Apocalyptic Anarchy in Pasolini's Porcile

Porcile is a 1969 Italian film, written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marco Ferreri, Ugo Tognazzi, Pierre Clémenti, Alberto Lionello, Franco Citti and Anne Wiazemsky.

By Balthazar Malevolent

Apocalyptic Anarchy in Pasolini's Porcile

It is important to note the cultural and social atmosphere in which this Pasolini's film emerged. May 1968. Pasolini, acutely aware of all the contradictions of his time, immediately enters into an open polemic with the pseudo-revolutionaries where he claims that his sympathies lie with the police ('those pure peasant children), while the 'oppressed' do not even have class consciousness and a clear objective. Pasolini himself is a communist and a fighter against the bourgeoisie, capitalism and consumer society. Except that his methods of struggle, through art and the liberation of consciousness, are much more productive.

Porcile's narrative unfolds in two different time periods. In today's time, a big industrialist (of a decidedly oppressive and authoritarian nature) is trying to pull off a big financial deal. At the same time, his son (of an obviously lyrical and speculative nature) is trying to make sense of his own soul and his relationship with his father and the world. Being an extremely wealthy man, he is also extremely distant from the reality and practice of this life with its duties and cares. The character is utterly helpless (metaphor - the rebellious intelligentsia) and unable to oppose anything to his bourgeois ancestor (metaphor - the authorities). Eventually, a seed of love for pigs matures in his soul (metaphor from Christianity - pigs as the demonic and evil beginning in man), which will prove fatal for him. Another story from primeval times develops in parallel. There the similar young man is already far more free-spirited and determined (a metaphor for rebellious nationalists). The first thing he does is eat his father (metaphor - ideology, history, culture), and then set out to wander the world without purpose or direction. But, in Pasolini's thought, with violence alone in the total absence of culture, you can't last long either. Eventually, you are swallowed up in the chaos of a violent life.

The plot is the intersection of several multidirectional discourses. You'll find psychoanalysis with its Oedipus complex, the political life of the 60s' Italy, and the subtle irony of intellectual cinema (Truffaut and Godard's film icons). But the main point is that the film transcends narrowly socio-historical boundaries and becomes a parable about Man and Humanity. About the lostness, fear and unhappiness of the soul in the modern world - so the wild period seems much more alive. So how can this spirit of heaviness be overcome? With humour, of course!

Porcile by Pasolini
No results

Shop now