Trailer for Abel Ferrara’s ‘Pasolini’, starring Willem Dafoe


Independent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest neighbourhoods of the Big Apple. From his 1979 Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs – to his more mainstream hits, The King of New York and Bad Lieutenant – to his most recent film, Welcome to New York, the director has successfully retained his stylistic edge while garnering critical acclaim. Now the controversial filmmaker is set to premiere his newest film at TIFF later this week, a bio-pic about another famed and controversial filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. And right before its premiere, the first trailer has arrived.

For the unfamiliar: Italian director, screen writer, essayist, poet, critic and novelist, Pier Paolo Pasolini is best known for his controversial and provocative films, most notably Salo. He demonstrated a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, and has since, come to be valued by many as a visionary thinker and a major figure in Italian literature and art.

Here’s a brief description from TIFF:

  • American director Abel Ferrara, another outlaw talent, has clearly found a soulmate in Pasolini. Starring Willem Dafoe, a dead ringer for Pasolini, Pasolini offers a kaleidoscopic view of the last day of the artist’s life, in 1975. Struggling with the censors as he is about to finish Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, pausing for an interview with a journalist that allows him to reflect on ideas of sex and politics, having lunch with his beloved mother with whom he shared a house, welcoming friends and former lovers — these are all moments that allow Ferrara to piece together the complex jigsaw puzzle that is Pasolini. And then, of course, there is his obsessive predilection for cruising the nocturnal streets of Rome in search of furtive sex.

Pasolini will also screen at TIFF, but no U.S. distributors just yet. Watch the trailer below.

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