Celebrating Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy's bard of the periphery
By Molly Sheridan
This year, the centenary of the birth of Italian filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and politically involved intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini has been celebrated globally, though perhaps with no greater fanfare than in Rome, where events span film festivals, exhibitions, readings, and new publications.
For undergraduate students at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning studying in Rome this semester, the festivities have presented a particularly inspiring opportunity for a deep dive into Pasolini's creative output. Building on that energy, faculty have designed special coursework to present it collaboratively across classes yet through the lens of their specific areas of expertise.
In Visiting Lecturer Carolina Ciampaglia's art history class focused on Italian film, Pasolini is on the syllabus without exception, she says. "I always include one of Pasolini's first films, Accattone or Mamma Roma, as an example of a type of cinema that chooses a critical position towards the expansion and transformation of Rome during the 1950s and '60s. I also highlight the interplay of classic figurative images and contemporary issues used by Pasolini to evoke the mysterious sacredness of the world of the underclass and the conflict with the new consumeristic, secular world."
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