Saló, o le Centoventi Giornate di Sodoma

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Pasolini's last movie before his being brutally murdered may now seem strangely prophetic of his death, but it is undeniably a thoroughly objectionable piece of work. Transporting De Sade's novel to Mussolini's Fascist republic of 1944, Pasolini observes with unflinching gaze the systematic humiliation and torture of beautiful young boys and girls, herded into a palatial villa by various jaded, sadistic members of the wealthy upper classes. According to the director, the story was meant to be a metaphor for Fascism, but the revolting excesses shown on screen (shit-eating and sexual violence included), coupled with the fact that the victims seem complaisant in, rather than resistant to, their ordeals, suggest murkier motives in making the movie. It's very hard to sit through and offers no insights whatsoever into power, politics, history or sexuality. Nasty stuff.

Release details

Duration: 117 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Screenwriter: Pier Paolo Pasonlini
Cast: Paolo Bonicelli
Giorgio Cataldi
Umberto P Quintavalle

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Maggi
1 of 1 found helpful

i completely disagree. Saol o le centoventi giornate di sodoma is an 'anti-pornographic' piece of political cinema. it is incredibly hard to see exactly what happened in that particularly dark epoch of italian (and european) history, but onew man who would know it more than others is Pasolini. Being a partisan and losing his brother to such terrible atrocisties committed under the fascist regime. Pasolini's film has a sense of anger (seen in 'excess'. He wants to destroy the fascist system in 112 minutes, and i bleive he succeeds. But i do agree, it does take more than one sitting to obtain this information. A gruelling but necessary watch.

Maggi
1 of 1 found helpful

i completely disagree. Saol o le centoventi giornate di sodoma is an 'anti-pornographic' piece of political cinema. it is incredibly hard to see exactly what happened in that particularly dark epoch of italian (and european) history, but onew man who would know it more than others is Pasolini. Being a partisan and losing his brother to such terrible atrocisties committed under the fascist regime. Pasolini's film has a sense of anger (seen in 'excess'. He wants to destroy the fascist system in 112 minutes, and i bleive he succeeds. But i do agree, it does take more than one sitting to obtain this information. A gruelling but necessary watch.

GravesendJoe

If you accept this film as a metaphor for the dehumanising effects of fascism and capitalism, as a film imbued with a genuinely nightmarish and fatalistic worldview, then I think it has its merits. And isn't the victims' apparent complicity in the crimes inflicted upon them - which the Time Out reviewer suggests points to "murkier motives" - a comment on how groups of people acquiesce in the face of their own exploitation? The sort of oppositional culture that modernist films like Salo represents is perhaps a last refuge for those who find much of popular culture oppressive in its one-dimensionality. When so much of it falls aesthetically, politically, etc in line with the dominant values, the Pasolini's of this world are vital.

mr.mike
0 of 1 found helpful

I was fully prepared to be shocked. An hour into it , I began reading a newspaper.