From a recently-unearthed interview with Pier Paolo Pasolini, conducted three days before he was murdered:
Have you bid farewell to the realism of your first features for good?
I don't agree with this. After 15 years in Italy, they finally showed Accattone on TV. We realized it is not a realist film at all. It's a dream, it's an oneiric movie.
Didn't they consider it a realistic film in Italy?
Yes, but it was a misunderstanding. When I made it, I knew I was doing a very lyrical film, not oneiric as it now seems, but deeply lyrical. I used that soundtrack and shot it in a certain way for a reason. Then what happened was that the realistic world I drew inspiration from for Accattone disappeared; it is no longer there, so the film is a dream of that world.
Mamma Roma is realist…
Mamma Roma is more realistic than Accattone, maybe. I should watch it again. It is less accomplished, less beautiful and that's because it is less dream-like.