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I Racconti di Canterbury (The Canterbury Tales) Reviews

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Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2009
This movie is second of Pasolini's so called 'Trilogy of Love' (Il Decameron, I Racconti di Canterbury, Il fiore di mille e una notte; 1970-1974). All these movies are quite specific, there are said not to be that provocative or intriguing. They are greatly influenced by the fact that while directing them Pasolini was contented because of his intimate relationship with the 'innocent barbarian', actor Ninetto Davoli. It is also said that in 'Trilogy of Love' Pasolini became resigned to the present time world by escaping to the past.

However I don't think it's true. In these movies, Pasolini introduces to the audience an incorrupt world where people don't care about 'material aspects of life', they try to live at the full stretch, they seek love and, of course, sex and they do not respect 'the repressive limits imposed by religious and bourgeois morality' (Gino Moliterno). This is probably why Pasolini later declared that these three films were most ideological of his career (in his famous and long interview with Massimo Fini). I suppose Pasolini tried to confront such 'primitive' world with the world he had lived in and which he had hated so much (this confrontation is present all the time, especially by the contrast between the love and the death, by the contrast between the first tales, in which the human naked body dominates, and the last two tales in which pursuit of money causes death and perdition. Because of such end it is also suggested that I Racconti di Canterbury are very close to Pasolini's disillusioned last movie, Saló).

It is common to hear that Chaucer must have rolled over in his grave after this movie was released. But if you try to understand The Canterbury Tales in the context of Chaucer's attitude towards love in his (other) literary works, you will probably find that Chaucer would resemble to Pasolini alias Mr Chaucer ends the film with writing 'Here end the Canterbury Tales, told for the mere pleasure of their telling, Amen'.
May 22, 2014
Eventhough some parts of the tales may have their funny appeal, the general lack of quality in the movie (from the performances to the dubbing) makes it difficult to watch, sometimes hitting plain boredom.
April 1, 2014
A over the top Italic interpretation of 14th century England. Still pretty funny though and delightfully abstract.
February 21, 2014
Operating as in the previous movie (The Decameron), Pasolini reworks some stories from Geoffrey Chaucer's work, making them more dirty both visually and in dialogues. Funny and enjoyable.
July 16, 2013
Pasolini's The Canterbury Tales is alright in my opinion. I really liked the slapstick in some parts of the film, but it heavily relies too much on sexual content. However, I can't challenge Pasolini's style of art, but it was a good film.
December 5, 2010
After the formidable commercial success of his bawdy Decameron, Pier Pasolini applied the same formula to Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales with somewhat less appealing results.
The Critic
August 30, 2012
Despite being awfully dubbed and not very funny (perhaps the humour is lost in translation), but there are aspects that make this mildly amusing and not a complete write-off.
jazmin v.
February 16, 2009
With all the medievalisms you can expect like farting, pissing, strong language and nakedeness galore, this movie sent me to that place and time and enjoyed a lot. Even though the in sync is terrible, the scenes, the costumes and the faces of the actors are enough for me to like this movie.
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