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Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) Dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini

By midlandsmovies, Jun 28 2013 12:47PM

Midlands Movies Marek braves the nihilistic and notrious Salo by Pasolini

Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) Dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pasolini’s final film before his untimely murder, combines elements of Mussolini’s fascist Italy with the work of the Marquis De Sade into a piece of brutal and bleak artform. Compelling yet repulsive, the story is set in 1944 and shows four fascist libertines and their guards kidnap eighteen boys and girls and take them to a palace in the northern Italian state of Salo, (the area Mussolini made his base).

The victims are forced to re-enact the perverse stories as told by the middle-aged aristocratic women of the group, for the sexual pleasure of the male libertines. This repeats for three circles until the remaining youths are further tortured and executed as the libertines share turns in participating or watching, with a particularly cruel end to the third, albeit one with an underlying theme of voyeurism and dare one say the equivalent combination of today's reality TV and torture porn movies.

This is a film that was banned in so many countries for a reason, yet to simply see it as perverse titillation would be an injustice, it is a politically and socially ferocious film which radiates despair and disgust at the changing society and it manifests itself almost quite literally in certain scene.

In almost a juxtaposition to the visual imagery is the audio scored and performed by Ennio Morricone, which stays with you long after the film has ended and adds a sinister feel to the proceedings, thus increasing the powerful impact of the film.

Not one for repeated viewing or even to provide an entertaining night in but a critical piece of social commentary film making that deserves its subject matter to be researched and contemplated by the viewer and as such as it is impossible to score such a film for its importance is balanced by its true depravity. Just thinking about this film still makes me queasy.

Midlands Movies Marek

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