Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pasolini in Isfahan

In 1973, Pier Paolo Pasolini arrived in Iran. He was there to shoot parts of his new film 1001 Nights, aka Arabian Nights. The shooting took place in Isfahan in central Iran. The stunning blue-tiled mosques were the backdrop of this part. Unlike the absolute tranquility of the architecture and the city, filming in there wasn't as serene. The fact that Pasolini's actors had an intimate moment in a mosque, whether on or off camera, raised a scandal and a mob chased the crew while they were hurriedly packing and fleeing the mosque. But it seems, at least from the pictures you'd see here, that Pasolini gradually learned the secrets of the new land. He learned how to live in a totally new culture, as the subject of his trilogy was life itself.

40 years on, an exhibition, under the title of "The East of Pasolini: Flower of the One Thousand and One Nights" was materialized, mostly thanks to the photographs of Robert Villa who accompanied Pasolini in his Middle Easters saga. Some of the photographs, preserved by Cineteca Bologna - an institution dedicated to preserving the art of cinema in Pasolini's hometown - are presented here. I don't know exactly if they are taken by Pasolini or Villa, but in these photographs one can easily find the ethnological simplicity and the folkloric curiosity of the Life Trilogy. They are the continuation of Pasolini's films of the early 70s. Life and cinema were organically walking on the same direction.

Pasolini in Isfahan

The City

The Production

The People

  The Film

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