Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On Pasolini's Accattone

In English, The Scrounger, and in any language it's a very good movie, the first directed by Pasolini. Franco Citti, who would later appear in The Godfather, plays Vittorio, aka Accattone, who hangs out with friends at cafes and lives off whatever his girlfriend, Maddalena, can earn as a prostitute. Which makes him a pimp, a name he loathes, preferring the less reprobative "Accattone". Life gets complicated for Accatone when Maddalena is beat up by a band of thugs and then, on top of that, perjures herself by blaming the wrong guys. After trying to patch things up with the former Mrs. Accatone without success, he stumbles onto Stella, a young woman trying to lead a good life. Accatone himself tries to lead a better life by getting a real job, but finds it much more difficult than even he would have thought. Accatone seems to me the essence of realist cinema, or neo-realist, or whatever it's called, and although it's not a masterpiece on the level of some of the other Pasolini movies I've seen recently, it is multo, multo bene and you should watch it, too.


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