First Look: Willem Dafoe as Gay Director Pier Paolo Pasolini

3.20.2014

By Patrick Yacco

The photos are from the upcoming Abel Ferrara-directed biopic, Pasolini.

TheFilmStage.com and The Criterion Collection's Twitter feed have both shared photos of Willem Dafoe as famed queer director Pier Paolo Pasolini. The images come from the upcoming film Pasolini, directed by Abel Ferrara, which focuses on the final days of the controversial filmmaker's life.

Born in 1922, Pasolini worked in art forms that included films, novels, poetry, and plays. Accattone, his first film, featured numerous nonprofessional actors in its portrayal of Rome's peasant culture and caused an uproar for its depiction of the capital's underbelly. His celebrated "Trilogy of Life" movies explored the Middle Ages and included abundant nudity, sex, and slapstick humor. Pasolini's final film, Salo, was based on the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom and was denounced for its scenes of torture.

Pasolini was murdered shortly after Salo was released. He was killed November 2, 1975, after being run over repeatedly with his own car. Giuseppe Pelosi, a 17-year-old hustler, admitted to the crime but then retracted his story. Other theories have since popped up, but there's insufficient evidence for the authorities to reopen the case.

Pasolini does not currently have a release date, but it could begin screening on the festival circuit before the end of the year.

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