Porcile (Pigsty). 1969. Italy. Written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. With Pierre Clémenti, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Ugo Tognazzi, Anne Wiazemsky. 35mm. In Italian; English subtitles. Courtesy Luce Cinecittà. 98 min.
Clémenti embodies a jarring portrait of human barbarism in Porcile, as a medieval outlaw wandering across volcanic wastelands in near-silence and surviving on human flesh. In the heady tail end of the 1960s, the actor was increasingly drawn to non-speaking roles—notably in this unforgettable Pier Paolo Pasolini fever dream, and in his two collaborations with Philippe Garrel—for their ecstatic and primal dimensions. Clémenti the cannibal meets a cruel end at the hands of the social and moral order, a tale of banishment that echoes with his real-life imprisonment in Italy in 1971. Clémenti reflected on his arrest, which was largely seen as retribution for his leftist political stances and committed nonconformism, at the end of his life: “You can’t expect to take part in a movement of radical ideas, a people’s movement, riding on media attention to bring people to a political present, without being ready to pay the price.”