Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His debut ‘Accattone’ (1961) was based on his own novel and caused a sensation. He was arrested in 1962 when his contribution to ‘Ro.Go.Pa.G.’ (1963) was considered blasphemous. ‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew’ (1964), which presented the Biblical story in a totally realistic style, was acclaimed as one of the few honest portrayals of Christ on screen.
Pasolini’s film career would then alternate distinctly personal and often scandalously erotic adaptations of classic literary texts: ‘Oedipus Rex’ (1967); ‘The Decameron’ (1971); ‘The Canterbury Tales’ (1972) and ‘Arabian Nights’ (1974) with his own more personal projects, expressing his controversial views on Marxism, atheism, fascism and homosexuality, notably, ‘Pigsty’ and ‘120 Days of Sodom’ (1975), a relentlessly grim fusion of Mussolini’s Fascist Italy with the ‘Marquis de Sade’ which was banned in Italy and other countries. Pasolini was murdered in still-mysterious circumstances shortly after completing the film.