Article 4455 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Featuring Pierre Clementi, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Alberto Lionello
Country: Italy / France
What it is: Art film
In the past, a man becomes a cannibal and starts a cult of followers. In the present, a young man finds himself alienated by human relations that leaves him with strange desires.
I know I’ve encountered Pasolini before, but I don’t quite remember what my reactions were to his other works. I found this one, which seems to be a meditation on taboo subjects (cannibalism, bestiality), capitalism and Nazism, among other subjects, to be very difficult. Some of the user comments on IMDB do lead me to believe that there is a point to the movie, and I do sense that there is something there, but I find myself unable to really explain it. I do get the feeling that the cannibal in the historical section and the young man in the modern section are essentially the same character; though played by different actors, they look quite similar and in some ways suffer the same fate. The cannibal plot puts it into the realm of horror, and the historical section seems at least partly a fantasy.