Director: Abel Ferrara
Talent: Willem Dafoe, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ninetto Davoli, Valerio Mastandrea
Release Date: 11th September 2015
Can’t believe it’s been nearly 30 years since them slags ran over Pasolini with his own motor, it still freaks my nut out to this day. Abel Ferrara’s film sees Willem Dafoe inhabit the persona of the great director in the days leading up to his mysterious death, a speculative reenactment of which features here in gruesome and disturbing detail. It is a brief moment of viscera within an otherwise bland and inconsistent narrative, in which both director and lead actor’s reverence for their subject seems to have had a sort of paralytic effect on their creativity. Dafoe oscillates between the sympathetic and the somewhat monstrous, tending more towards the latter, while the script’s occasionally more theoretical dialogue feels ponderous in his mouth. There is little to recommend this to fans of Pasolini, beyond a partial staging of the script he was writing when he died, Epifanio, which unfortunately seems to have been fairly shit.
Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall