One hundred years after the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian Embassy to Kosovo and “Kino Armata” Cinema in Pristina pay tribute to the great Italian intellectual, writer and director by screening four of his most famous films in the Kosovan capital – Uccellacci e Uccellini, 1966 (The Hawks and the Sparrows); Accattone, 1961; Mamma Roma, 1962; Edipo Re, 1967 (Oedipus Rex) – as part of “Italian Cinema Masters”, a retrospective of the “Kino Armata” aimed at introducing to Kosovo the great Italian directors, and “Fare Cinema”, an iniative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) dedicated to the promotion of Italian cinema and film industry.
The date is from May 24th to May 27th at the “Kino Armata”, with free entrance. The films (in Italian, with subtitles in English and Albanian) will be accompanied by debates, poetry readings, the projection of archive materials and unpublished video introductions to the featured films created by directors, critics, and historians of Italian cinema specially commissioned by MAECI.
Guides to the audience through the world of Pasolini will be Aida Baro, editor-in-chief of the Tirana-based “Botime Pegi” publishing house, active in the segment of schoolbooks and literary publishing segment, and well-known translator – from Italian into Albanian – of literary and film works, including Pasolini’s; other speeches will be made by the director of “Kino Armata” Alush Gashi and the programmer Eranda Bokshi.
“We will remember the figure of Pasolini and his prophetic modernity, which made him a symbol of 20th century Italian culture, through poetry, articles, but above all through cinema”, commented Antonello De Riu, Italian Ambassador to Kosovo. “After the retrospective organized in April on Michelangelo Antonioni, we have now chosen to dedicate the “Fare Cinema” festival to the work of Pasolini, a multifaceted artist and one of the greatest and most representative exponents of our cinema and literature, whose message is still very relevant today, having been ahead of his time with his unprejudiced thinking”, added the Head of Mission.
The homage to Pasolini opens on Tuesday 24 May at 7:30 pm with the film Uccellacci e Uccellini, a comedy but also an allegorical fable, focused on a journey through the Roman countryside by a father and his son (Totò and Ninetto Davoli), accompanied on their journey by a talking Marxist crow (dubbed by Francesco Leonetti). A figure, that of the crow, in which Pasolini recognizes the leftist intellectual, overtaken by the consumer capitalism that is homologating languages, cultures and consciences. The film won the “Nastro d’Argento” award (1967) for the best subject. The evening will be introduced by “Kino Armata” director Gashi and Ambassador De Riu. It will be followed by a debate after the film with Aida Baro and Eranda Bokshi.
The retrospective continues on Wednesday 25 May at 7:00 pm with the screening of Accattone, Pasolini’s debut as a filmmaker, shot with non-professional actors. The film’s main character, Vittorio, nicknamed Accattone, is a “boy of life” living on the margins of society in the Roman suburbs. One day he meets Stella, the girl he falls in love with and for whom he tries to change his life by opting for honesty; however, the road to “redemption” is not as easy as it seems. This film was the winner of the first prize for direction at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1962).
The third film proposed, on Thursday 26 May at 7:00 pm, is Mamma Roma, Pasolini’s second film, with Anna Magnani as leading actress. It is set in the Roman suburbs as well and tells the story of Mamma Roma, a prostitute who, out of love for her son, for whom she wants a different life from her own and who is unaware of her mother’s job, tries to change her life. However, her son, Ettore, will nevertheless learn about his mother’s past.
The retrospective concludes on Friday 27 May at 7:00 pm with Edipo Re, presented in competition at the 28th Venice International Film Festival (1967). The work reworks Sophocles’ tragedy in which the Oedipus myth is enriched with strong autobiographical connotations. It is the first film in which Pasolini measures himself with the classical myth to evoke, in a dreamlike manner, his own life journey. It won the “Nastro d’Argento” (1968), the oldest Italian film award for the best original subject. After the screening, there will be a reading of the Italian author’s poetry.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (Bologna, 5 March 1922 – Rome, 2 November 1975) was an Italian poet, director, screenwriter, writer, actor, and dramatist. He distinguished himself in numerous fields, also contributing as painter, novelist, linguist, translator and essayist. His famous articles published in the major newspapers of the time were later collected in Scritti corsair. Among his best-known novels are Ragazzi di vita (The Ragazzi) and Una vita violenta (A Violent Life). He inspired his existence by non-conformism and radical diversity, until his death by assassination in 1975 on the outskirts of Rome. A keen observer of the changes in Italian society from the post-World War II period until the mid-1970s and a sometimes-controversial figure, he often aroused strong controversy and heated debates due to the radical nature of his judgments, which were highly critical of bourgeois habits and the emerging consumer society, as well as the 1968 movement.
The “Fare Cinema” initiave was launched in 2018 by MAECI and organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the National Association of Audiovisual Cinematographic Industries (ANICA), the Agency for the Promotion Abroad and for the Internationalization of Italian companies (ICE), Luce Institute – Cinecittà, the Italian Film Commissions and the Italian Film Academy – David di Donatello Awards. The aim of the initiative is to enhance the Italian film industry through the distribution abroad of films and in-depth content on Italian cinema and the organization of events by the diplomatic-consular network and the Italian Cultural Institutes