Pigpen (Porcile)

A bit pretentious, too caricatured in its modern story, frustrating in its obscurities and facile formalism, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Porcile is nonetheless a hard film to shake off. Finally, it may be some kind of great film - somehow Pasolini manages to communicate a political tract in a trancelike experience. Unfortunately, Porcile has rarely been shown since its American premiere at the 1969 New York Film Festival, where Richard Roud noted: “Pasolini's newest film is, like Faulkner's ‘Wild Palms,' made up of two stories, intercut with one another, but never combining. The first is set in a medieval wasteland: Pierre Clementi plays a man reduced by hunger to cannibalism. The second, with Jean-Pierre Léaud and Anne Wiazemsky, takes place in present-day Germany. Both are children of rich ex-Nazi industrialists; the girl is spurned by Léaud because he is turned on only by pigs. Ultimately, the pigs eat him. Several interpretations of this extraordinary film are possible: social (society is represented by the pigs and by the wild animals that devour Clementi), or psychological (ask your analyst). What is certain is its compulsive and disturbing beauty. It may be unlovable, but it is triumphantly unforgettable.”

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