/ Marvellous and miserable city
Marvellous and miserable city
Lorenzo Vitturi
1 January, 2006

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The images present in this short collection are, above all, fruit of an operation which more than photographic is archaeological: a task of finding remains, fragments, shards, ruins brought to light to be re-composed into a possible stage setting, and, by means of light, impressed for ever on film : crumbling and decaying walls, faces which emerge from a remote past, objects and phrases which evoke a shattered world.
One of the many possible ways to speak again of the Rome, first lived in, then recounted by, Pier Paolo Pasolini, which, on the cusp of the ‘50s. and ‘60s., marked the sincere and loyal friendships of the streets, and that of his novels of hustlers, and those characters loved and never disowned who filled his first films (Accatone, Mamma Roma, La ricotta episode, shot between 1960 and 1963.) It is the ‘marvellous and miserable city’,
the Pasolini oxymoron, the most hieratic and ardent of contradictions in terms generated from the poetry of Dos Passos on New York: a corner of the world, an island in the great ocean of the city which extended as far as the eye could see, a peripheral and distant universe grasped for a moment before being swallowed by the irreversible changes in our society.
The Rome of Pier Paolo Pasolini which distinguished itself through its lowest social class – the sub-proletariat – agonising on the way to extinction, and on the brink of a definite metamorphism, held lucidly and predicted lucidly in a crucial moment of our recent history. The images presented in this brief collection are a homage to, and at the same time, a reflection on, that world which has vanished.


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