In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of Mid-West Asia, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as ... See full summary »
A strange visitor in a wealthy family. He seduces the maid, the son, the mother, the daughter and finally the father before leaving a few days after. After he's gone, none of them can ... See full summary »
To win the kingdom his uncle took from his father, Jason must steal the golden fleece from the land of barbarians, where Medea is royalty and a powerful sorceress, where human sacrifice ... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »
An old man and his son are walking along the road when they suddenly meet a speaking crow, which represents Marxist beliefs. They are soon moved back 750 years in time, changed into monks ... See full summary »
Two dramatic stories. In an undetermined past, a young cannibal (who killed his own father) is condemned to be torn to pieces by some wild beasts. In the second story, Julian, the young son... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
After many years working in the streets of Roma, the middle-age whore Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) saves money to buy an upper class apartment, a fruit stand and retires from the prostitution.... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
The caliph of Baghdad must go into hiding with a group of traveling performers when his brother usurps the throne. Both brothers desire a beautiful dancing girl, who is torn between power and true love.
In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of Mid-West Asia, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as her master. After his foolish error causes their separation, he travels in search of her. Various other travelers who recount their own tragic and romantic experiences include stories of a young man who becomes enraptured by a mysterious woman on his wedding day, and a man who is determined to free a woman from a demon. Written by
'Il Fiore delle mille e una notte', or 'Arabian Nights', is Pier Paolo Pasolini's final film from his "trilogy of life" and his second to last film in general. His last of course is 'Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom', the controversial first film from his "trilogy of death".
With 'Arabian Nights' Pasolini combines a couple of stories from the book 'A Thousand and One Nights' into one story, although the film itself still feels very episodic. All parts of the story deal with love, or actually I should say lust, ending in sex. Especially the penis gets enough screen time here, it might as well be the leading character. The sex scenes themselves are, in my opinion, not very sensual or erotic (although they admittedly are when you compare them to such scenes in any other Pasolini film) which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes exactly that when more than half the movie exists out of them.
On the other hand the film is pretty entertaining, mostly for its oddness. That again, is something we see in almost any other Pasolini film. His distant approach adds to that feeling, especially when he shows violent images. One might not expect them in a film that arguably celebrates love and sex. Another factor for the oddness is the terrible acting, especially from the men. Maybe good acting is impossible for them here since Pasolini presents them as a bunch of whiners who would do anything for love. Of course, once again, with love I mean sex. The Italian language in the Eastern setting is another thing that feels pretty weird as well. All these elements add to the oddness which makes the film more entertaining than it probably should have been.
I have to conclude with saying that I sort of admire Pasolini. I think only his 'Il vangelo secundo Matteo' can be considered as a truly great film, mostly since his approach is the distant one. I think that is a good thing when it comes to a religious film like that. that approach in his other films is not always the right one, but it is one aspect of why his films are different, often daring. Even when not much is happening, or when we have no clue what is happening, or when we normally would not care that much, Pasolini keeps it kind of interesting.
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