Archive for February, 2012

The Subsumption of Everyday Labor: A Tiqqun / Harry Braverman Cut Up

I found myself in a slightly curved street, in the city outskirts where I live. And something was there, strangely, instead of something else that wouldn’t have caught my memories — this thing that shouldn’t have been there. There was a large window above an immaculately shined, far-too-new placard, affixed to the wall; on that placard, in rigid letters, the word “BAKERY” was written. Through the window you could see a few display shelves resembled those that are often used to display pastries or some sickening cake or another, display shelves doubtless placed there to perfect its confusion with familiar places; but I wasn’t duped. I was all the less fooled since their enthusiasm had gone beyond the believable. There, planted behind those phantom display shelves, perfectly immobile, standing in a expectant position, was the baker! The baker… in her white apron.

“Ms., We know full well, don’t we, that all this is nothing but an absurd practical joke. Continuous mixing, reduction of brew fermentation time, dough which is metered, extruded, divided and panned to the accuracy of a centegram in the pound, conveyorized baking an automatic depanning, and cooling long ago replaced the baker with engineers on the one hand and  factory operatives on the other. You’re not really a baker, this isn’t a bakery, and how absurd it would be for me to play the customer. The speed with which the operation is conducted is a marvel of efficiency, and apart from its effects on the worker, if it were not necessary for people to consume the “product,” the whole thing would be considered a resounding success. The age of playing commodity has passed; let’s speak frankly and forget all this frightful decor, which fools no one… I don’t know how you found yourself in this strange situation – so tell me, what’s all this about?”


Annotated Bibliography of Working Class Struggles In Italy. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.

Working Class Struggle In Italy PDF

Autonomous Assembly of Alpha Romeo “Against the State As Boss.” Burno Ramirez and Judy Ramirez, Trans. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973. Day to day account of 11/1971-2/1973 struggle at the Portello and Arese Alfa plants. Portello plant workers older, still maintain strong trade union ties, plant shrinking. Arese newer, was still being built at time of writing; 65% of workers on assembly line are immigrants from the south; greater level of militancy than at Portello plant. Autonomous Assembly took the role of a vanguard. Seeks to become “permanent political reference point for the workers. AA’s militancy in part a response to Italian gov’s job classification that is a response to real subsumption of labor AA: “you are ‘selected’ not on the basis of what you know or are able to do, but on the basis of your willingness to lick ass”(47-49.) 11/15 strike, Portello: management cancels and then shorts pay checks, unions conciliatory, invoke “democratic decisions” 11/16 marchers find everyone at work in computer center, force them out ans start discussing with them (53.) 12/9-1/9/1973 absenteeism (56.-76) 1/10: intensification of coreti interni ; confrontation with police; Arrest and suspension of Frank Atzeni; planning occupation at Arese; occupation; conflict with CP, which negotiates a new contract.

Dowson, Ernest. “The Italian Background.” Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973. “After the Second World War, the Italian ruling class, aided by the Marshal Plan, began the reconstruction of a capitalist economy. The communists cooperated with them.” (7.) Revolutionary hopes of workers “traded for a seat in the Government” (7.) Anti-Fascist groups give up arms, don’t combat US presence (7.) Communists ousted from government, bourgeoisie starts program to suppress working class organizations. Trade unions, e.g., FIM, militant metal workers union at Fiat, broken up (7-8.) Government backing and investment to streamline and modernize export industries (8.) Paid for by workers in the form of “low wages and lousy living conditions (8.) Automation of industry means job growth slow and high unemployment (8.) Industrial growth concentrated in North. South agricultural “long history of client system based on large land owners and patronage, government takes role of landowners after 1945 through distribution of public money (8.) Agriculture rationalized: large mechanized units Populations driven to cities. Between 1950 and 1967 17,000,000 Italians, more than a third of the population moved from one district to another (8.) a small amount of construction work comes south, but not enough to prevent mass migration to the north “The constant reserve of labor was exactly what the Italian bosses needed. It helped to keep wages down, even when the demand for workers began to grow” (8.) 1962 Fiat strike in Turnin. Demand for workers caused by 1959 boom makes wages rise while unemployment falls. Profits fall; investment slows, money goes abroad or into land speculation; instead of pushing productivity up with machinery, they begin to squeeze [deskilled] workers harder. Speeds on production lines pushed up until they become the highest in Europe (9.)
Unemployment starts to grow again, food, housing, and transport in inflationary spiral (9.) 1951-1961 4 largest urban areas (Milan, Rome, Turin, Naples)increase in population by 2,000,000: 2/3 of national population increase. GESCAL, Gestione case per i lavoratori, builds only 390,000 apartments between 1949 and 1971 — the same number that were built privately in one year (9.) In 1971, GESCAL built 3,254 apartments and had a waiting list of 138,931 families. (9.) Workers contributed 0.6% of wages to GESCAL, bosses 1.2%. Rents consumed up to 40% of worker wages (9.) 1968: strikes and absenteeism on the rise, riots in the south.
Competition for markets between Italian firms and rivals, especially the US (Fiat v Ford, e.g.;) Antagonism between different sectors of Italian capital (small (us invested/owned;)) v large firms (supported by state;) small industries liquidated or absorbed (10.) 1969: Triennial contracts in metalworking expire Trade Unions, firms and CP ready to deal (10.) CP dreams of entering government again.
“Base committees” among workers worry CP and union officials (11.) But to ensure bargaining position unions had to mobilize workers, who wanted more than unions (11.) The Hot Autumn: When workers were called out on a 1 day strike by union to protest the killing of a southern worker during rioting at Battipaglia, “they refused to leave the factory, and started to take it over instead” (11.) Turn from striking with unions to struggle in factories. Split between older skilled workers of CP new generation of workers who’s individual skills didn’t matter and who “didn’t give a damn about the dignity of labor” (class compostion argument (12.) Between 1969 and 1970 wages went up 23.4%, 10 previous years 9%. Concessions attempt to calm things (12.) Bosses also use repression (12.)1969-1973: rent strikes; building occupations/squats ; Protests against food prices/ red market at Pisa; Transportation actions take over of public transportation in the suburbs of Venice; Fare strike in Trento; Primary and secondary school strikes and occupations; Health care center in Rome; Prison actions by prisoners in Milan and Naples. Red Help to support prisoners from the outside 13-14.)

Kaplan, Jim. “Introduction to the Revolutionary Left In Italy.” Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.
The revolutionary left in Italy “to the left of the Communist Parties” (1) CGIL, communist-socialist labor confederation exhibits new power in triennial contract negotiations of1963 (2) The PCI enters the Italian cabinet arguing that only they can “fulfill Italy’s potential for economic growth” (2) Proposed wage increase work of “oligopoly capitalist who could pass them on to consumers” but don’t work for smaller companies (2.) Leads to economic concentration “necessary for international goals” FIAT, Pirelli, Montedison (chemicals,) ENI (petroleum) Italsider (steel) (2.) Elimination of the petit bourgeoisie (2.) Promoting big capital in this way would also benefit the working class (2.) The working class sees the PCI linking their interests to those of capitalist accumulation, moving toward reform and not revolution (3.) Maoists blamed this co-optation (“instrumentalization”) on “revisionist mis-leadership;” Quaderini Rossi argued it was caused by historical changes in the working class (3.) CPI built by skilled workers in older industrial centers of Italy in the 40s. The political objective of those workers was domination of the work process in “what was still largely craft production” (3.) Investment during “economic miracle” brings the assembly line production in the 1950s and 50s. The mas vanguards of the 60s and 70s came from factory workers, not the skilled workers of the PCI and CGIL (3.) By 1969: Potere Operaio wants guaranteed wages for all “political wages” Lotta Continua spreads continuous militancy for “precise objectives in every aspect of everyday life” (4.)

Lotta Continua. “Take Over The City.” Ernest Dawson Trans. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.
On Rent Strikes and Occupations in Milan. Starts with urbanist analysis of class and rent in Milan (81-83.) 5-1-1970 Rent Strike focused on Quarto Oggiaro (municipal housing area) eviction resistance, tenants union (84-90.) 1-22-1971 mass occupations/ squats (90-99.) Rome: People’s Clinic June 1971 (99-104.)
Consideration of Occupation instead of voting (104-105.)Housing actions in Southern Italy (105- “Cassa del Mezzogiorno” set up to stop mugration by subsidizing agriculture and create infrastructure (housing, roads, schools, hospitals) (106.) Building of state owned, ultra modern low employment factories in Naples (Alfa,) Italsider steel in Taranto and Naples, chemical plants in Bari and Poroto Torres (Sardinia.) Taranto (107-108;) Palermo (108-110;) Naples (110-112.)

Potere Operaio. “Italy 1973: Workers Struggles in the Capitalist Crisis.” Mario Montano and Silvia Federici, Trans. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.
The working class struggle as producing a crisis (15.) “Generalized refusal of the capitalist organization of work” (15.) Keynesian policies as containment (16.) “The economic crisis was imposed on capitalists by working-class struggle. Throughout the 1968-1970 cycle of struggles workers not only has stepped up their mass struggle against work at the point of production through increased strikes, self-reduction of work time, “absenteeism,” and sabotage (all activities that do not reproduce capital,) but also had expressed their determination to struggle against the capitalist state” (17.) “Marx and particularly since the scientific organization of labor…”Real subsumption as “class composition” (19.) Capital starts to deal directly with the “material existence as labor force, as a mere commodity” (19.) Capital uses technology to produce gaps in homogeneous texture of a working class politically dominated by the behavior of the mass worker.” (19.) Reduction of work force (tchno unemployment;)demobilization of sectors and regions; decentralization of productive sectors to eliminate large working class concentrations; wider range of skills for some and widened pay differentials (19.) The chemical industry (20.) Auto industry cite of struggle sites 1933-1937 struggles in us (20.) Fiat rules out new production methods which would involve capital outlay and a 25% cost increase (20.) Investment in south Porto Torres and Gela as “cathedrals in the desert” attempt to divide the working class along geographic lines (20.) 198 constitution founded on priciipla of “class cooperation in the name of economic development” (21.) Tracks roles of governments in contract negotiations 1970-1973 (21-31.)“The worker’s struggle has been “beyond the contract” all along (31.) “In our occupation, the factory is a starting point for the revolutionary struggle, not a place to work” (31.)

Sofri, Adriano. “Organizing For Worker’s Power.” John Huot, Trans. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.
Written for Pisa Il Potere Operaio Published in French by Les Temps Modernes 10/69
The problem of the party traditionally posed as that of the growth of subjectively revolutionary groups (33-34.) PO Opt instead for “ongoing involvement in reality of class struggle”(34.) Workers struggles no longer simply economic and “inherently trade unionist” (35-36.) Revolution in advanced capitalist countries comes from “ripening of the political confrontation between capital and the proletariat. This implies changing from the perspective of insurrection to the perspective of protracted (eventually armed struggle)” (37.) Workers’ Power not an external vanguard because they don’t see themselves a the embryo of the party, but “as a group of militants whose objective is to accelerate the conditions necessary for the development of the mass revolutionary organization” (38.) Revolutionaries “at the service of autonomous masses” (42.) Tasks: Create opportunities an means for links of communication among workers; discover means for self-analysis of worker struggle; support unity in the struggle; maximize worker autonomy in choise of organizational forms (43.) Critique of centralization; critique of functionality (44.)

Viale, Guido. “Interview With Guido Viale.” Bruno Ramirez, Trans. Radical America. V 7. N2. March-April 1973.
Viale one of the founders of Lutta Continua.I “Arrested with with nine other comrades and charged with attempted murder in connect with clashes the night before in the streets of Turin between revolutionaries and neo-fascists” (113.)
“’struggle against labor’ — meaning radical negation of the capitalist organization of work and life” (114.) Proletarianization of south (115.) Role of the CPI (116-117.) 1973 round of labor negotiations (117-119.)

Introcution 2 “Res Sunt Nomina” by Pier Paolo Pasolini (Translation Modified)

“Alright, there was a Being that never-always yesterday tomorrow is.
It doesn’t need anything: it doesn’t love!
Love is no more than a small human requirement outside all reality.
Therefor: Being is beyond any being.
But let’s come to the intersection where freedom is born.
In the world there is (!) a machine, and there is (!) a reason we say it shoots.
You can call it the “Reality Eater” or the ‘Eye-Mouth.”
It doesn’t limit itself to looking at Joaquim in the favela.
It looks at him and re-produces him.
It speaks of him through himself and through his parents.
I interpret him (Mestizo? Portuguese? Indian? Dutch? Black?)
In the reproduction on screens large and small as I do in reality.
The eye, the mouth, the cheekbones, the chin, the skin are no other;
I come back to his ancestors and his provenance in Northern Brazil …
You understand me.
Joaquim is language on the screen or on the moviola.
If I interpret Joaquim as language and if I decipher Joaquim as otherwise in that reality — that actual day at the end of March 1970 in the favela on the Barra street —
That is because the language of the “Eye Mouth” is a brother to the language of Reality.
Illusion, yes illusion here and there. Illusion because
Who speaks through that language is a Being who isn’t and doesn’t love.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Three Priliminary Theses For Cinema & The Meaning [strike through] Of “Life.”

In chapter 8 of Les mots et les choses, Foucault states that the concept of “life” emerged in the late 17th century. Properly understood, “life” begins as an ideological effect of capitalism as it prepared for the industrial revolution.

A genealogy of “life” in cinema and film theory expresses developments in production and labor between the late 19th century and the present — including the shift to industrial production that constituted cinema as an institution. The changing role of the word, concept and value promote those developments and express anxieties about them . Cinema is a privileged discourse for such a genealogy precisely because of its status as an industrial art.

Italy’s accelerated hyper-accelerated production and real subsumption of labor in the period between the mid 1950s and 1973 lead to the full development of biopolitics as a “style of governance” mediating relations of production and as an object of study in that country between the 1970s and the present. As an object of theory, biopolitics, and especially “afirmative biopolitics” tends to have the ideological effect of turning attention away from production, thereby reifying extant social relations.

Categories: theses on life

Annotated Bibliography of Anglophone Articles in Special Issue of Italian Quarterly on Pier Paolo Pasolini

De Lauretis, Teresa. “Language, Representation, Practice: Rereading Pasolini’s Essays On Cinema.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

Pasolini’s film writings  as relevant to the 1980s need for “an understanding of the interrelations or mediations between the systems of determinations embedded in cinema as a social technology (systems of pre-construction of meaning, codes, technical availability and access,) its institutional orders of coherence (various discourses on the cinema,) and practices — social practices as well as practices of cinema” (160.) Pasolini’s insistence on the audiovisual character of cinema; his interest in the engagement of subjectivity in meaning and ideology (160.) Goes over Metz “Cinema: Language or Language System” (1964;) “language without a code” v the double articulation of shot and cinema in PPP’s “Language Of Reality” essay; Eco’s objection that objects in the frame aren’t like phonemes and his “semes, iconic signs and figurae;” PPP’s “ritmea” theory of editing and the shift from linguistic to discursive analysis of cinema (161.) A consideration of PPP’s cinema as the written language of action (and action as the primary human language) From “Language of Reality” (162.) Poetry as “translinguistic” that is always discarding its conventions (163.)  Names Pasolini’s interest in inner-speech and cinema as film theory’s most difficult problem in light of the psychoanalytic Metz. Mentions Salò as example of need to reclaim the iconic for the ideological and the impossibility of simply seeing.  Nice Durasian last line “Ideologize, he said” (165.)

Lawton, Ben. “The Evolving Rejection Of Homosexuality, Sub-proletariat, and the Third World in Pasolini’s Films.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

On The “Abiura.” Pasolini sides with sub-proletariat against bourgeoisie, but is angered and offended when it “does become free of traditional submission” for and against sexual liberation. Contradictions reflect inner conflcits (167.) The sub-proletariate as an early version of PPP’s utopia. Lawton at least understands that Teorema undermines the bourgeois family; shift in Davoli’s roles from undermining the family to exemplifying it.(168.) Salò  as a critique of homosexuality. Rather confused.

MacAfee, Norman. “ ‘I Am A Free Man:’ Pasolini’s Poetry In America.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

PPP’s Italian poems “ civil poems” not hermeticism (99.) Comp to Witman, Pound and Ginsberg. PPP sets example for US poetry in 1980 at a moment of its growth by asserting a central place in society. Interview with Pound from 1968. A version in Ezra Pound In Italy. The end of Salò as ambivalent homage to pound who’s words are said to be the thesis to the image’s antithesis. Salò as “the ultimate post-hermetic poem” (hermeticism as a way of negotiating fascism censorship) PPP told his publisher that if it were shown there would be no more censorship (though this needs to be understood in terms of his critique of permissiveness.) M doesn’t know of post Salò case, but he’s writing in 1980 (100.) M considers P’s homosexuality as something that sets PPP apart “from most ways of thinking that collide with power” (an outsider to the opposition) Reads from “A Desperate Vitality”

Mandelbaum, Allen. “ ‘Ah Mystica/ filogia:’ Rereading Pasolini.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

Pasolini’s declaration of his own bankruptcy “Io? Io sono inaridito e superato” (95) Catholicism said to put “tremendous pressure on the word all” (96) Reads capitalization to suggest that PPP’s poetry populated with personifications “richest in the clash of amore  and ragione.” 96) “Bureaucracy and organization had long since bloated and devalued them” said in PPP’s voice in response to a re-reader who finds they “lack the force of driven apparitions (96) Sees Pasolini’s inventio as blocked (96)  PPP’s fable says :”there was a chance for poltical inventio  that was not realized” (96) Pasolini as a man of the enlightenment “a rejecter of magic payri (97.) Poetic invention is premature, it is not because history is over, but because it has not yet begun” (97.) Pasolini asks, “when will the periphery become the center? And can the poet ever abandon his role as protagonist of the periphery without falling into banality?” (97) PPP’s gods those of “the unhoused and the ineluctable place (98.) “In a world of English and Russian, Rome becomes linguistic romance. It does not preside over its sub-proletariat, Friulian, Provebçal, the swarm of emarginated tongues — it joins them. But it joins them as a yet — and necessarily — imperfect instrument” (98) no “hypersigns” for PPP no ares grammatical. Comparison to Lukàcs’ awareness of predecessors and successors.

Marcus, Millicent. “ The Decameron:  Pasolini As Reader of Boccaacio.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

Pasolini’s film as platonic “imitation” of the Boccaccio (177.) Pasolini not only reacting to text, but to its Italian reception over 6 centuries [similar to PPP’s understanding of his use of early renaissance paintings as Christology in Il vangelo] (177-8.) Pasolini’s dispensing of frame story and blurring of the frames between tales as denial of formal satisfaction (178.) Pasolini as critic of Boccaccio’s scholasticism, which was obsolete in his own time and emphasizes distance of mideval text (178.) Pasolini plays Boccaccio and elaborates thereby a metafilm (179.)

Odlcorn, Anthony. “Pasolini and The City: Rome 1950 A DiaryItalian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

On Pasolini’s Roman Poems. Starts with Pasolini’s flight from Friuli after charges of “corruption of minors and obscene acts in a public place” (107;) expulsion from Communist Party; family background. Circumstances of arrival in Rome (108;) Gets to Roma 1950, diario on 109. Verse journal published in a 1960 limited edition. “Chronicles the poet’s state of mind in moments of rest from servile work” (109;) 11 syllable lines (11-28 of them) written in Standard Italian. PPP avoids “all undue emphasis and sublimity of diction;” uses a “bleached voice;” uses “deliberate understatement to the limits of banality” (109.) O cites Eldridge clever (to describe the poetic tradition of Roma 1950 “not part of the solution but part of the problem” (110.)  sense of physical confinement in poems “corresponds to the poet’s moral entrapment in a system and a discourse not of his own making” (110.) No “transvaulation of values” only extension of “those categories to accommodate moral phenomena they were never meant to embrace” (110.)n Failure to recognize that “by bourgeois standards, homosexuality was a qualitative, and not simply a quantitative transgression” (110.) Calls the poems a “Petrachan reaction” to PPP’s situation (110.) PPP casts himself as crucified Christ, but not as subversively as he later would (110.) Rejection of hermeticism; shared with neorealist poets (but notes that PPP had few sympathies with them; close to Cesare Pavese (Poem #1 “An Adult? Never! — Never; like existence / that does not ripen” in reject of hermeticism. seen as response to the epigraph of Pavese’s last novel La luna e I falò [The Moon And The Bonfires. R.W. Flint, trans.] “Ripeness is All.” (King Lear)) Giuseppe Ungaretti as influence (111;) Clemete Rebora, Camillo Sbarbaro (111.) Volume “a womb without much of a view. The city is outside, a backdrop, heard rather than seen” [“heard rather than seen might be an interesting way to think certain of PPP’s movie soundtracks] (111.) Translations of the Poems and the originals on pages 113-118.

Procaccini, Alfonso. “Pasolini, the Truant Realist.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

Attempts to read Pasolini’s work as asking “what it means to be intellectually provocative” (121) Focuses on Ragazzi di vita.  Ragazzi’s scandal prefigures “more noted, yet less notorious” La dolce vita scandal. The 2 are “the most discordant notes of an Italian overture that will by 1968 substitute real gun fire for the conventional blank shot of cannons.” (dude, come on…) wants to include Accatone’s scandal here, but it had less impact (121.) The Fellini is provocative, the Pasolini provoking (122,) meaning: Ldv was sold as a scandal and catharsis. Rdv collapses the reader’s distance and denies catharsis (122.) Rdv meets the criteria for realist lit, but not its function. Not Hegel’s “epic of the middle class” or a commodity (122.) Not about the ‘mal ontologique” of the bourgeois world (123.) None of Lukacs’ “virile maturity” (123.) A “no alternative” motif dominates the whole of Rdv (123.)  “His message appears to be that to cross the threshold is a futile step” (123.) [Like MR crying while watching Etore work near the center in Mamma Roma.] For PPP “there is no such thing as an Italian language which is ‘national,’ that is a language which embraces the splintered and fragmented sectors of what constitutes Italy as a nation” (124.) Paraphrases material from “Comments on the Free Indirect” on high, middle, and low language, as well as the ideological effects of the centrifugal of the dominant language. Claims Rdv rejects “discorso indiretto libro which AP calls “objective correlative” and is an example of direct discourse [can’t agree] (125.)  Pasolini speaks from “within the outside experience” and this is not a “scientific position” as in Verismo  (125.) This displaces the reader to the margin (125.) Claims that Pasolini does not use the “analogical” level of meaning in Dante’s scheme [which is strange since PPP says otherwise, perhaps not an analogy between the characters and the “universal problem of the everyman, but analogy none the less.] (125.)  Despite claim of non-analogy, claims that characters represent their class (125-6.)  “In Gramscian terms Pasolini defies both the traditional as well as the organic approach” (126.)

Schwartz, Barth David. “Why Americans Will Never Understand Pasolini.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

An utterly useless screed pointing out that Pasolini is difficult to understand in the US because Italian cultural history is different and complex. Fears that popularizing Pasolini would result in dorm room posters of him next to “Che Guevara and Bob Dylan.” Some OK sketches information about the Italian context, but there better ways to get it.

Weaver, William. “Il Primo Pasolini Tradotto.” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

An account of Weavers exchanges with Pasolini while translating “L’appennio.” Weaver makes mistakes in Italian and Pasolini translates them in mistaken English. Fairly amusing.

Incomplete Bibliography of Anglophone Articles Mentioning Il vangelo Secondo Matteo

February 4, 2012 1 comment

Aichele, George. “Translation as De-canonization: Matthew’s Gospel According to Pasolini.”

Cross Currents. Winter2002, Vol. 51 Issue 4, p524, 11p

A consideration of the English subtitled version of Il vangelo secondo Matteo in Benjamin’s terms. (relies mostly on a comparison of “literal translation,” Jacobsen’s “intersemiotic translation and “mechanical reproduction.”) Places the film in a lineage that decanonizes Matthew and says Pasolini free’s it from Christian ideology to release its revolutionary potential.

Baker, George. “An Interview with Pierre Huyghe.” October; Fall2004, Issue 110, p81-106, 26p. Self-serving explanations of his pieces related to Pasolini. Mentions the free-indirect in connection with Il Vangelo  and “seeing through the eyes of someone else.

Baker, George. “An Interview With Paul Chan.” October; Winter2008, Issue 123, p205-233, 29p

Baker arbitrarily brings up Comizi d’amore in relation to Chan’s video trilogy. Bakers believes it had to do with location scouting for Il vangelo. Baker completely misrepresents PPP’s “siding with the cops” over the students “because of class.”

Barnett, Louise K. “Pasolini’s Reputation In The United States” Italian Quarterly XXI N 82 – XXII N. 83. Fall 1980-Winter 1981.

Track’s Pasolini’s reception in the US, divides it into 2 periods: before and after Il trilogia della vita. He remains obscure before the trilogy and becomes better known after. Mentions Il vangelo  as an important film for US critics and the usual Catholic Marxist opposition of critical terms.

Bondavalli, Simona. “Charming the Cobra with a Ballpoint Pen: Liminality and Spectacular Authorship in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Interviews.” Modern Language Notes V. 122. issue 1. April 12, 2007), p. 24-45.

The article analyzes Pier Paolo Pasolini’s spectacular authorship as a response to the modified conditions of power in nineteen-sixties Italy. Perceiving the advent of consumer modernity as the affirmation of a disciplinary society, the author is forced to replace the avant-garde strategy of marginality with a spectacular identity that is created and circulated through both literary and non-literary means. Rather than succumbing to the “death of the author” he redefines authorial identity through images. Interviews, printed, broadcast, inserted in poems or film, serve as the privileged arena to observe the author’s public performance and his employment of it for critical purposes. Brief mention of Il vangelo on page 35:

“When Duflot  [an interviewer] introduces The Gospel according to St. Matthew and its mixed critical reception to bring him back to his “religious education,” Pasolini once again complies, patiently providing an explanation of his relationship with religion. However, the parenthetical remark changes the tone of the answer: “With the powerless desire to clarify once and for all; and not without acrimony towards the stubborn people who will not understand”

Bruno, Giuliana. “Heresies: The Body of Pasolini’s Semiotics.” Cinema Journal. Top of FormVol. 30, No. 3, Spring, 1991.

A useful, if somewhat hasty summary of Pasolini’s film theory focused defending it from semiotic critique as well as on his treatment of the body. Would be better if his literary theory and poetry were included. Kneejerk comparison to Peirce. Suggestive passages on the “kino-mouth” and Foucault. Lays the groundwork for outlining Pasolini’s genealogical/philological approach but doesn’t actually do it. Doesn’t give enough historical context for 60s/70s semiotics. Underplays free-indirect discourse and Marxism in the cinema of poetry. Usefully traces Pasolini’s Anglophone redemeption to Delauretus. Il vangelo mentioned in footnote 43 as an example of “the lumpen proletariat physiognomy and the homosexualgaze in the filmic landscape.” Reprinted in Rumble and Testa, Pier Paolo Pasolini: Contemporary Perspectives.

Leone, Massimo. “A Semiotic Comparison Between Mel Gibson’sThe Passion of the Christand Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.” Pastoral Psychology; Mar2005, Vol. 53 Issue 4, p351-360, 10p.

“The purpose of this article is to draw a comparison between Mel Gibson’s and Pier Paolo Pasolinis filmic representations of the Passion of Jesus through semiotic instruments of analysis.” Mostly about the Gibson, not very semiotic. Argues that it reflects the world in which we live. Ends with “May the next Passion of the Christ be different.”

Orr, Christopher. “The Politics of Film Form: Observations on Pasolini’s Theory and Practice.” Film Criticism; Winter91, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p38-46, 9p

“The article examines the theoretical essays “Observations on the Sequence Shot” and “The Cinema of Poetry,” by Pier Paolo Pasolini. According to the author, the essays are the most important theoretical statements of Pasolini on film form and these strike most readers as contradictory and mystifying. He notes that Pasolini attempted to develop an alternative Marxist aesthetics in the two essays. Moreover, the article compares Pasolini’s film theories with Andŕe Bazin theories due to their assumptions on the ontology of the cinematic image. Finally, it analyzes Pasolini’s theory from the perspective of the Marxist aesthetic tradition associated with the name of György Lukacs.”

Describes Il Vangelo  in terms of Gerard Gennet’s “multiple internal focalization.”  Sets Pasolini against Bazin. Sees “multiple-focalization” or play of “subjectivities as “montage” because of PPP’s critique of the long take in “Observations on the Sequence Shot.” Analyzes POV in the scene between Gabriel and the magi as of point of view and “relative absence of the films narrator.” Stresses the importance for Pasolini of sub-proletarian focalized content. “We experience the focalization of the gospel as unmotivated and thus it produces distance instead of identification.” More Bordwell than Lukács.

Pasolini, Pier Paolo et al. “Pier Paolo Pasolini: An Epical-Religious View of the World.” Film Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4, Summer, 1965

“In Italy critics tell you that the only interesting directors are Antonioni and Pasolini. Pasolini has so far been known only secondhand in the United States,

though his Mamma Roma had a festival showing. However, Pasolini’s films also include Accattone, a rough and effective portrait of a likeable Neapolitan pimp; La Ricotta, an ironic tale which formed part of the three- director film Rogopag; The Gospel According to St. Matthew, a kind of cinema-verite Passion; and La Rabbia, a montage film never released. His Gospel was a considerable popular success in Italy, and won several awards from the Catholic Church. The phenomenon of an avowedly Marxist director happily collecting church prizes is perhaps peculiarly Italian;

but it does not begin to exhaust the strangeness of Pasolini,
widely respected poet and novelist, and has been active in the theater too. His contributions to the cinema include many scripts and script collaborations-on films by Soldati, Fellini (Notti di Cabiria), Bolognini (I1 Bell’Antonio, La Giornata Balorda, and La Notte Brava, which was based on a Pasolini novel), Rossi (Morte di un Amico), Luciano Emmer, and Bertolucci (La Commare Secca). The following conversation took place last year between Pasolini and the students and faculty of the Centro Sperimentale de Cinematografia-the Italian film-school in Rome-and is here (slightly abbreviated) translated by permission from Bianco e Nero. The translation is by Letizia Ciotti Miller and Michael Graham.”

“The St. Matthew I have in mind is somehow the exaltation, on another level, of the elements present in Accattone, in Mamma Roma and in Ricotta … Thinking it over I understood that there were profound reasons, that is the liberation of reli gious inspiration, in a Marxist, from the spurious element that had inspired Accattone, in other words the liberation from the despair which was in Accattone and which becomes inspiration as such. According to me, St. Matthew professional actors, and in the same way he ought to relate violently to the bourgeoisie rushing headlong towards a future which is the destruction of man, of the anthropologically human, classical and religious elements of man. This film is the mere visualization of a particular Gospel, that of St. Matthew; it is not a life of Christ, I haven’t put the Gospels together and written a scenario of the life of Christ as has been done other times; no, this is precisely the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, rep- resented as it is; I haven’t added one line and I haven’t taken any out; I follow the order of the story as it is in St. Matthew, with some narra- tive cuts of such violence and such epic force that they are almost magic but which are still part of the Gospel itself, and therefore this film will be a rather strange thing from the stylistic point of view. In fact long sections of soundless film-the characters don’t talk for long stretches but must represent what they say through gestures and expressions alone, as they did in the silent movies-are followed by sections where Christ speaks for twenty minutes at a stretch. It will be a film that will be, unintentionally, very close to that magmatic style which is basically always typical of my stories. That is to say that stylistically I go back to magma, I free myself from closed forms, from elements of regular scenario writing, etc., with this inspiration of a religious and ideological kind which I hope will give unity and compactness to my work” (44.)

Categories: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Notes on Il vangelo secondo Matteo for possible paragraph in Trilogia Della Vita & Salò chapter in Cinema And The Meaning [strikethrough] Of “Life”

Il vangelo secondo Matteo (1964,) establishes Pier Paolo Pasolini’s full genealogical technique in cinematic form,[1] but he does not release its full power until the Quartet Of Life And Death (1971-1975.)  Il vangelo’s genealogy presents Jesus’s subjectivity as an actual revolutionary possibility within mid-1960s neoliberalism. Because Pasolini has not yet discovered the potentialzing effects of the incompossible chronotopes that he will develop in his films from Edipo Re (1967) and Porcile (1969,) the film does not attempt to intervene in its audiences’ life-world by introducing a virtual potential. While the Quartet’s films have quasi unified times and spaces, they produce sexualities as queered potentials through a process of an-aesthetic historization which renders impossible the normal articulations between the films’ chrontopes and the lives of their publics.

In addition to the genealogical techniques at work in his earlier films, Il vangelo adapts a narrative from a pre-capitalist[2] period and articulates references to historical artworks as a pre-textual free-indirect. The film denaturalizes the pacific, religious, Catholic image of Jesus in order to mobilize an angry, revolutionary Christ — a project requiring Pasolini’s full arsenal of genealogical weapons.

According to Pasolini, the free-indirect drives forward the leading edge of cinema, literature and expressive production in general (Cinema of Poetry, 175.) He understood the most advanced cinema, the “cinema of poetry,” as nothing other than a free-indirect cinema. That figure of speech structured Pasolini’s own ouvre across multiple genres from the very beginnings of career as a poet. In verse, prose, and movies, Pasolini merged the languages and images of others with his own, creating new, collective, revolutionary subjectivities.

Pasolini released Il vangelo and published a text on Giulio Herezeg’s Lo Stile indretto libero in italiano in the same year, 1964. The article, entitled “Comments on Free-indirect Discourse” makes a major contribution to the theory of free-indirect discourse initiated by Charles Bally, moving through V. N. Volosinov and beyond Pasolini to Gilles Deleuze[3]. Pasolini’s essay establishes that free-indirect discourse appears in multiple forms, bourgeois and otherwise; that it can generate new collective subjectivities; and shows that the free-indirect can be conceived of in extra-linguistic forms.

The year after releasing Il vangelo, Pasolini published “The Cinema Of Poetry,” which argues that poetry, understood as a capacity for the free-indirect, drives the development of language and reanimates the historically determined subjectivities of those who have used it. The article defines an eponymous corpus of movies in terms of their use of free-indirect images. Pasolini emphasizes the “pretextual” free-indirect, a mode in which a subjective inflection conditions all, or almost all, of the a film’s images, starting before the first shot. He notes that directors sometimes employ that mode as a pretext to substitute their own vision for that of a character, for example Antonioni in Desert Rosso (1964) (Cinema Of Poetry, 180.) That version of the free-indirect can function as a pretext, in the ordinary sense of an excuse or alibi, for a bourgeois monologue, another can also function as a  “pre-text” in the sense of a collective and sometimes institutional layer of reported expression or perception that precedes and extends beyond the text in which it appears (181.)

The link forged by Pasolini between poetry and free-indirect speech follows from his own poetic style.[4] His first published poems, written in a fusion of Friulian dialects and his own standardized Italian tongue, created a language that never existed, yet was grounded in his ethno-linguistic bicycling adventures of the late 1940s. The language Pasolini invented carried with it the consciousness of all those from whom he collected phrases and called forth a virtual People. Pasolini’s Friulian poems were in a fee indirect, reporting speech from various towns dominated by the agricultural proletariat, each with its own sub-dialect, and fusing them with dominant Italian. In doing so, Pasolini was embraced a “sociological awareness of the environment that he evokes” (“Cinema of Poetry” 175.) His early poems express Friulian regionalism as the product of linguistic conflict by gathering various collective subjectivities and languages into a whole whose words form a composition while sounding class and regional differences.

In his first films, Pasolini used both variations on optical point of view associated with character vision and art-historical references to generate moments of cinematic free-indirect[5]. In certain painterly citations, Pasolini reproduced compositions from a single painting such as Jacopo Pontormo’s 1525-8 Deposition Of Christ in La Ricotta. More often, Pasolini cited elements of various historically related paintings and combine them in a single image.  According to Pasolini, the citation of Andrea Mantegna’s Lamentation Of Christ (c. 1480) at the end of Mamma Roma doesn’t just portray Ettore’s death through a single painting, it also summarizes a complex history of earlier baroque painting through its use of chiaroscuro[6]. These citations don’t primarily serve to beautify his films or to create some other visual effect, they function as traces of material culture. The Gian Lorenzo Bernini sculpture (1668?) on the bridge in Accattone doesn’t primarily function as a metaphor for the main character, or to beautify the mis-en-scene, it maps a fact about the history of urban development in Rome[7].

In Il Vangelo, Pasolini uses “generic references[8]” to early Renaissance painting to construct a pre-textual free-indirect which extends throughout and beyond the film, expressing the institutionalized subjectivity of the collective visual memory[9] of the reception of Christianity. The image of ancient Palestine appears to us through the lens of 15th century Italian painting. For example, anyone who has seen Piero della Francesca’s Discovery and Proof of the True Cross (c.1640) will recognize the millinery stylings of the Pharisees from Il vangelo.

Pasolini’s film can be seen as a series of citations of Italian paintings mainly produced between the 15th and early 16th centuries.  Mark Weis has remarked that Paoslini’s use of renaissance painting includes Roberto Longhi in the free-indirect chorus. The shots of Jesus’ baptism bring into play what Longhi called Piero della Franceca’s  spaces of “free assembly” and portray the social not as a collection of individuals, but as a  paratactic totality, (56-7.) Even the handheld, documentary style shots[10] contribute to a free-direct through their articulation of a space similar to that painted by Caravaggio (Weis 59-60.)   In 1968, Pasolini told interviewer Oswald Stack that he had “wanted to do the story of Christ plus 2000 years of Christianity. At least for an Italian like me painting has enormous importance in these two thousand years, indeed it is the major element in the Christological tradition” (Stack, 91.)

In order to allow the chorus of Matthew’s text and citations of early renaissance paintings to sing of Pasolini’s present. Pasolini used locations in southern Italy as analogs[11] for biblical Palestine.  As Maurizio Viani points out, both the Palestine of Christ’s time and Southern Italy were colonies of Rome[12] (137.) For Sam Rhodie, The two areas constitute each other’s past and future: “Calabria now is what Palestine was … Palestine now is what Calabria will become” (164.)  Pasolini also dressed the Roman soldiers in the scene of Christ’s sermon at Gethsemane like Italian riot police from his own time and Herod’s soldiers at the slaughter of the innocents as ”fascist hoods.”[13] Those decisions contribute to the passage of the film’s political constellation into the time of its initial audiences. In order to give voice to the class structure of 1960s Italy, Pasolini cast agricultural workers and members of the sub-proletariat as poor characters and used intellectuals and artists to play characters from more privileged backgrounds. The southern Italian landscape and the faces of the bodies of the extras from the region form another pretextual layer of free-indirect within the film, addressing Christ’s revolutionary drive, depicted as a trans-historical possibility,  to the time of the film’s release[14].

These historical, institutional layers of free-indirect images[15] in the film function as matrices that generate the subjectivities of characters within the diegesis. The renaissance free-indirect differentiates itself into processes of subjectification through portrait-like shots edited into point of view clusters, as shown in these sequential images of Salome and Herodiade exchanging looks with Herod.

In such shot pairs, direct depictions of the subjective perception of 2 or more characters emerge in the free-indirect of 15th century painting. The film viewer can distinguish at least three levels: the subjectivities of the characters in the shot-pair, that of the renaissance series, and the agency narrating the film as a whole. Il vangelo’s narration demonstrates that the subjectivity of characters develops as they perceive a combination of the Gospel setting, the historical traces in the painting citations, and the landscape of 1960 Southern Italy.

Sometimes Pasolini renders subjective becomings through shot counter-shot pairs similar to those used to depict conversations in the classical cinema, but he also uses a variety of other structures. In some examples, a shot of a character looking precedes or follows clusters of often-mobile shots framing social landscapes. The characters in the social landscapes look back at the primary seer, producing yet more filigreed differentiation within Il vangelo’s scheme of subjectification. The thoroughly secular technique of pretextual free-indirect allows Pasolini to articulate social conflicts that lead to militancy.

The shots of character’s faces can reveal a character’s affect while establishing that a character’s glance. Discussing Il vangelo’s facial close ups, Bernard Schwenk (42) writes that “the viewer reads arrogance and self satisfaction in the silent faces closed off like masks, recognizes hope and the wisdom of age in the furrowed expressions of old people, and is confronted with the faces of the peasant youths, which reflect a readiness for violence and raw sensuality.” In the scenes of conversations or monologues, the audience perceives the expressions on the characters faces along with the characters themselves. For example, when the magi start on their journey to Bethlehem, the camera establishes the glance of the three kings at the crowd that has come to greet them and then the film cuts to shots of groups within the assembly with expressions varying from joyous awe to class resentment. The shots of the crowd mimics the glance of the magi looking at the assembly looking at them. Socially distinct groups look at each other.

Il vangelo produces their variegated subjectivities within the institutional free-indirect structures of Matthew’s text, earl renaissance painting, 1960s southern Italy etc., so that the institutional free-indirect layers fuse in order to differentiate into free-indirect expressions of group or individual subjectivity. The layers of free-indirect in Il vangelo never separate the consciousness of single characters or small groups from institutional, collective memory. The more differentiated subjectivities become poles along a continuum with the less differentiated institutional subjectivities without ever fully separating from them.

The depiction of miracles also form a free-indirect, that of a “believer through whom[16]” Pasolini sees Christ.  The form part of the “subjective reality” of the film.[17] The film renders many of them through variations of Jesus’s optical point of view so that his progressive subjectification entwines with the other free-indirect material.

Nothing holy can remain so when concatenated in a cause and event chain — least of all divine consciousness. By the time of his baptism, Pasolini’s Jesus had developed an animus against the state and the rich stronger than John the Baptist’s hatred of the powerful because, from the time of his birth, he had witnessed Power’s brutality toward Mary and Joseph. Up until the obligatory happy ending of the Gospel, Pasolini portrays almost every appearance of the miraculous ambiguously, so that it can be seen as part of the ordinary course of things. For example, Gabriel only appears to Joseph while he is asleep so that the audience might think that he dreams of the angel.

By showing us series of perceptions bearing multiple historical traces producing the subjectivities of the characters, Pasolini secularizes them so that they might serve the revolution. The film shows the audience the characters’ acts of perception through various forms of historical free-indirect images in part to bring out the common, or analogous structures of the world’s conditions that stretch from Matthew’s narrative to Italy in the mid 1960’s. Il vangelo’s  exquisitely filigreed imbrication of free-indirects extends the film’s secular revolutionary impetus from Biblical Palestine through lived time unto our Pasolini’s present. The film seeks to convert a possibility in Matthews gospel into a contemporaneous actuality, namely Jesus’s desire to “bring division,” and set “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother[18]” (M, 10,34.) In other, too pat, words, the film attempted to let a trans-historical construction of revolutionary drive inform something like a Gramscian national popular movie. Pasolini had not yet emphasized the difference between the historical-diegetic modes of production and economic circulation and those of the present the film addressed so that the films intervention too the form of a force of legitimate social hatred[19] that promised to play itself out quasi-mechanically. The Trilogia de vita, sought to intervene in it’s audience’s life worlds by offering a potential.

Works Cited

Allen, Joseph Henry and James Bradstreet Greenough New Latin Grammar for Scholars and Colleges. Boston. Gwinn and Company. 1916.

Pier Paolo Pasolini. “Notes on Free-indirect Discourse.” In Heretical Empiricism. Ben Lawton and Louise K. Barnett Trans. New Academia Publishing. Washington, DC. 2005.

Pier Paolo Pasolini. “The ‘Cinema of Poetry.’” In Heretical Empiricism. Ben Lawton and Louise K. Barnett Trans. New Academia Publishing. Washington, DC. 2005.

—— “Comments on Free-indirect Discourse.” In Heretical Empiricism. Ben Lawton and Louise K. Barnett Trans. New Academia Publishing. Washington, DC. 2005.

Rhodes, John David. “Pasolini’s Exquisite Flowers: The Cinema of Poetry as a Theory of Art Cinema.” In Global Art Cinema Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover, Eds. Oxford University Press. New York 2010.

—— Stupendous Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome. University Of Minnesota Press.  Minneapolis. 2007.

Schwenk, Bernard. “The Chosen Image: Pasolini’s Aesthetics of the Drawn-Out Moment.” Schwenk, Bernard and Michael Semff eds. Pier Paolo Pasolini and Death. Hatje Cantz. Munich. 2006.

Schwartz, Bath David. Pasolini Requiem. Pantheon Books. New York. 1992.

Schwartz, Louis-Georges. “Typewriter: Free-indirect Discourse in Deleuze’s Cinema.” SubStance, Vol..34, no. 3, 2005.

Stack, Oswald. Pasolini On Pasolini: Interviews with Oswald Stack. Bloomington. Indiana University Press. 1969.

Testa, Bart.  “To Film a Gospel … and Advent of the Theoretical Stranger.” In Pier Paolo Pasolini: Contemporary Perspectives. Patrick Rimble and Bart Testa, Eds. University  of Toronto Press. Toronto. 1994.

Viano, Maurizio.  A Certain Realism: Making Use of Pasolini’s Film Theory and Practice. University of California Press. Los Angeles. 1993.

Weis, Marc. “Slide Show Inspiration: On the Effects if Roberto Longhi’s Interpretation of Art on Pasolini.” In Schwenk, Bernard and Michael Semff eds. Pier Paolo Pasolini and Death. Hatje Cantz. Munich. 2006.

[1] The full chapter will establish PPP’s genealogical method and it’s influence on Giorgio Agamben. Leland De la Durantaye (in Agamben: A Critical Introduction Pages 21, 32-3,)Daniel Morris (in an article in Book Forum,) Brian Dillon (in an article in Frieze,) Giancarlo Macaluso, ( and Jaleh Mansoor (in conversation) have pointed out, one need not interpret Agamben’s appearance as the Apostle Phillip in Il vangelo as a historical coincidence. Agamben would go on to become the exemplary twenty-first century  genealogist.


[2] On the “pretextual” free-indirect see Paoslini’s “Notes on Free-indirect Discourse” and “Cinema of Poetry.”

[3] For an analysis of the development of the theory of Free-indirect Discourse, see my article “Typewriter: Free-indirect Discourse in Deleuze’s Cinema.”

[4] In 1966, certain filmmakers and critics, were flabbergasted by Pasolini’s use of the word “poetry” and particularly the term “cinema of poetry.” Pasolini appeared on a panel at the New York Film Festival (which had screened Uccellacci e unccellini (1966,)) with Agnes Varda, Annette Michelson, Andrew Saris, René allio. Michelson in particular attacked Pasolini’s use of the term poetry. She was under the influence of a more or less official monological account of modernism that understood poetry as privileging a metaphorical axis. Like other speakers at the festival who held such a view, P. Adams Sitney, Parker Tyler, and Ken Kelman, she was not a practicing poet and sought to use the term poetry only in order to praise the so-called “American Avant-Guard” and its empty formalism. (See John David Rohdes’ “Pasolini’s Exquisite Flowers: The Cinema Of Poetry as a Theory of art Cinema.”)

[5] The most fundamental disarticulation of optical point of view, resulting in a fusion between character vision and that of the film itself in Momma Roma has been best analyzed in Stupendous, Miserable City. See the passages in chapter 5 on the sequences of Etore and his mother entering the housing projects they live in and the descriptions of the shot of the view of central Rome from their apartment window.

[6] See Barth David Schwartz’s Pasolini Requiem, page 398.

[7] See John David Rhodes’ Stupendous Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome, pages 42-48.

[8] Con Pier Paolo Pasolini pp. 70-71, cited in Greene, p. 74

[9] Schwenk uses the term “collective memory” to refer to Pasolini’s free-indirect citation of paintings, page 42.

[10] Greene points out that Pasolini replaced the short lenses of Accattone and with long focal length lenses in Il vangelo and that Comizi d’amore foreshadows the handheld documentary technique (75.)

[11] Sam Rodie works the notion that Pasolini’s films function as analogs particularly hard in his book The Passion of Pier Paolo Pasolini. He takes the word from Pasolini, who told Oswald Stack that he remade “the Gospel by analogy” and uses the word “analog” (82) through out the interview.

[12] Rhodes gives the best sketch of the complexity and precision of Pasolini’s figuration of contemporaneous Southern Italy in Il vangelo.  He points out that the locations should be understood in relation to Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped At Eboli  who’s title suggests that Matera, where Pasolini shot much of Il vangelo, was too wretched for Christ to visit and most importantly that Matera was the cite of the La Martella housing project where residents of the Sassi were relocated. Its presence marks the film’s off screen space, continuing Pasolini’s interest in public housing and urbanism by other means (Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome, pages 141-142.)

[13] Pasolini, Uccellacci e uccellini, cited in Greene, page 76.

[14] Rohdie points to the sound track as another layer of free-indirect and specifically to the blues and gospel songs in Il Vangelo  as the voice of a sub-proletariat involved actively involved in an insurrection in the early 1960s.

[15] Suggestively, Pasolini starts his “Comments on Free-indirect Discourse” with a consideration of the “historical infinitive,” a term he attributes to Alf Lombard, but which has also been used by Latin grammarians such as Joseph Henry Allen, James Bradstreet Greenough (in New Latin Grammar for Scholars and Colleges. Boston. Gwinn and Company. 1916.) The “historical infinitive” combines the speech of the author with that of the speaker and combines their “sociological and psychological modifications” establishing “norms and intentions … in a choral way.;” the examples of the historical infinitive Pasolini finds in Herczeg aren’t just those of an “individualized character, but of a typical speaker, representative of a whole category of speakers, thus of milieu, even a people.”  He calls this choral form “epic,” meaning a “discourse reanimated collectively” (81.) Pasolini explicitly links this form of free-indirect to “class consciousness in the history of Marx.”   This valance of the word epic has often been missed by those who emphasize his use of the word to describe his films (“Notes,” page 79.)

[16] Duflot Entretiens, cited in Greene (74.)

[17] Conversation with Sartre in “Cristo e il Marxismo” p 26, cited in Greene p. 74

[18] For the importance of this passage for Paoslini’s see Viano, page 132. Viano notes that the film succeed in dividing Pasolini’s Italy by forcing audiences to take a stand on the film.

[19] Viano 144.