On November 2 1975, 53 -year old Pier Paolo Pasolini, the outspoken writer, filmmaker and Marxist was found dead on a beach on the outskirts of Rome. A new film at the IFI stars Willem Dafoe as Pasolini on the last day of his life.

On discovery of his remains, it was evident that the controversial film director had been badly beaten and run over by his own car. His murder gave rise to a series of theories and conspiracies that continue to this day, with the case still open despite a conviction.

In the new film, Pasolini, director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, Welcome to New York) charts the last day in the legendary Italian’s extraordinary life. He layers real events with imaginary scenes from an unmade Pasolini film, to create a cool and engaging portrayal of a fearless intellectual who was irresistibly drawn to the wild side of the Roman street scene.

In their fourth film collaboration, Ferrara cast Willem Dafoe (Shadow of the Vampire, Spider-Man, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Antichrist), as Pier Paolo. Bearing an uncanny likeness, Dafoe was given some of Pasolini’s own clothes, his glasses and personal objects to enable him to authentically inhabit the role.

"We both have a great love for Pasolini and we were both living in Italy, and Abel proposed that we do this film together," Dafoe told Black Book, recalling the genesis of the film. "So then it was just a matter of how to approach the material and what aspect of him, because God knows he’s a fascinating character and a complex character "

Pasolini is set to be released at the IFI, Dublin and at selected cinemas on September 11, 2015.