09/17/2014  
2 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season on DVD Sep 30Found on DVD Sep 23Beyond Borders & Faces of Israel on DVD in SeptemberAfter on DVD Sep 23Transformers: Age of Extinction on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 30The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh SeasonThe Fed Up Back-to-School Challenge - No Sugar for 10 Days

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Rosie O'Donnell: "Who is Charles Krauthammer?"...
CBS Replacing Rihanna Song on Football Broadcast After ...
2 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season on DVD Sep 30...
Robin Thicke was "high on Vicodin and alcohol" while re...
TV review: 'The View' adds new faces, keeps old look...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM
(Criterion Blu-ray)



Studio: The Criterion Collection
Year: 1976
Cast:
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Release Date: October 04, 2011
Rating: Not Rated for wow, just about as bad as anything you can imagine. Worse, probably. Depending on your imagination, I guess.
Run Time: 01h:56m:20s
Genre(s): foreign

SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
   

Pasolini's notorious final film, one for whom the audience is likely self-selecting. Criterion's Blu-ray release has it looking as good as possible, and makes as persuasive a case for it being a masterpiece as one can.

Movie Grade: B

DVD Grade: B

Conventional categories of film criticism kind of break down in the face of a movie like this one—I've always been a little uneasy about giving out letter grades to movies and DVDs here at dOc, making it feel like each film is a paper submitted to a middle school teacher, and truly I've never felt stupider giving out grades to a movie than I have to this one. But that's pretty far down the list in responses to Salò, Pier Paolo Pasolini's final film, a relentlessly bleak look at the human condition. On some level, you've got to admire Pasolini's sustained vision in undertaking and executing the picture—but that doesn't mean that it's good, or that you'll want to watch it.

"Notorious" is a word that comes up frequently with this movie—some of that has to do with its very brief previous Criterion incarnation, which was in print for a modest period of time, and soon became the Holy Grail of Criterion completists, fetching prices on eBay that made the first pressing of The 400 Blows seem like so many worn out copies of The Matrix. But that sense of notoriety has been part of Salò since its inception. Pasolini has taken the novel of the same name by Marquis de Sade (for him, see also under "notorious"), and moved the story to Fascist Italy. It's a brutal tale of human degradation, which frankly I don't much care to rehash here—you can't help but think that what so much of Sade's work is about is provocation, and that's certainly on Pasolini's mind. The Marquis wasn't much for character and story, though—not to get too meta, but those really are what's at the heart of movies and why we love them. And it's hard to imagine a movie more difficult to love than this one.

Pasolini's hardcore leftist politics drove this project, to some extent, no doubt; it's a critique not just of what was then the relatively recent past, but also of contemporary Italian society, and we're encouraged to read the film metaphorically. (There may be no other way to read it, actually.) It also has the fire of an angry aging man, and you can't help but wonder if Pasolini didn't want to raise his middle finger to those who talked passionately about the lyricism, the poetic quality, the spirituality of much of his earlier work. You can almost hear him thinking: "So you loved the profound sense of faith in a movie like The Gospel According to St. Matthew? Well, here's a movie with people eating their own excrement. And feeding it to others. How you like me now?"

I will admit to making sure that the kids were asleep before popping this one into the Blu-ray player, that the neighbors weren't prowling, and to hiding the disc and its case from the wife as if it were porn. (It is sort of porn, though not as soulless.) That said, the Blu-ray release is kind of stunning—it's maybe the only movie to eclipse Raging Bull for providing us with exquisite pictures of horrifying things, and the palette and the level of detail in this new transfer are remarkable.

Criterion has tricked out the disc with all sorts of extras, making it the best possible brief for the movie's status as a masterpiece. (It also makes you start to question that as a category, and the general silliness of categories in general.) Fade to Black features prominent fans of the film (like Catherine Breillat and Bernardo Bertolucci) extolling its virtues; you can draw some direct lines from Pasolini's work to theirs. Sal&o;: Yesterday and Today goes over some of the circumstances of production and its reception; there's more of the former in The End of Salò, which includes lots of footage from the set. An accompanying booklet brims with essays about the movie; in truth, it's hard to think of a work of art I'd want to spend time thinking about less than this one. I don't think that makes me cowardly; weak stomached and all, I watched it, though I can't in good conscience necessarily recommend that you do the same, and it's sure not a title for which you're going to want to round up Grandma and the kids.

Posted by: Jon Danziger - December 22, 2011, 2:40 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: criterion, pasolini, de sade




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, abc, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell, charles krauthammer, whoopi goldberg, nicolle wallace, music, rihanna, thursday night football, run this town, jay z, kanye west, canceled, cbs, don cheadle, sean mcmanus, comedy, rosie perez, kristen chenoweth, robin thick, vicodin, alcohol, blurred lines, paula patton, paula, horror, movies, box office, drama, foreign, movie, dolphin tale 2, harry connick jr., winter, nathan gamble, cozi zuehlsdorff, kris kristofferson, ashley judd, morgan freeman, saturday night live, weekend update, michael che, cecily strong, colin jost, sasheer zamata, action, u2, songs of innocence, worldwide giveaway, itunes store, bono, joey ramone, raised by wolves, documentary, series, sons of anarchy, charlie hunnam, danny trejo, theo rossi, katey sagal, nicki minaj, new york fashion, alexander wang, anaconda, i saw the light, hank williams, tom hiddleston, shelton hank williams iii, move it on over, wheatland music festival, adventure, marvel, guardians of the galaxy, sci-fi, fantasy, superheros, celebrity, joan rivers, the tonight show, johnny carson, atlantic city, edgar rosenberg, 2010 documentary, joan rivers: piece of work, hack attack, rupert murdoch, news of the world, good night and good luck, sony pictures entertainment, reality, dancing with the stars, janel parrish, jonathan bennett, sadie robertson, lea thompson, lolo jones

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact