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on 22 June 2012
This is a very impressive package from Masters of Cinema including a stunning BD transfer of Pasolini's first film and Franco Citti's first acting role. Both are spectacular achievements; Pasolini seems to come to film making with a fully formed visual language, while non-professional Citti turns in an extraordinary performance as the pimp Accattone.

For a moment when the black on white titles begin, accompanied by the music of Bach you might think that you have mistakenly put on The Gospel According to Matthew, but it's just Pasolini setting us up for a slap around face. Immediately after we are treated to a quote from Dante's Purgatory Pasolini throws us directly into a world of layabouts, pimps, prostitutes and thieves who scrape a meagre living in the shanty towns on the outskirts of Roma.

The Dante quote is interesting and it's something like: the Devil is furious with God for snatching away yet another sinner who repents [sheds a tear] at the last moment. Since the building of St. Peter's was partially financed by the sale of indulgences [meaning that the sinner receives remission from punishment in Purgatory] it must surely be this hypocrisy that Pasolini alludes to, and consequently must cast doubt on what appears to be Accattone's redemptive moment at the end of the film. One thing is for certain Accattone never paid for any indulgences but he's still going to the same place as everyone else; nowhere.

While Accattone is in Academy ratio the package also includes a very interesting mid-60's feature length documentary in 1.66.1 in which the director interviews the Italian public on their views about sex and relationships. Some of it is not pretty if you're a woman or gay. In spite of nearly half a century passing I expect many of the attitudes expressed still prevail today. It's nicely ironic that the person putting the questions about 'inverts' is Pasolini.

Talking of homosexuality, I started listening to Tony Rayns commentary to Accattone until the point where he started talking about the homo-erotic nature of the early scenes in which the men are hanging out down by the river in their trunks. This kind of fatuous academicism is peddled at every opportunity these days particularly in the case of Pasolini and Paradjanov and is so often in critique of wholly asexual scenes where the only prerequisite for such remarks is a knowledge of the directors sexual orientation. Without that knowledge the notion would never have entered the mind and there's not a single shot to justify the claim.

However, excellent package, excellent films, excellent value.
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on 3 August 2016
By no means perfect, yet this is an impressive first feature. I am no longer a huge fan of Pasolini as his films seem cack handed now. Strangely I was not aware of any of these faults when I watched the films in the 70s, but like a lot of other Italian directors the early films are very good and they slowly get worse. I wanted to see this because someone told me that this film predicts Pasolini's own death. There is a scene in this film where the girlfriend prostitute Maddalena is lured to some derelict place in a car by three Southerners and someone once pointed out that this was prophetic of Pasolini's own end as now there is agreement that three Sicilians were involved as well as the rent boy that he picked up. I liked Tony Rayne's commentary and found it shed some light on Pasolini's (in my view imperfect) technique. Also the other film included in this package is a revelation. Comizi d'amore is a film where the intellectual Pasolini harangues the public with his Freudian/Marxist questions and the poor wretches answer him innocently. I think some of my anti Freud friends would find this very revealing as an example of the temporarily insane Western notion that you can solve the world's problems by analysing sex and politics. 5 stars for the Blu-ray though which is of outstanding quality.
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on 1 February 2016
To my mind, Pasolini's most satisfying film. Gorgeously shot, stunningly scored and chock full of attention-grabbing performances, this is a masterpiece. Unlike later works, there is perhaps a more astutely handled balance here between hope and cynicism. I wept at the point in which he steals from his own son and there are plenty more moments within the film that equally move the viewer.

A breathtaking, virtuoso cinematic work.
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on 5 October 2015
Here, as elsewhere in his early work and with the help of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pasolini gives an epic character to the lives of the lumpenproletariat, here represented by a petty crook who bears the contemptuous sobriquet of `accattone' (beggar). Franco Citti, Pasolini's discovery (and muse) was a burgeoning talent.
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on 22 April 2013
This item arrived in a timely manner and was brand new as promised. Watched it once and loved it, very moving film. Would recommend this product to all lovers of Italian cinema.
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on 10 March 2016
Great Transfer of a classic.
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on 25 March 2016
Very Good! Thanks ^_^
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on 25 October 2015
Strange - very good!
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on 8 March 2015
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on 18 October 2014
Pasolini is one of cinema's greatest hacks, and his first feature is a fitting example of the kind of amateur waste he consistently produced. I'm sure "Film Appreciation for Dummies" will tell you otherwise, but anyone with an ounce of artistic nonce can see through this self-indulgent tripe within five minutes. Terribly acted, cack-handedly made, saccharine garbage. Every character is despicable and there is quite literally no discernible point. If you want to sound intellectual talking to a bunch of ignorant Film Studies grads, this is probably worth your time. There are plenty of mindless pseudo-platitudes to talk about here, but as a piece of art and a a piece of entertainment, you're better of having your teeth torn out. Pish.
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