Killing of Italian Director Pier Paolo

ROME – The still-mysterious 1975 murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian filmmaker, poet, and novelist known for “The Gospel According to Matthew” and “Salò – or the 120 Days of Sodom,” among other works, will get yet another cinematic treatment in Italian director David Grieco’s “La Macchinazione,” which started shooting today in Rome.

Grieco’s pic on the leadup to Pasolini’s killing comes shortly after Abel Ferrara shot his “Pasolini” pic in Rome, with Willem Dafoe in the title role. That film is now reportedly in post.

Grieco, who worked with Pasolini as a thesp in his “Theorema” before becoming a journalist and, more recently, a helmer, is claiming he will shed new light on the final months in Pasolini’s life. The visionary Italian cultural figure, considered a towering figure of contemporary European cinema, was murdered on on All Soul’s Day Nov. 2, 1975, when he was run over by his own car on the beach of Ostia, near Rome. Giuseppe Pelosi, a 17-year-old delinquent, confessed to his murder but retracted in 2005.

Italian actor and singer Massimo Ranieri (“Metello,” “L’ultimo Pulcinella”) who bears a striking resemblance to Pasolini, has been cast as the lead. Pic is being co-produced by Rome-based shingle Propaganda Italia, an ad agency offshoot headed by Marina Marzotto with France’s To Be Continued Productions, in association with the Lazio Film Commission. Angelo Badalamenti (“Twin Peaks”) is on board to compose the score.

Pic is Grieco’s second feature, after 2004 Malcom McDowell starrer “Evilenko,” which won several prizes.

Ferrara’s Pasolini pic, which is not a procedural and is believed be more broadly focused, is co-produced by Paris-based Capricci with Italy’s Urania Pics and Belgium’s Tarantula.

The same topic was tackled in 1995 by Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana in his well-received “Pasolini: An Italian Crime.”

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