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"ISTAMBUL KM. 4,253": attraverso il Mediterraneo di Pier Paolo Pasolini


Pier Paolo Pasolini's work transcends the boundaries of the Italian peninsula. His analysis on Italian folk and subproletariat culture extends as far as considering similar situations in the so-called Third World, which Pasolini identifies with the Mediterranean area. This article provides a detailed mapping of Pasolini's peculiar Mediterranean geography, a mobile, unstable geography, defined in this article through a careful reading of his films, novels, essays, and letters. Beginning with a comparison between Uccellacci e uccellini (1966) and its original screenplay, the author shows that the boundaries of Pasolini's Mediterranean - a space conceived as irrational, barbarian and primitive - are constantly de-territorialized and re-territorialized. The article focuses in particular on Pasolini's movies dedicated to ancient Greece, Edipus Rex (1967) and Medea (1969), both shot in Mediterranean countries like Morocco and Turkey and yet visually contaminated and re-invented through the use of Italian, African and Far Eastern elements. Pasolini's uniquely idealized Mediterranean becomes a multi-layered laboratory for his critique of the model of capitalistic development, which Pasolini believed was destroying all particular cultures, and a mental space to elaborate his own form of anticolonialist thought.

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