Salo is a small city in western coast of Finland. It has population approx. 25.000.

Also known as hub of the wireless world... Salo is the proud host of both Nokia and Benefon both very innovative cellular phone manufacturers. Around this duo has gathered a varied collection high-tech companies.

The heart of the city is the busy and active marketplace, right next to the river that divides the whole city.

Salo is also the final film by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini. It loosely adapts the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom. Set in World War II Italy, Salo is the story of a group of Fascists who kidnap and torture adolescent boys and girls. Perhaps the most disturbing and disgusting film ever made, Salo is also a brilliant, blistering critique of Fascism and idealism that posits that moral redemption may be nothing but a myth.

Criterion made an excellent DVD transfer, but it is out of print, and seems to be extremely popular for this reason, as bids on ebay are usually around $200. This is of course completely obscene, but, as with all Criterion Collection DVDs, it is an excellent film, with good extras. It is easily the sickest movie I've ever seen.

The movie Salo is an adaption of the infamous novel The 120 Days of Sodom by the even more infamous Marquis de Sade, transferred from pre-Revolutionary France to Facsist Italy. It is a mostly faithful, though condensed adaptation of what is perhaps the canonical Book which could never be made into a movie.

There are two interpretations of the movie, which really hinge on the two common interpretations of the works of the Marquis de Sade himself: either as an unstinting indictment of the morally corrosive effects of absolute power on the wielders of power, or simply as an irredeemable catalogue of artistically unjustifiable evil. I lean to the former, but you could make a pretty strong argument for the latter one.

When I saw Salo, it was with a group of some of the most jaded, unshockable self-proclaimed degenerates you could ever hope to find. People who watched all of the Faces of Death videos in a row, just to prove they could stick it out. They affected a complete lack of shock at everything in the movie - somebody even brought out chocolate brownies during the Circle of Shit. That, to my mind, is the thing which really frightens me about Salo, and a vindication of the point it tries to make - that basically decent people (as represented by the soldiers in the film, I think) are capable of accepting even the most abject evil imaginable, if only they grow used to it.

As a side note, the reason Salo was Pasolini's last movie was that not long after he finished production, he was stabbed and beaten to death by a male prostitute. Life imitates art. Or something.

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