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Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom on dual format in May

10 May 2011

One of the most controversial and disturbing films in the history of cinema, Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1975 Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) has been banned, censored and reviled the world over since its first release in 1975. It did not receive UK certification until late 2000, when it was passed uncut.

The film's content and imagery is extreme and it retains the power to shock, repel and distress. A brutal allegory based on the novel 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade, the film is a cinematic milestone – culturally significant, politically vital and visually stunning.

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom was the BFI's first Blu-ray release, and with that and its DVD equivalent now deleted, the BFI have announced that the film will be re-released as a dual format package consisting of a Blu-ray and two DVDs, which will contain the film itself in both high definition and standard definition, plus all of special features from the previous releases, namely:

  • Original Italian language version (with optional English subtitles);
  • Original English language version (with optional HoH subtitles);
  • Original Italian trailer (with optional English subtitles);
  • Coil - Ostia (the Death of Pasolini) The original 1987 track from Coil's celebrated second album, Horse Rotorvator, with a newly created video accompaniment, shot especially for this release, by Peter Christopherson;
  • On set footage and interviews (1974, 25m) – newly created documentary using full colour footage shot in 1974 by acclaimed film journalist and Pasolini expert Gideon Bachmann;
  • Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981, 58m) Philo Bregstein's classic documentary on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini;
  • Fade to Black (2001, 25m) – documentary with Mark Kermode exploring the ongoing relevance and power of Pasolini's controversial masterpiece, with Bernardo Bertolucci and other leading directors;
  • Ostia (1991, 25m, with optional director commentary track) – Julian Cole's short film about the last days of Pasolini, starring Derek Jarman.

Also included will be a fully illustrated booklet containing the following:

  • Newly commissioned essay by Sam Rohdie (Italian film scholar and author on Pasolini);
  • Sight & Sound article by Gideon Bachmann incorporating his on-set diary;
  • 1979 review of the film by Gilbert Adair;
  • James Ferman letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions;
  • Cast and credits for the film;
  • Pasolini biography by Italian film specialist Geoffrey Nowell-Smith;
  • Photographs of Pasolini at work on set.

The dual format edition of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom will be released by the BFI on 23rd May 2011 at the RRP of £22.99, which is £2 cheaper than the RRP of the earlier Blu-ray release.

The launch of Salò represents the first of several titles that will be deleted in their stand-alone formats and re-issued over the coming months. Other titles include the first nine of the BFI Flipside series as well as The Bill Douglas Trilogy, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.