4 January 2012

Pier Paolo Pasolini's last interview

Check out the last ever interview conducted with the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, on 1 November 1975:


The director of the infamous Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (1975) was interviewed by Furio Colombo only a few hours before the former's murder, which we could say imbues this conversation with more gravitas than is due. However, there is something presciently astute about some of Pasolini's comments here, no matter whether we choose to read them as fortuitous, coincidental or irrelevant.

Certainly, in any case, this last interview sheds some beautiful light on the man while leaving a lot of elusive statements to be interpreted - now, as then - as one sees fit. This seems like an apt textual conclusion to Pasolini's life, considering his reluctance in general to absolutes.

Some nice excerpts:

'We are particularly pleased with conspiracies because they relieve us of the weight of having to deal with the truth head on. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, while we are here talking, someone in the basement were making plans to kill us? It's easy, it's simple, and it's the resistance. [...] Let's not joke about the blood, the pain, the work that people then too paid with so as to "have a choice". When one keeps one's face flat against that hour, that minute in history, choice is always a tragedy. But let's admit it, it was easier then. With courage and conscience, a normal man can always reject a Fascist of Salò or a Nazi of the SS, even from his interior life (where the revolution always begins). But today it's different. Someone might come walking toward you dressed like a friend, very friendly and polite, but he is a "collaborator" (let's say for a TV station). The reasoning goes that first of all he needs to make a living somehow, and then because its not like he's hurting anyone.'

'Power is an educational system that divides us into subjects and subjected. Nevertheless, it is an educational system that forms us all, from the so-called ruling class all the way down to the poorest of us. That's why everyone wants the same things and everyone acts in the same way. If I have access to an administrative council or a Stock Market maneuver, that's what I use. Otherwise I use a crowbar. And when I use a crowbar, I'll use whatever means to get what I want. Why do I want it? Because I've been told that it is a virtue to have it. I am merely exercising my virtue-rights. I am a murderer but I am a good person.'

'It's like it rains in the city and the gutters are backed up. The water rises, but the water is innocent, it's rainwater. It has neither the fury of sea, nor the rage of river current. But, for some reason, it rises instead of falling. It's the same water of so many adolescent poems and of the cutesy songs like "singing in the rain". But it rises and it drowns you. If that's where we are, I say let's not waste time placing nametags here and there. Let's see then how we can unplug this tub before we all drown.'

[Thanks to Roi Cydulkin for sending me this interview!]


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