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Time Out saysThe seamy side of the sub-proletariat of Rome, a world of prostitutes, layabouts and petty thieves in which Franco Citti's Accattone, not quite making the grade as a pimp, finds himself trapped between the alternatives of working for starvation wages, or trying - with the police already on his tail - for easy pickings as a thief. Treating a social milieu Pasolini knew at first hand, his first film as a director was misunderstood by many critics when it was first released as a return to the canons of Italian neo-realism of the '40s and '50s. In fact, its editing style, use of close-ups, dialogue in the Romanesco vernacular - not to mention the Bach score - all betray an originality much more of a piece with Pasolini's later work than with neo-realism. And the character of Accattone himself, self-destructive and conscious of his situation within a class from which he cannot escape, embodies many of the contradictions in Pasolini's lifetime of coming to terms with Marxism and Catholicism.