Cassavetes’ Shadows “improvises” Beat Generation Manhattan, where two brothers and a sister, black but inexplicably played by two white actors, careening off track to scaled-back sketches of Charles Mingus’ saxophone jazz yearnings. Black and white neon signs blink and the old Times Square looms like the otherworld, naturalistic cordial racism separating the chosen from the downtrodden, both dreaming of making it, of creating something.
Internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s “realist parable film-making” expanded the artistic history of world cinema. Called “an icon of change in Iran,” his death this past Monday has challenged critics to find ways to fully describe the distinctive nature of his cinematic mastery.
Champion of the disinherited of postwar Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s masterworks prefigured his country’s fall to a consumerist Heart of Darkness, an uncompromising vision that may have led to his own wretched death. A biopic by Abel Ferrara that premiered at the Venice biennale reconstructed the last hours of the Italian film director, who was murdered in 1975.
Bicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di biciclette), also known as The Bicycle Thief, is director Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.
Almost forty years after his violent death, Pier Paolo Pasolini, filmmaker, poet, journalist, novelist, playwright, painter, actor, and all-around intellectual public figure, remains a subject of passionate argument. Best known for a subversive and difficult body of film work, loaded with Renaissance and Baroque iconography, he championed the disinherited and damned of postwar Italy, mingling an intellectual leftism with a fierce Franciscan Catholicism.