September is 'Sexual Evolution' month on World Movies, with the subscription channel exploring the landmark films throughout history, whose erotic content challenged social norms.
All of the films in this explicit season helped to inform what came after, by using graphic sexual content as a vehicle for exploring and demystifying culture. Some are unquestioned masterpieces of world cinema. Others were accused of sparking dangerous trends. Many were branded obscene and banned from our screens. Every one of them broke new ground for depicting intimacy on screen.
Tonight, it's Pier Paolo Pasolini's infamous artful nasty, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, which adapts the writings of the Marquis de Sade to Italy's mid-war Fascist period to make an absolutely unforgettable statement about Absolute Power. A quartet of well-connected dignitaries have 18 youths abducted to service their own perversions, and the orchestrated acts of degradation include rapes, tortures, and ultimately, murder, as the unrelenting authoritarian abuse plays out on screen.
Pasolini's final film was off-limits for Australian audiences for decades and when it was finally released into Australian cinemas in 1993, David Stratton gave it a zero on The Movie Show:
We reviewed it when it got a DVD release in 2010 (with an R 18+ classification, with the consumer advice ‘Scenes of torture and degradation, sexual violence and nudity’), and confess to watching much of its worst moments through our fingertips.
In an Australian first, World Movies is screening Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom Wednesday September 7 at 10.45pm. We hope it goes without saying that viewer discretion is advised...
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