He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on the very day, March 5th, but Pier Paolo Pasolini has the dubious distinction of being the only great filmmaker who was murdered, most probably by the Mafia at the request the Italian right-wing which loathed the openly gay, Marxist, atheist, & popular artist, poet, actor, writer, cinematographer, composer, political theorist & filmmaker with 25 films to his credit. In the in the late 1940s & 1950s, Pasolini was a dedicated Communist, but was kicked out of the party for being openly gay.
In November 1975, he picked up a teenager hustler & was murdered by being run over by his own car. The hustler later recanted his confession & claimed that 3 men with Southern Italian accents killed Pasolini. Details of the crime make it impossible to have been the work of just one person.
I saw Pasolini's final film at the Film Forum in NYC in 1976. Do not see it on a full stomach. It is the most nauseating work of art I have ever seen- The 120 Days Of Sodom is an updating of the Marquis de Sade's 1780s novel to the final days of Mussolini's depraved inner circle. Shortly after its release he was murdered.
I was mesmerized by his film- Teorema, where an angelic & too handsome Terence Stamp seduces everyone in a bourgeois Milanese household- the religious maid, the icy mother, the homely daughter, the closeted son, even the powerful father, amid the emotional fireworks, each one to comes to a new understanding of their life.
If you are brave, remember that his films outrage, also check out: The Gospel According To Saint Matthew, The Hawks & The Sparrows, Oedipus Rex, Medea (with Maria Callas in her only film role, albeit non-singing), The Decameron, Canterbury Tales, or Arabian Nights.
Can you tell that I once had 4 semesters of Film Theory & History of Film?