PASOLINI'S BODIES AND PLACES edited by Michele Mancini and Giuseppe Perrella
Edition Patrick Frey, 2018 Second printing, 611pp., 8 1/2 X 1 3/4" Hardcover
Around 1980 in Rome, a small cooperative around film critics Michele Mancini and Giuseppe Perrella produced a mysterious, elaborate and yet effortless looking 600-page book of black-and-white photographs entitled Pier Paolo Pasolini: Corpi e Luoghi (Theorema 1981). According to some reviews of the time this is the most Pasolinian publication to date (Alberto Farrasino), an indispensable tool for future research (Tullio Kezich), not just an illustrated book but a unique model of critique (Adriano Aprà).
With its relentless and yet playful classification of some 2,000 film stills ranged under the categories of “bodies” and “places”, whatever page we turn to, Mancini and Perrella stage an ever-shifting space. With a hidden reference to Walter Benjamin and a correspondingly revolutionary attitude, quotation here is understood as a form of “appropriation”, as a practical use of an archive.
In keeping with the great filmmaker’s credo, Pier Paolo Pasolini: Bodies and Places is a colossal attempt to take this enormous amount of material, in book form, where it wants to go. In the introduction, Mancini and Perrella describe their approach similar to the analytic field that they see in the film set: Through film Pasolini is able to elicit out that sort of unconscious, never talked about code through which in daily life we operate and relate to the world. He makes visible a miscellany of aphasic and hidden practices, a primitive realm normally concealed from our enlightened societies.