Da: Pier Paolo Pasolini: Contemporary Perspectives, a cura di Patrick Allen Rumble e Bart Testa, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1994.

In this essay, Paolo Fabbri addresses Pasolini’s often unorthodox ideas concerning the semiotics of film. During the late sixties and early seventies, debates in film semiotics focused on the possibility of drawing analogies between literary and cinematic narrative models, and on the appropriateness of applying analytical paradigms derived from linguistics to the study of film. Fabbri takes as his starting point the argument between Pasolini, Umberto Eco, and Christian Metz concerning whether or not there was a ‘double articulation’ in film language, basing themselves largely on André Martinet’s Saussurean analysis of the double articulation in spoken-written language.
From this discussion Fabbri examines Pasolini’s formulations concerning free indirect discourse (otherwise known as oratio obliqua or reported speech), and its importance for an understanding of Pasolini’s approach to montage. Fabbri asserts that for Pasolini what motivated the montage or editing of his films was not narrative clarity, as in the classical style of Hollywood filmmaking, and its continuity system of narrative time or space. Rather, Pasolini was moved by a desire for a ‘poetic’ editing style designed to provoke an ambivalent reaction in the spectator…

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