Callas and Pasolini in Naples.
The poet, writer, and director Pier Paolo Pasolini
was born ninety years ago today. He was murdered in a gruesome manner and for still-unexplained reasons in 1975.
Pasolini directed Maria Callas in her only film, Medea (1969), which was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray. He also dedicated poems to her and even made paintings or collages of her.
(Incidentally, the Maria Callas International Archive is looking for the French-language version of Medea, which Callas may have made for the film’s gala première at the Paris Opéra. Can anyone help?)
Here and in the blog archives you will find many posts about Pasolini, including one showing Callas in blue jeans.
Dacia Maraini, a marvelous writer herself, travelled with Callas and Pasolini to Africa. She believes that Callas fell in love with Pasolini and was convinced that she could “cure” him of his homosexuality. It’s hard to tell whether this is yet another way of portraying Callas as “doomed,” forever unhappy in love, or whether Callas in a first moment may have had feelings for Pasolini but then moved on and accepted him as he was. (Forty years ago is a geological era in terms of understanding of queers and queer culture.)
There are many tributes to Pasolini, some worthy and most not, in the Italian press.