Sometimes you see a movie that is so coldly violent and emotionally brutal that you find yourself asking why, exactly, you're drawn to it. Then you realize that for all of its lack of redeeming moral value... it had an amazing production designer. Salò is one such movie that we've seen here at STUDY a handful of times, or to be more accurate, we've watched in it's entirety once and have come back to on multiple occasions just so we could fast-forward to the expertly framed interior shots of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
While not exactly a horror movie, Salò comes in high on our list of film with horrifying/beautiful interiors since it is a loose retelling the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom set in the waning days of facist Italy...
Charming, we know.
Salò was shot almost in it's entirety in three villas in and around Mantua. Despite the villas' various states of decay, there is a polish to each room that is achieved mainly through the use of grandiose Art Deco light fixtures, oversized mirrors and furniture added by the production crew.
With production design by Dante Ferretti - who would later go on to give us other dark visual treats like Interview with the Vampire and Titus - Salò takes a historied location and ups the ante by staging it with floor to ceiling Fernand Léger-esque murals, and art nouveau and bauhaus paintings.
As a word of caution Salò is, quite simply grueling to watch, but stunning none the less.
We hope you enjoy?
Yes. Please do.