University of Rochester

EVENT: Lecture on the controversial film SalÚ, or the 120 Days of Sodom

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Gowen Room of Wilson Commons on the University of Rochester's River Campus

ADMISSION: Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available on University lots after 7 p.m. weeknights. Note: The film is being shown in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House on Saturday, Jan. 18.

December 24, 2002

A controversial film that will be screened at the George Eastman House in January will be the subject of a later lecture at the University of Rochester. Noted scholar Naomi Greene will discuss "SalÚ in the 21st Century" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the Gowen Room of Wilson Commons on the River Campus. Her talk is free and open to the public.

SalÚ, or the 120 Days of Sodom is a 1975 film by Italian writer/director Pier Paolo Pasolini based on an infamous novel by the Marquis de Sade. Jeered, reviled, and often outright banned-it currently cannot be shown in Australia and was only cleared for commercial screening in Great Britain in 2000-SalÚ has inspired heated debate among scholars and filmmakers for more than 25 years.

The film takes place in World War II Fascist Italy, and its graphic images of acts of degradation and sexual torture and murder have placed it among the most sadistic of cinematic pornography. However, Greene, the author of Pier Paolo Pasolini: Cinema as Heresy, argues for the film's value both as a political parable and as a political act.

SalÚ is "the perfect example of the totally 'extremist' art espoused by Pasolini . . . (revealing) the repressive and dehumanizing nature of modern hedonism and consumerism," Greene says. Her lecture will follow up on the ideas developed in her book to consider the film's continuing relevance in 21st century America.

The film itself is being shown in the Dryden Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

Greene is professor emerita of film studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her other books include Landscapes of Loss: The National Past in Postwar French Cinema, Antonin Artaud: Poet Without Words, and Rene Clair: A Guide to References and Resources.

Green's lecture is sponsored by the University's programs in Film and Media Studies and in Visual and Cultural Studies, and is co-sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies.

For more information, contact Dan Humphrey at This event can be signed for the hearing impaired by contacting Maureen Gaelens one week in advance at (585) 275-7451 or