Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
August 20
October 26, 1949
Pasolini Expelled from Communist party

At the beginning of January 1947, the Italian soon-to-be-director Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote in the newspaper Libertà: "In our opinion, we think that currently only Communism is able to provide a new culture." He soon threw himself headfirst into the communist cause in Italy. He was named secretary of the communist section of San Giovanni, in the area of Northern Italy in which he was living. He was also hired as a school teacher. But just two years later, he was charged with “corruption of minors and obscene acts in a public place.” In addition to losing his teaching post, the Italian Communist party expelled him for “moral and political indignity.” He described his state: “my future is not even black; it does not exist.”  But, in some ways, these events pushed him to making films. Completely rejected, Pasolini moved to Rome, to the wretched neighborhood of the Borgate, where he begin to create an aesthetic of the outcast that would inform his future films. While he maintained a Marxist perspective, his own position would always be iconoclastic, a perspective that he used in creating the world of his first films, Accattone and Mamma Roma.


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August 20, 1958
David O. Russell born

With the setbacks he’s had in recent years – namely his latest movie, Nailed, being in limbo due to financial issues, and the bad publicity he got following the leaking of videos showing his violent on-set spats with Lily Tomlin – it’s easy to forget that David O. Russell, born August 20, 1958, remains one of the foremost directors of American comedy.

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20 August 1942
Talk of the Nation

As newspapers were filled with patriotic headlines about the war abroad, Americans showed up in large numbers for the latest Cary Grant comedy Talk of The Town.

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