Ever since I heard about Abel Ferrara’s biopic of the controversial Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini—with Willem Dafoe playing Pasolini—it’s been one of my most anticipated movies of the year, because Ferrara and Pasolini are both such one-of-a-kind filmmakers, drawn to provocation and the dark side of human nature. Pasolini debuts at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday (and I’ll get to see it in Toronto roughly a week later), so soon we’ll know more about Ferrara’s exploration of Pasolini’s last days and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, and whether the movie is as gripping as it sounds. In the meantime, the Venice festival has posted a mildly NSFW trailer, with French subtitles, save for a few seconds where Dafoe’s Pasolini is being interviewed in French.
The trail of the tape
Director: Abel Ferrara
Screenwriter: Abel Ferrara
Cast: Willem Dafoe
Release date: TBD
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “I’ve been to hell, and I know things that don’t disturb other people’s dreams.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
This trailer hasn’t done anything to diminish my excitement about Pasolini. This looks like exactly the movie I’m expecting: An examination of how the director’s personal life and professional life were dangerously intertwined. One happy surprise, though: Dafoe isn’t attempting any kind of Pasolini accent. I approve of this move. Imitation is overrated when it comes to an actor portraying a real-life person. Let Dafoe find his own interpretation of the character of Pasolini, rather than adding layers of artifice. Bravo, Ferrara.