Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
November 22
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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Mark Ruffalo November 22, 1967
Mark Ruffalo born

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November 22, 2002
Far From Heaven opens

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November 22, 1963
The Film Seen Round the World

On November 22, 1963, an accidental filmmaker made what became the most obsessed over film of the twentieth century. Standing on a concrete overpass in Dallas, women’s clothing manufacturer Abraham Zapruder raised his Bell and Howell 8mm camera and tracked the motorcade that carried president John F. Kennedy through Dealy Plaza. Zapruder’s 27 seconds of footage shot from a clear, elevated vantage point are the only complete recording of Kennedy’s assassination and a focal point for government investigators and conspiracy theorists alike. The film also became the object of one of the stranger ownership tussles in modern cinema. Zapruder gave copies of his film to the Secret Service and, three days after the shooting, sold the negative and all rights to Life Magazine. Zapruder’s heirs later disputed the sale, and the film was eventually returned to them by Life owner Time Inc. for $1 dollar. In 1992, however, the U.S. declared the film an “assassination record” and the property of the government. A lengthy dispute ensued over the amount Zapruder’s heirs should be paid. The government proposed paying the family $3 to $5 million; the Zapruders argued that the film should be valued similarly to recent sales of a Van Gogh painting and an Andy Warhol silk screen of Marilyn Monroe. Finally, arbitrators worked out a value of $16 million. Shortly thereafter, Zapruder’s heirs donated one of the original copies of the film and its copyright to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which now oversees all rights requests.

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