The Museum of Modern Art in New York is holding its first full retrospective of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini in more than twenty years. Starting tonight and running through January 5, the series will include not only the Italian provocateur’s brilliant and blistering features—all in newly struck prints, some taken from recent restorations by the Cineteca di Bologna—but also such rarer shorts as The Earth as Seen from the Moon (1966), What Are the Clouds? (1967), and The Paper Flower Sequence (1968). As for Pasolini’s films available in the Criterion Collection, Mamma Roma plays December 20 and 28; Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom on December 27 and January 2; The Decameron on December 22 and January 4; The Canterbury Tales on December 23 and January 4; and Arabian Nights on December 23 and January 5.
Though his films are remembered for their confrontational and political content, Pasolini had a sense of humor. Check out this whimsical clip from the “Cook’s Tale” segment of The Canterbury Tales, in which Pasolini’s regular actor Ninetto Davoli engages in a little Chaplinesque slapstick.