I am a force of the Past.
My love lies only in tradition.
I come from the ruins, the churches
the altarpieces, the villages
abandoned in the Apennines or foothills
of the Alps where my brothers once lived.
I wander like a madman down the Tuscolana,
down the Appia like a dog without a master.
Or I see the twilights, the mornings
over Rome, the Ciociaria, the world,
as the first acts of Post-History
to which I bear witness, by arbitrary
birthright, from the outer edge
of some buried age. Monstrous is the man
born of a dead woman’s womb.
And I, a fetus now grown, roam about
more modern than any modern
in search of brothers no longer alive.
‘Force of the Past’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini1
“Ettore Garofolo of Mamma Roma – I saw him once in a bar where he was working as a waiter. I wrote my whole script around him without speaking to him further. Because I preferred not to know him. I took him and began to shoot after having seen him for just that one minute. I don’t like to make an organized and calculated effort to know someone. If you can intuit a person, you know him already. Generally I have very precisely in mind what I’m going to do. Because I’ve written the script myself, I’ve already organized the scene in a given way. I see the scene not only as a director but also with the different eyes of the scriptwriter. In addition, I choose the settings. I go to these places and make an adjustment of what I’ve written in my script to fit the place where we are going to shoot. And so when I go to shoot, I more or less know already how the scene is going to go.”
Pier Paolo Pasolini2
- 1. Part of his Worldly Poems [Poesie mondane], written during the making of Mamma Roma
- 2. Pier Paolo Pasolini in “1965 Pier Paolo Pasolini Interview,” by James Blue, published by Film Comment. Find our Dutch translation in the article section.