Tuesday, Apr. 05, 2011

Pier Paolo Pasolini

The Italian filmmaker (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom), writer, literary critic and painter was frequently hounded, harassed and ostracized because of his open sexuality. At age 27 he was found guilty of performing "lewd acts" with a 16-year-old boy and subsequently kicked out of Italy's Communist Party. After Pasolini released his first novel, Ragazzi di Vita, he was indicted in 1955 for publishing obscene material and the book was banned from stores. Of course, when the ban was lifted six months later, Ragazzi's sales skyrocketed. As TIME explained, even Pasolini's private life was tragic; he was killed in 1975 "after being bludgeoned with a fence post and run over by his own Alfa Romeo."