Ancient Arabia. A youth is chosen by a beautiful slave girl to be her new master; she is kidnapped and they must search for each other. Stories are told within stories; love, travel and the whims of destiny.
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 »
After his quest to retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. However, when the king banishes her, it's only human that Medea plots her furious revenge. Can they escape her wrath?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
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
Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
4 short films by a quartet of directors. Rosselini's 'Chastity' ('Illibatezza') deals with an attractive air hostess who receives the unwelcome attentions of a middle aged American. ... See full summary »
An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio's "Decameron": **** Segment 1: A young man from Perugia is swindled twice in Naples, but ends up rich; **** Segment 2: A man poses as a deaf-mute in a convent of curious nuns; **** Segment 3: A woman must hide her lover when her husband comes home early; **** Segment 4: A scoundrel fools a priest on his deathbed; **** Segment 5: Three brothers take revenge on their sister's lover; **** Segment 6: A young girl sleeps on the roof to meet her boyfriend at night; **** Segment 7: A group of painters wait for inspiration; **** Segment 8: A crafty priest attempts to seduce his friend's wife; **** Segment 9: Two friends make a pact to find out what happens after death.Written by
Philip Brubaker <email@example.com>
When the mother superior seduces the deaf/mute boy, the boy is sleeping in a garden growing tomatoes. Tomatoes are a New World crop and would not be brought to Italy for nearly two centuries. See more »
Although the cinema version was intact the 1988 UK Warner video was cut by 22 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of naked genitals during the bedroom sex scene with the nun. The cuts were fully restored in the 2001 BFI DVD release. See more »
Film lovers know "Andrei Rublov," that Russian film about an icon painter. The beauty of the film comes in part because the filmmaker is on the same quest as his character, and that quest has as its core the discovery of beauty. The interesting thing about movies is that they create and sustain a fantasy world that lives beyond any one movie and into which we assume each movie is born. That world has its own type of beauty, one born of color and glamor and poise.
Paosolini does the same thing as Tarkovsky, but where Tarkovsky dealt with cosmic beauty and recognition, this artist has simpler goals: to engage with flesh, to flow with the simple streams of ignoble daily motion, and to discover beauty in that plain world.
Oh, what a terrific cinematic place to visit! This is a far from that collection of movie metaphors and beauty as we can go. There is no movie acting here. There is no external beauty. There is no recourse to familiar characters or representation. As usual, he draws his source material from matter that is not only before cinema, but before any popular writing.
And he works with that material outside any movie tricks. Well, he still has that Italian tendency to believe that the world is populated by characters and not situations or any sort of fateful flow. Just people who do things. Lots of little things, usually associated with pleasure.
So if you are building a world of cinematic imagination you need to have this as one of your corners. That's silly, every one of us is building a cinematic imagination we cannot avoid it. What I mean to say is that if you are building an imagination, some of which you understand and can use, some of which you actually want and can enjoy without being sucked into reflex...
If you want to just relate to people as people and test how easy it is to find grace in the strangest of faces, then this is your movie voyage for the night.
One rather shocking thing is how the nudity works. In "ordinary" film, we thing nothing of seeing two people humping and moaning, nude pelvises grinding is the most hungry of ways. But we gasp when some genital is shown. Here, the exact reverse is found: no shyness about the obvious existence of genitals, an erection even. A sleeping girl with her hand in her lover's crotch. DIsplayed as if it were in the same cinematic territory as the faces he finds.
But when these characters lay on each other for sex, we have the most prurient of actor's postures. I think this was done simply to avoid an automatic sweep into ordinary film ways. It has that effect anyway.
I don't know anyone that chooses more interesting faces. Distinctly Southern European, odd atypical faces.
And finally, there is the bit of his own story inserted, the artist in the church. Creating scenarios of rich life. In the movie, the most amazing scenes are those that have little or nothing to do with the story. There's a "death" tableau that could be the richest single shot I have ever seen, anywhere.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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