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1961, Compass, 120 min, Italy, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

For his debut feature as a writer-director, Pier Paolo Pasolini looked to the world of petty criminals that had served as the setting for his earlier novels. “Accattone” is Italian slang for “beggar,” and this grim and gritty drama focuses on a pimp who falls on hard times when his sole source of income – a prostitute – is arrested. Franco Citti makes an impressive debut in the title role; the actor would appear in several other Pasolini films (ACCATTONE also gave director Bernardo Bertolucci his start, as a production assistant). In Italian with English subtitles.

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