The British Film Institute has been running a season of films by Pier Paolo Pasolini recently. As a side-dish to the season, Simon Barraclough was asked to round up a bunch of poets and see what kind of work Pasolini’s cinema might inspire them to write. Ten films, ten poets. I’m delighted to be one of the ten, and not only because I’ve written very little poetry these past few years. Pasolini’s a constant, nagging presence for anyone who lives and works in Italy, as I do, and it’s been a particular challenge to take on his hardest, least lyrical and most disturbing work, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, and to see what I can do with it.
The event is called Poets on Pasolini: A New Decameron and it’s on Saturday, 27 April.
This sounds like such an exciting project. I’m only familiar with, and only recently, his Gospel According to St Matthew. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the event in London but will look for other opportunities to see it. Do you think it’s important to know the films before reading the poems?
Knowing something about the film would help you enjoy my poem, I think, but I hope it isn’t essential. I can’t speak for the other poets involved, Josephine, but the films are certainly worth seeing in any case. I don’t know if there will be repeat performances (I hope so!), but if there are I’ll mention it here. And, of course, I’ll let you know when the poems are published.
Thank you 🙂
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Fassbinder is my all-time favourite director, and I always thought I’d like Pasolini too. I tried a couple and didn’t like them. Is there one film you’d recommend above the others?
Medea, Guy! (More later… just back home after my London trip…)
Ok will see what I can do. Thanks for the tip.