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DVD Playhouse--November 2012

By Allen Gardner

Pier Paolo Pasolini’S Trilogy Of Life (Criterion) Pier Paolo Pasolini was Italy’s last Neo-Realist, a product of post-ww II Europe who was fervently Catholic, openly gay, defiantly Marxist, and one of the most original voices of the 20th century’s second half. Before his brutal murder in 1975 (after the premiere of his still-controversial swan song, “Salo”), Pasolini directed a trilogy of films based on masterpieces of medieval literature: Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” and “The Thousand and One Nights (also known as “The Arabian Nights”). The three films celebrate the uninhibited, earthy, raw carnal nature of the original texts, leaving little to the imagination, but also offering Pasolini’s own very unique and pointed views on modern society, consumerism, religious and sexual mores (and hypocrisies), and an unexpurgated celebration of the human body, both male and female. Extraordinary production design by Dante Ferretti and another evocative,
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