‘Pasolini’ Film Review: A Great Director’s Death, Delivered in Pieces

‘Pasolini’ Film Review: A Great Director’s Death, Delivered in Pieces
Pasolini” is not a biopic of the late Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (played here by Willem Dafoe). The complicated director of “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” “Teorema” and “Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom” (a scene involving its editing opens the film) was more personality than a 90-minute movie could handle. Any filmed biography presuming to grapple with the whole of his life would beg to be, at least, a limited TV series.

This is, perhaps, one reason why director Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”) has scripted a 24-hour ticking clock that mostly ignores chronology and backstory. It’s the final day of Pasolini’s life, presented as part historical detail and part imagined glimpse into the man’s mind, and it culminates, as it must, in his brutal murder at age 53.

Fittingly, to touch on the life of a man who was a writer, a filmmaker, a philosopher,
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