was proposed to Sergio Citti and as usual I was helping him to write the screenplay. As we went along, Citti began losing interest in the film while I was more and more in love with it, especially since I had the idea to set the film in '45, during the last days of the Republic of Salo. Citti started thinking about another script and abandoned the project all together. And given that I was in love with this project, I completed it.
Being based on De Sade, this film revolves around the representation of sex. But this aspect has changed in relation to my last three films that I call "the trilogy of life": The Decameron, Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights. In this new film, sex is nothing but an allegory of the commodification of bodies at the hands of power.
I think that consumerism manipulates and violates bodies as much as Nazism did. My film represents this sinister coincidence between Nazism and consumerism. Well, I don't know if audiences will grasp this since the film presents itself in rather enigmatic way, almost like a miracle play, where the sacred word retains its Latin meaning of "cursed."
Why did you choose the year 1945 for your film?
I wanted to represent the end of a world, past glory days. It was a poetic choice — I could have set it in '38, in '39 or '37, but it would've been less poetic.
What's poetic about that period?
Decadence and twilight are inherently poetic. Had I set it in the heyday of Nazism, it would've been an intolerable movie. To know that all this took place in the last days and that it would soon be over gives the spectator a sense of relief. Substantially this is a film about "true anarchy," that is, the anarchy of power.'
Mila: Grafik asked us to write about any logo that we like. We already decided to talk about the OCP logo from the original RoboCop movie. OCP stands for Omni Consumer Products, which is the megacorporation that is also running the Detroit police department.
Egon: I still don't really know why we picked that particular logo.
M: Hmm yeah, maybe we can think about an excuse later. So here's a print out. As you can see here, the designer didn't even bother getting the letters in the right order. Nor making them recognisable.
Franz: In medieval architecture the octagon was seen as a representation of god-like perfection. Looking at the somewhat lazy execution of the logo this seems kind of ironic, doesn't it. But what is striking regarding the form-feeling of the OCP octagon? It looks like a fortress, it's aggressive, and self-centered as well as sealing-off and protective. Now the question is: is this logo well designed or not? Does the brutalist style build a harmony with the realm of RoboCop?
Ziggy: Can I say something? I think the logo gives us a dark future vision of graphic design. I mean a corporation like OCP doesn't really need a well-designed CI since they are the only player in the market anyway. The logo doesn't have to appeal to the customer. I also believe OCP have an in-house cyborg taking care of all their CI and advertising. He's fast and cheap. He doesn't ask questions because he's just following his prime directives.
E: That's the future. We're all going to melt into our Macs. We'll look like Björk in that video where she was making love to her double. We'll be shiny white design zombies producing crude logos for one and the same company.
do 5.1.12 ⌛ 20.30u
⌖ Op de Valreep/Dierenasyl
The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation (1999)
'traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997.
Three actors provide dramatic interpretations of the work of these writers, and the film chronicles their friendships, their arrival into American consciousness, their travels, frequent parodies, Kerouac's death, and Ginsberg's politicization.
Their movement connects with bebop, John Cage's music, abstract expressionism, and the Living theater.
In recent interviews Ginsberg, Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Ferlinghetti, Norman Mailer, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hayden, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders, and others measure the Beats' meaning and impact.'
→ American Masters
"In the winter i am a Buddhist, in the summer i'm a nudist"
As an intro, extro or alternative for The Source 4 out of 5 doctors advise Village Sunday (1963).
'Take a stroll through the streets, parks and neighborhoods that make up Greenwich Village. Before Washington Square became the New York University undergrad film school back lot, the area was known for its street art, spontaneous hootenannies, poetry jam sessions and fairs. Take a walk around the Village before it became too cool for you.'
Narrator: Jean Shepherd. Director, producer and screenwriter: Stewart Willensky. Poetry and music by Charles Mills.