Pier Paolo Pasolini on DVD

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leo goldsmith
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#26 Post by leo goldsmith » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:08 am

blindside8zao wrote:
jean-luc cinema godard wrote:Damn, I thought they might be planning a disc that didn't suck.
If you have a copy and don't want it, I'll take it off your hands.

"I will suggest that Pasolini's contribution to film semiotics owes a large debt to the discourse of Crocean aesthetics. At times, Pasolini's semiotic theories complement his aesthetic theories. More often than not, however, the theories produce the numerous contradictions that critics have long argued characterize the essay."

Definetly not what I wanted to hear. Thanks for the article though, very useful if nothing is in print.
I've posted citations for a number of books by and about Pasolini's film theory quite a few times. It's late, otherwise I would rehearse them. You might search for them, or I'll post them tomorrow. Point is: there's lots in print.

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Fellini-Hexed
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#27 Post by Fellini-Hexed » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:25 am

does anyone know where I could get ahold of any of Pasolini's writings on Semiotic film theory?
I'm afraid I can't help you with his theoretical essays, but have you ever read any of his poetry? A Desparate Vitality is a poem which, at least peripherally (maybe more than that, it's been awhile since I read it), explores many of his aesthetic ideas citing (and siting) Godard's works, Le Mepris and Masculin Feminin in particular. Pasolini's poetry is a magnificent amalgam of ancient traditions (he often writes in Dante's own terza rima) and avante-garde interrogations. Which of course sounds much like everything else he did: contradictory and tension-filled. The man wasn't happy unless he was being torn ruthlessly in all directions.

You can find A Desparate Vitality in Pier Paolo Pasolini: Poems selected and translated by Norman MacAfee, Noonday Press, 1982. You can also find it in Pier Paolo Pasolini, Poetry, selected and translated by Antonino Mazza, Exile Editions: Toronto, 1991.

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blindside8zao
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#28 Post by blindside8zao » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:47 pm

Thank you, I am actually taking an introductory semiotics course and looking to write an amateurish paper on the application of semiotic theory in film and had seen Pasolini referenced as a contributor to the theory. I had hoped he would be more substantial than he seems to be considered in this field. I might just stick with Roland Barthes. However, any other suggestions would be appreciated.

leo goldsmith
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#29 Post by leo goldsmith » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:07 pm

Blindside:
Sorry if that last remark sounded dismissive, but it was late and I knew you could dig it up if you knew where to look.

The best book to look through would be Pasolini's Heretical Empiricism, which has a number of essays on a wide variety of subjects, including semiotic film theory. The book does a good job of collecting disparate material to demonstrate the coherence of Pasolini's diverse preoccupations, even if his writing style is rather idiosyncratic. Lutheran Letters is less useful (as it is mostly journalistic work), but might give you some contextual insights.

As for Pasolini's place in the grand scheme of semiotic film theory, I actually think he's wrongly overlooked. Bob Stam has an essay on semiotics in the Braudy & Cohen collection in which he sides with Umberto Eco's dismissal of Pasolini's cinesemiotics, but I think the argument is wrong-headed. If anything, I think Pasolini is a far better practitioner of semiotic film theory for the simple reason that he employs it as a metaphor and doesn't claim (like most others do) that cinema can be described, in any literal way, as a language (which, it seems to me, it plainly is not). Furthermore, Pasolini's film semiotics is particularly interesting in that it arises out of a very specific historical/national/political/linguistic moment: specifically, the homogenization of Italian dialects into the singular (and bourgeois) Florentine "language." For this reason, The Decameron is a particularly key work in Pasolini's career because, on the one hand, it revives the Neapolitan dialect, and on the other, it asserts naked bodies as a kind of brute, proletarian, colloquial "response" to the chaste, homogenized, and bourgeois film "language" of contemporary cinema as he saw it.

This is getting a bit ahead of the game, but if you're interested in reading an essay that I wrote on Pasolini's semiotic film theory (in a context similar to your own), feel free to PM me.

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devlinnn
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The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color

#30 Post by devlinnn » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:02 am

Image

The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color

Pasolini was right - there is no God. Released March 27th from Legend (never heard of these guys), it claims to be restored - black and white or color version I've no idea. (Move if need be to the worst covers ever thread).

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domino harvey
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#31 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:09 am

The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color
this is going to cause so many returns for Mardels

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Ashirg
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The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color

#32 Post by Ashirg » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:42 am

The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color
I wonder if it will go under Family Classics, Cult/Horror Classics or Shirley Temple.

Legends Films, Inc.

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sevenarts
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#33 Post by sevenarts » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:24 am

devlinnn wrote:Pasolini was right - there is no God. Released March 27th from Legend (never heard of these guys), it claims to be restored - black and white or color version I've no idea. (Move if need be to the worst covers ever thread).
It says right at the top of the cover that it includes both versions.

richast2
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#34 Post by richast2 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:30 am

sevenarts wrote:It says right at the top of the cover that it includes both versions.
if the b&w version is in fact restored (in other words, if it looks better than the Waterbearer version), I'll be pleasantly surprised. I'm not holding my breath, though.

EDIT: nevermind, after poking around on their Web site, my fears have been erased. Anyone who considers Shirley Temple a "significant artist" obviously has their priorities in the right place.

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Barmy
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#35 Post by Barmy » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:26 pm

The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color
I hear the restored color version of Citizen Kane is next.

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MichaelB
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#36 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:03 pm

Barmy wrote:I hear the restored color version of Citizen Kane is next.
Will it be anamorphic this time? They keep dropping the ball on that one!

(In all seriousness, I once saw a "critic" on a DVD mag get so incensed that Pinocchio - yes, the 1940 Disney film - wasn't in widescreen that he mentioned it twice, along with marking down the video as being unacceptably poor!)

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colinr0380
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#37 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:37 pm

sevenarts wrote:It says right at the top of the cover that it includes both versions.
Will this be like that colorized Reefer Madness DVD and include a commentary from Mike Nelson, the guy from Mystery Science Theater?

EDIT: That reminds me of the announcement over the tannoy in Gremlins 2 - "showing soon: Casablanca in colour - and with a happier ending!"
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tryavna
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#38 Post by tryavna » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:53 pm

The Gospel According to St. Matthew - in color
I hate to pay any compliments to a company that makes money off of revising other directors' visions, but Legend does indeed restore the films that they colorize. And the B&W versions look pretty darn good when they're done with them. (Apparently, they restore the original B&W first before they apply the color.) The only title I've seen was their recent release of the 1935 Cooper/Schoedsack She, and it was a vast improvement over the earlier Kino release (now OOP).

Of course, it's worth pointing out that, so far, Legend only pursues PD films. (I didn't know that the Pasolini was PD, though.)

For a rather amusing read -- or a mindf--k if you never knew just how many people actually love colorized movies -- take a look at the thread for Legend over at DVD Talk! Just trawling through that tripe makes you realize how good this forum is.

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MichaelB
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#39 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:00 pm

I do have to confess to a certain partiality towards the colorized Little Shop of Horrors, but in this case the tacky, smeary, not-quite-accurate colours suit it rather well.

unclehulot
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#40 Post by unclehulot » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:06 pm

I guess their disc of "She" is better than the "Things to Come" release, which many had high hopes for. I was going to give it a whirl, but (according to comments on the Amazon page for the DVD) not only is it NOT the anticipated longer cut of the film (and shorter than the listed running time by 8 minutes), but apparently it looks substantially worse than the Image disc, which is the ONLY watchable version I've seen to date.

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tryavna
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#41 Post by tryavna » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:11 pm

unclehulot wrote:I guess their disc of "She" is better than the "Things to Come" release, which many had high hopes for. I was going to give it a whirl, but (according to comments on the Amazon page for the DVD) not only is it NOT the anticipated longer cut of the film (and shorter than the listed running time by 8 minutes), but apparently it looks substantially worse than the Image disc, which is the ONLY watchable version I've seen to date.
I'm in the same boat as you, Unclehulot. I'd read the same reviews, and to play it safe, I only rented She. I'm wondering if Network, who are scheduled to release Things to Come in the UK in March, is going to do any better.

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Gordon
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#42 Post by Gordon » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:46 pm

Brothas and sistahs, ya gots to leck the Good Sheperd, no matter how nad the cover art is. Please donate genereously for a new cover, friends.

Praise the Lord!

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Barmy
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#43 Post by Barmy » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:59 pm

3 Oscarâ„¢ nominations? Imdb just lists a nom for best costumes. God knows today this would never get a costume nomination--there aren't any sequins.

Edited: it got nominated for music and art direction as well.
Last edited by Barmy on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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david hare
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#44 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:02 pm

And all those bad teeth! At least Jesus seems to have had a good dentist.

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colinr0380
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#45 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:09 am

tryavna wrote:For a rather amusing read -- or a mindf--k if you never knew just how many people actually love colorized movies -- take a look at the thread for Legend over at DVD Talk!
I had never realised Clouzot's daughter had allowed The Wages of Fear to be colorized :shock:

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Kinsayder
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#46 Post by Kinsayder » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:38 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I had never realised Clouzot's daughter had allowed The Wages of Fear to be colorized
I've seen that version and liked it a lot (to my surprise). It's about the only colourised film I've seen that looks like it might have been shot that way originally.

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Darth Lavender
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#47 Post by Darth Lavender » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:56 am

i think they are doing the right thing. anyway, the original black and white version is also in the disc/set. there is no need for this issue. much ado about nothin.
They are doing the right thing, I think, by finally releasing this film in a (hopefully) high-quality, remastered presentation (I'll be waiting to hear the reviews, but it seems entirely possible that this will be worth getting.)

As for the colorised version; speaking for myself, I'm not the least bit 'offended' by the concept, but I am immensely *amused* by the concept of someone colorising such a classic "art-house" film. It really does sound like a joke, and I think it's quite normal to mock the decision.

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Ashirg
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#48 Post by Ashirg » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:45 pm

Darth Lavender wrote:
i think they are doing the right thing. anyway, the original black and white version is also in the disc/set. there is no need for this issue. much ado about nothin.
They are doing the right thing, I think, by finally releasing this film in a (hopefully) high-quality, remastered presentation (I'll be waiting to hear the reviews, but it seems entirely possible that this will be worth getting.)

As for the colorised version; speaking for myself, I'm not the least bit 'offended' by the concept, but I am immensely *amused* by the concept of someone colorising such a classic "art-house" film. It really does sound like a joke, and I think it's quite normal to mock the decision.
So how come they had money to colorize it, but no money to dub it as well? If they wanted to market this to the lowest common denominator, shouldn't it also be in English so we don't have to read those awful subtitles.

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Barmy
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#49 Post by Barmy » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:57 pm

The Tartan boxsets are available for pre-order on amazon.co.uk. Somewhat pricey!

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#50 Post by David Ehrenstein » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:47 pm

I would also recommend Heretical Empericism and Lutheran Letters. His unfinished novel Petrolio is very much worth reading too.

I guess I'm lucky cause I have a lot of Pasolini: Oedipo Re and Porcile on laserdisc, and goods DVD of Accatone, Gospel, Decameron and Cantebury Tales, plus tapes of [iMama Roma and Arabian Nights and Salo on DVD.

Love and Anger recently came out on DVD and it has The Paper Flower Sequence - one of his most beautiful expressions of his love for Ninetto. A friend also burned me a copy of Cappricio Italiano which has Che Cosa Sono Nuovole? -- my all-time favorite Pasolini film.

Looking for a good Teorema.

It was my exceedingly good fortune to have met Pasolin when he visited New York in 1966 and again in 1968. Remarkably sweet, and elegant man. Utterly without fear.

It's no surprise that they had to run over him repeatedly with the car.

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