Il Decameron (The Decameron) Reviews
Through a cross-section of stories from Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron, Pasolini attacks sexual and religious pieties, and offers an entertaining and thoroughly amusing take on some traditional short stories to boot.
Highs include gullible grave-robbers and a convent of cock-curious nuns. Lows are few and far between, with Pasolini even making an appearance himself as the great painter, Giotto, in a sort of reflective, philosophical story-between-stories. Pure Pasolini.
Nine stories from Giovanni Boccaccio's novel of the same name. Directed and written by Pier Paulo Pasolini.
Some of the stories are interesting, even amusing but none of them really hit the mark in a big way. Most feel anti-climatic, and needing of more substance. Some are just plain pointless and/or over before they've even started.
There are some recurrent themes, especially those of morality and religion, but nothing really gets tied up.
I kept hoping for something that would connect all the different stories, to make them collectively profound, but nothing came.
The closing line of the movie was one rare moment of profundity though, but it didn't really have a context.
Then there's the acting. The performances in this movie are incredibly bad. Think primary school play bad. There's a handful of exceptions but it's a cringefest from start to finish.
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.