Il Decameron (The Decameron) (1970)
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This film was the first of director Pier Paolo Pasolini's "trilogy of life." Based on the sexually supercharged tales of Boccaccio, this film is a patchwork of many of Pasolini's favorite themes, with a surprising endorsement of heterosexuality -- specifically female heterosexuality -- included in the proceedings.
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Critic Reviews for Il Decameron (The Decameron)
The sight of the endless assembly of seemingly toothless proles Pasolini picked up as extras can be a bit intimidating.
Working with an Italian classic, he seems less inclined to transform his material, though what emerges is entertaining, if only in a mild way.
at times it achieves nearly sublime heights (or, more accurately, lows) of grubby humor and vitality, but at other times it feels strained and slapdash
Those with gentle sensibilities and who regard nuns as sacred should avoid this film.
Pasolini departed further from the spare Neorealism of his early career and hit upon a formula that won him unanticipated commercial success.
Pasolini questions his own dream, his idealization of this beautiful, bucolic world he has created in which peasant and artist and the Virgin Mary coexist in divine harmony.
It's par for the course with this kind of film that it doesn't all work, but it's continually fascinating.
Audience Reviews for Il Decameron (The Decameron)
Based on the 14th Century Boccaccio collection of stories, this film depicts medieval proletariat in various sexual escapades.
It is an array of oddities. Toothless proles abound in this collection of stories that eschews the framing narrative of the original book, and as a result there's little that this film says on a grand scheme, excepting perhaps a vague Marxist comment. Some of the stories are funny, like the would-be thief.philanderer who falls in a pit of shit, and some of the stories are simply a mind-fuck, like the woman who plants her lover's dismembered head in a pot that rests of her windowsill.
Overall, I enjoyed parts of this film, but I couldn't see its over-arching raison d'etre.
Earthy, vibrant adaptation of eight stories from the fourteenth-century work by Boccaccio. Probably Pier Paolo Pasolini's most purely enjoyable film with comedy and little erotic.More
he unapologetic choice of ancient, crumbling and dirty locations, coupled with the choice of "real-looking" actors devoid of manufactured graces made this film feel right. 14th century Italy surely was as full of natural humour, even in close proximity to death, as this film makes out. Casual sex in spite of the threat of mortal sin is treated likewise with candour. A real masterpiece showing humanity in all its various forms.More
Pier Paolo Pasolini adapts several stories from Boccacio's "Decameron", focusing on the bawdy and anti-clerical. Slow and arty, and several of the tales fizzle at their climax; rarely have grave-robbing, infiltration into a convent of sex-starved nuns, and dong shots been made so boring. His CANTERBURY TALES and ARABIAN NIGHTS are in the same vein, but somewhat superior.More
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