In more hopeful news, a film by my second favorite Italian Marxist, Piere Paolo Pasolini, is now out on a big shiny 2 disc set. Pasolini is not for the faint of heart or stomach. He shows brutality for what it is.
What you see on screen in "Salò" is certainly bad enough, as the four aristocrats, unable to find any genuine pleasure in their depravity, urge each other to commit ever-worse atrocities upon a group of abducted children. But aficionados of films like "Hostel" and the far edges of Japanese horror have definitely seen worse. Pasolini always maintained that he abhorred the film's scenes of violence, but that they were necessary as the logical fulfillment of the social system he was excoriating -- that is, both the system of the literal fascist era and that of the homogenized, consumerist state he saw emerging in mid-'70s Italy, which for him were two sides of the same coin. It might be more accurate to say that Pasolini saw fascism and consumerism as two aspects of the powerful and evil urge to dominate inherent in human nature; as Marxist atheist homosexuals go, he was always an ardent Roman Catholic.
Unlike our current Hollywood schmucks, Pasolini had no problem sticking a mirror to the upper classes and showing us what they look like. I kinda wish I could do the same to our entire government and every bankster in the country right now.