Friday, November 28, 2008

Luminous Being (II)

Caravaggio, Boy with a Basket of Fruit
Pasolini, Mamma Roma

Ettore Garofolo, who plays Ettore in the film, was a waiter who Pasolini saw in a restaurant one night. He wrote the part with this boy in mind and later presented the script to him, asking him if he wanted to star in the film. What struck Pasolini when he first laid eyes on Garofolo was his resemblance to the youth in Caravaggio's painting, which Pasolini recreates in one of the loveliest scenes in the film. Garofolo, in his physical awkwardness and uncertainty in front of the camera, is perfection as Ettore. The film is itself a permanent record of a moment in Garofolo's life that passed as it was being filmed. The film captures this moment and preserves it for all time. This is Pasolini's gift to Garofolo, and it is one we share with him.

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