The Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922 – 1975) was known for his versatility and his ability to cause controversy. In addition to directing, Pasolini also lent his talents to poetry, philosophy, literature and theater, causing him to become recognized as a visionary and a major figure on the scene of European artists and intellectuals.
Although he was not born in Rome, he created some of his best works there after having moved to the city at the age of 28. With his filmography, his relationship with Rome is defined and showcased through multiple lenses that include themes such as friendship, love, politics, literature and cinema.
In this way, Rome was not merely a setting for Pasolini’s films, it was the object of a passionate relationship full of conflicting sentiments: love versus hate, attractive versus rejection, desire to flee versus longing to come back. These emotions are due to the fact that Pasolini entered the city of Rome almost as a refugee, living on the margins of society where poverty and precarity reigned.
Even after his rise to fame, Pasolini never left behind these feelings of marginality, which he would weave into his expressions of love for his adopted home. This complexity was also reflected in the fact that Rome itself was undergoing a transformation during Pasolini’s career, especially during the 1960s and 1970s. Consumer culture began to dominate the city, creating a newly bourgeois atmosphere — and Pasolini was able to depict these changes in his work.
For those who wish to witness this intricate rapport between a film director and a city, the exhibition ‘Pasolini Roma’ has been organized by the Cinémathèque Française from October 16, 2013 until January 1, 2014. The exhibition will include both film screenings as well as a collection of objects, photographs and documents revealing the work of the director in the city he loved so much. Guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier are therefore free to explore Pasolini’s Rome during their visit to Paris.