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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents a MFAH Film: Pier Paolo Pasolini Retrospective.Each fall, the MFAH hosts a celebration of Italian cinema. These retrospectives feature restored 35mm film prints from the archive of Rome’s legendary Cinecittà, presented in partnership with the Italian Consul General of Houston, the Institute of Italian Culture in Los Angeles, and generous local sponsors and community partners.For 2013 the MFAH joins a national U.S. tour to reconsider the singular vision of Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975). The Houston screenings are presented in partnership with Rice Cinema, where Pasolini’s "Trilogy of Life" films screen October 4–6.All films are directed by Pasolini and presented in Italian with English subtitles. Film descriptions provided by MFAH Films summer intern, Sara Balabanlilar.“The meaning of Pasolini remains undecipherable, ambiguous, suspended. A lapsed Catholic who never lost his religious worldview and a lifelong Marxist who was expelled from the Communist Party for being gay, Pasolini was an artist and thinker who tried not to resolve his contradictions but rather to embody them fully. With his gift for polemics and taste for scandal, he was routinely hauled up on blasphemy and obscenity charges and attacked by those on the left and the right.” —New York TimesShort Films 1
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
1966-1968, in Italian with English subtitles
35mmTHE EARTH AS SEEN FROM THE MOON / LA TERRA VISTA DALLA LUNA (pictured, 1966, 30 min.) Follow a father and son duo who must find a replacement for their wife/mother figure. Pasolini continues to stretch as a filmmaker both comic and poetic, a role established with Hawks and Sparrows.WHAT ARE THE CLOUDS? / CHE COSA SONO LE NUVOLIE? (1967, 22 min.) A clumsy, amateur puppet version of Shakespeare’s Othello. Both the public and the puppeteer play a great role in the play, which goes downhill fast. It eventually results in the puppets (played by Toto and Ninetto Davoli) being thrown into a rubbish dump, only to discover the marvel of the sky for the first time.THE PAPER FLOWER SEQUENCE / LA SEQUENZA DEL FIORE DI CARTA (1968, 12 min.) From the anthology film Love and Anger (Amore e rabbia), “[Pasolini’s film] is a reference to the Gospel parable called ‘The Barren Fig Tree,’ where Christ strikes down a fig tree because it isn’t bearing fruit in March, although it could hardly have known better. In the episode, Ninetto is shown happily walking down the via Nazionale in Rome, while in superimposition there are images of various things going on in the world, such as the bombing of Vietnam, of which the man remains blissfully ignorant and unaware.”This retrospective has been organized in partnership with Luce Cinecittà, Rome (Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero) and Fondo Pier Paolo Pasolini/Cineteca di Bologna (Roberto Chiesi). It is presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy. This event is part of the celebrations of the Year of the Italian Culture in the United States.