Hungry gazes, digesting closeups: Pasolini, Porcile and the politics of consumption

Albert Elduque
2017 Screen  
In the late sixties and early seventies, European political cinema showed great interest in the topic of consumption, either in films about the bourgeoisie or in stories on anthropophagy. In movies by Marco Ferreri, Liliana Cavani and Jean-Luc Godard, ingestion was used both as a metaphor for consumer society and as a concept to help the spectator rethink his relation with the film. Pier Paolo Pasolini was a central figure in this context, and his film Porcile/Pigsty (1969) played a key role in
more » ... layed a key role in it, as it proposed numerous links between consumption and consumerism, both in the relationships between the characters and between the two stories that shape the film. In this article, I intend to analyse the film from the point of view of its visual consumption, focusing on the editing links between images and the spectator's visual consumption. Using Pasolini's texts (both the theoretical ones and opinion articles), as well as some analysis on avant-garde art, particularly on works by Jacques-André Boiffard and Georges Grosz, we explore the concepts of hunger, consumption and digestion as aesthetical and analytical dispositifs to study images. The visual analysis results in three narrative and editing characteristics: the hungry gaze, the swallowing close-up and the plastica facciale. They appear as specific concepts of the film, but they can also be used to examine other movies, as well as to rethink film language in general.
doi:10.1093/screen/hjx014 fatcat:f6jghlebljh6japl7yuwtfzsgu