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Beyond objectivity: the utopian in Pasolini's documentaries

Vighi, Fabio ORCID: 2002. Beyond objectivity: the utopian in Pasolini's documentaries. Textual Practice 16 (3) , pp. 491-510. 10.1080/09502360210163444

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The aim of this article is to investigate the theoretical implications of Pier Paolo Pasolini's documentaries. By focusing specifically on three of his non-fictional works ( La rabbia , Appunti per un'Orestiade africana and 12 dicembre ), I have tried to examine Pasolini's controversial attempt to rescue the term 'realism' from its epochal disgrace. My central contention is that, against today's typically postmodern prescription to dismiss realist aesthetics, Pasolini's documentaries should be interpreted as ideologically informed efforts to preserve not only a specifically chosen dimension of the real, but more importantly a dimension of the real that defies discoursive appropriation. While in the 1960s and 1970s film theory was progressively turning its back on the classic realist text and concentrating increasingly on questions of self-reflexivity, with the intention of debunking the reactionary nature of any hypostitized representation of outer reality, Pasolini, defending his own notion of mimetic realism, refused to liquidate cinema's potential to imitate what exists outside. On the contrary, in a manner reminiscent of Lacan, he strove to recuperate to semiotic analysis the emphasis on the non-symbolic and constitutionally non-conceptual fixity of the Real's most hidden dimension.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pasolini, Documentary, Mimesis, Poststructuralism, Utopia, Semiotics
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0950-236X
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:51

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