I want my time back. Like seriously I want my time back. This film is supposed to be a controversial art film, but I don't know. Maybe I'm just not ready for films like this, or maybe it is just a matter of me being close to this subject matter. OK, not this exact subject matter, but I think that you know what I mean.
Anyway, it is a movie about 4 sick fascist libertines, in the North Italian region, and the ways they torture 18 teenagers, 9 boys and 9 girls. It is suffice to say that it is not a movie for those with a light stomach. For 120 days, the fascists torture them in about every dreadful way imaginable and finished with a Waltz and no punishment. Pasolini wanted it to be a social commentary. For me it is a sick flick that shouldn't have been made.
But, being made, and held to such a high regard by some directors and film critics, and being a part of my October Horror Movie Challenge (number 24), I have to pick a lesson from it. And what can I say, it is quite hard to pick one because there aren't many things to pick from this movie. But I picked one anyway.
When the film opens, we quite early get some glimpses of Northern Italy. We see some beautiful houses, some nice skyline and rivers, and we even see some nice small and big trees. The scenery is just beautiful. Way too beautiful. Even the house where the teens will spend their next 120 suffering for no reason whatsoever, even this house is beautiful from the outside, and has some merits in the inside.
This is made by purpose, because through this beauty of the outside world, and its contrast to what lies and happens within, we get a feeling of an evil world that doesn't care for those teens at all. Even the huge amount of statues, all of them religious statues, is there to advance this world. "The world is sick", Pasolini tells us, "and even though such horrible things are happening in this house, no one in the world cares, the world just continues with its usual affairs".
When we GM horror games, especially cosmic and other fifth level horror games, this contrast can add so much to our games. Because the power of this level comes from the realization that the world is an evil, uncaring and cold place, using this contrast can help us so much. The beauty is just a façade, terrible things lie beneath, and the world doesn't care, it continues to be beautiful, it continues to do nothing to prevent it.
Have you watched this move? What have you thought about it? And what lessons did you take from it?