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Pier Paolo PasoliniPerforming Authorship$
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Gian Maria Annovi

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231180306

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231180306.001.0001

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(p.147) 6 Voice
Pier Paolo Pasolini

Gian Maria Annovi

Columbia University Press

Chapter six discusses the effects produced by Pasolini’s vocal performance in his films. Pasolini’s voice changes according to the function attributed to his authorial presence. It is his real voice when he presents himself as the author, as in film experiments such as Appunti per un’Orestiade Africana (Notes Toward an African Orestes, 1970) and Comizi d’amore (Love Meetings, 1963). However, when he plays a character in a fictional narrative, as in the case of The Trilogy of Life, his voice is dubbed. In this chapter I examine the difference between these two kinds of voice, showing that also dubbing and voiceover are elements of the performance of Pasolini’s authorship. I focus particularly on dubbing in Edipo re (Oedipus Rex, 1967), where Pasolini played the apparently marginal role of the High Priest. Pasolini’s use of his actual voice, as in the case of the voiceover in La sequenza del fiore di carta (The Sequence of the Paper Flower, 1969) and La Ricotta shows the author’s epistemic authority and control over the interpretation of his work. He particularly emphasizes the importance of his vocal performance in Love Meetings, a cinéma vérité experiment in which he interviews Italian people of all kind on issues concerning sexuality. However, when the questions turn to homosexuality, Pasolini silences his own voice (and authority), in order to reveal the homophobic violence of 1960s Italian society, unfiltered. Pasolini’s silence thus produces a subtle and subversive homopolitical intervention, which anticipates the more militant and strategic use of homosexual desire in The Trilogy of Life.

Keywords:   Voice, Voiceover, Silence, Cinéma Vérité, Africa, Homophobia

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