Mamma Roma

It was only a matter of time before we had to watch another Pier Paolo Pasolini film. After the first one, so many years ago, we were not looking forward to it. But no movie could be another Salo, though I'm sure some have tried.

Mamma Roma is, in a way, a proto-Salo, though. It is a critique of Italian identity and power structures that while comparatively mild I can imagine that between its release in 1962 and Salo's in 1975 Pasolini boiled over from wanting to be heard properly. "We are bad people. We do bad things to ourselves." is the refrain (echoed by Visconti in last week's The Leopard as well), the message here is a slow simmer compared to what it would become, but no less unsubtle.

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Salo, or the 180 Days of Sodom

Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote and directed this 1975 film that almost made me vomit. I stopped it four times to keep from doing so.

This film is the reason we decided to do the podcast in order of Criterion's Spine numbers, because it forced us to have a system which meant we wouldn't just watch the ones we wanted to watch first and never ever ever watch Salo. I almost regret that. I watched this before Pat did and sent him an email apologizing for ever having the idea to watch the Criterion Collection and considered putting an end to it. 

I endured.  Pat endured. We chatted about it for an hour.

From now on whenever I am faced with a seemingly impossible task I will remember: I watched all of Salo; I can do anything.