PIER PAOLO PASOLINI, Italian writer and film director was born (d. 1975); An Italian poet, intellectual, film director and writer, Pasolini distinguished himself as a philosopher,linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure. He had a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, in the process became a highly controversial figure.

While openly gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies. The subject is featured prominently in Teorama (1968), where Terence Stamp’s mysterious god-like visitor seduces the son of an upper-middle-class family; passingly in Arabian Nights (1974), in an idyll between a king and a commoner that ends in death; and, most darkly of all, in Salo (1975), his infamous rendition of the Marquis de Sade’s compendium of sexual horrors, The 120 Days of Sodom. Pasolini was open about his sexuality, his Communism, his compassion for the poor, the delinquent, and the young.

He once wrote a poem for the dying Pope Pius XII that read, in part:

How much good you could have done!

And you

Didn’t do it.:

There was no greater sinner than you

This intelligent and humane man was murdered one night, while cruising, but many believe his murder was a set-up to mask a political assassination.