Salo (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma)
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Salo (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma)
The final work of notorious Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, this film updates the Marquis de Sade's most extreme novel to fascist Italy in the final days of WW II. Dispensing with the novel's meditations on sexual liberation and the search for truth, Pasolini presents four decadents who kidnap dozens of young men and women and subject them to the most hideous forms of torture and perversion in an isolated villa. Rape, murder, and a coprophagic banquet are only the beginning of the atrocities on display. Photographed by Tonino Delli Colli, the film also features a lavish score by… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's very hard to sit through and offers no insights whatsoever into power, politics, history or sexuality. Nasty stuff."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It... speaks to the authoritarian abuses of twentieth-century history - but it has also, thanks to the chilling (and unflinching) way in which it presents grotesque atrocity, proven as difficult as feces for censors to swallow whole, if at all."
‑ Anton Bitel, Scene 360
"By reputation alone, owning Salò should be enough to impress your cinephilic friends; watching it with them will be whole lot harder."
‑ Simon Foster,
"Fastidiously attuned to the denial of the comforting release of either eroticism or expulsion, Pasolini's boudoirs of perversion lack De Sade's scarlet hedonism. Quite the opposite, his boners reveal only the presence of spiritual rigor mortis."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"There are absolutely fascinating ways of reading and understanding this Pasolini epic. But would I ever want to watch it again? Probably not."
‑ Dan Fienberg,
"Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"I can't think of a reason in the world that anyone should subject him or herself to this."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Dramatically feral and artistically fertile, "Salo" is a rigorous movie that dares to use the metaphor of torture as a device of utter physical and psychological annihilation for both the victim and the torturer."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"There's a sense of pure evil clinging to the film like nothing I've ever experienced. I do not believe this is unintentional, nor do I believe it is pointless."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Shocking film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A perfect example of the kind of material that, theoretically, anyway, can be acceptable on paper but becomes so repugnant when visualized on the screen that it further dehumanizes the human spirit, which is supposed to be the artist's concern."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Pasolini illustrates his belief that society forces people to conform by making his victims turn on each other, then making the audience complicit. Just by watching, we are voyeurs, and Pasolini calls us out in the movie's final moments."
‑ Eric Melin,
"Intended to be read as a caustic commentary on the evils of Fascism, Salo is marred by the uneasy perception that Pasolini (rather like purveyors of modern Torture Porn) is simply getting off on the abuse he visualizes with such delight."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
"The result, despite moments of undeniably brilliant insight, is nearly unwatchable, extremely disturbing, and often literally nauseous."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"In all honesty it's a terrible, terrible experience -- but give the guy credit: It's certainly unique."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for Salo (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) on Rotten Tomatoes

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