Pasolini’s final film transposes the excesses of the Marquis de Sade to Fascist Italy, 1944, where four powerful, wealthy men kidnap nine young men and nine young women, and subject them to increasingly depraved and violent sexual torture and humiliation. One of the bleakest and most nihilistic views of human nature ever committed to film, in Salò, sex is used as a means of domination and control by those for whom “all will be permitted”. A film of extraordinary power, it is essential viewing, but be warned – it can be an extremely difficult watch. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
This film is screening as part of Sex, the first of our three-month season dedicated to excess, presenting examples of how cinema has taken on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.
See also our monthly film from the IFI Irish Film Archive, From the Vaults: I Can’t I Can’t, which screens on January 22nd.