LA RICOTTA Episodio di RoGoPaG

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Sog., Scen.: Pier Paolo Pasolini. F.: Tonino Delli Colli. M.: Nino Baragli. Scgf.: Flavio Mogherini. Mus.: Carlo Rustichelli. Int.: Orson Welles (il regista), Mario Cipriani (Stracci), Laura Betti (la ‘diva’), Edmonda Aldini (un’altra ‘diva’), Vittorio La Paglia (il giornalista), Maria Bernardini (la strip-teaseuse), Rossana Di Rocco (la figlia di Stracci). Prod.: Alfredo Bini per ArcoFilm. DCP. D.: 35’. Bn. e Col.


T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In Pasolini’s third film, an episode from RoGoPaG, two contrasting social dimensions coexist, embodied by two characters who never speak with one another. First, there is the world of privilege, the crew shooting a film of the Passion dominated by the director (OrsonWelles, dubbed by Giorgio Bassani), a disillusioned Marxist intellectual; and on the other, the world of the subproletariat, in the form of theworkmen and, above all, the extra with the Giotto-like face, Stracci (Mario Cipriani), who often skips eating the lunch provided in order to take something back to his numerous family. On the one hand, we have the artist who ideologically should be close to the poor but who does not notice them suffering nearby because he is absorbed in the aesthetic pleasure of composing shots in the form of tableaux vivants that replicate the paintings of Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. He is both a self-portrait of Pasolini (whose invectives against the bourgeoisie and whose famous poetry he quotes) and his opposite, a secular artist, tired and self-satisfied. On the other hand, there is the impoverished wretch, in some ways similar to Pasolini’s earlier characters (Accattone, Ettore), but this time an older man and a father, who simultaneously experiences the staged Passion as both part of the film-within-the-film and an authentic ordeal, which culminates in anenormous binge, poised halfway between reality and dream – while his final death-by-indigestion on the cross is tragically real. La ricotta is the first film in which Pasolini experimented with colour in certain sequences (the shooting of the tableaux vivants and the ‘still life’ of the credit sequence), as well as the first instance of his inspired mix of different registers (tragic, comic – with echoes of Chaplin in the accelerated movement – parodic and sacred, albeit in a paradoxical form). Conformist Italy attacked the film in order to get back at Pasolini and devised accusations of blasphemy as a pretext to drag him to trial, where he was found guilty (before being absolved in appeal) and forced to alter certain sequences and lines of dialogue.

Roberto Chiesi

Copy From

Restored in 4K in 2022 by Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Compass Film at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from the original camera negative and the up & down soundtrack positive, both provided by Studio Cine