In an era of leaden biopics that take us through their subjects' lives in rigidly unimaginative fashion, Abel Ferrara's film about the last day of the brilliant Italian writer, film-maker and polemicist Pier Paolo Pasolini (murdered in 1975) is especially welcome.
Ferrara's movies have trailed so much scandal in their wake that they've blinded some to his qualities as a director. This is a supremely elegant film, shot in rich, dark colours and boasting fluid camerawork as it recreates 1970s Italy in loving detail.
The film isn't so much a conventional narrative as an elegy and a parable. Dafoe plays the doomed poet film-maker in gentle and fatalistic fashion. Pasolini is relentless in his attacks on corruption in Italian political and public life, but the film shows him as a private, reflective man.Reuse content