Il Decameron (The Decameron) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Il Decameron (The Decameron) Reviews

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January 26, 2018
"Why produce a work of art when it's nice to just dream about it?" 80/100
July 29, 2016
Episodic and appropriately bawdy; one of Pasolini's best.
July 28, 2016
i found this episodic film interesting and fascinating enough to keep me watching until the end, but I probably wouldn't watch a second time around.
½ October 27, 2015
Part one of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life kicks off into a rough start. While I understand that Italian film at the time had sync issues, presumably because they didn't want to shoot and re-shoot shots because of dialogue flubs. Whatever the reason the sync is incredibly distracting and wounded my experience of the film. There is little from the film that is sticking with me as I write this aside from the knowledge that Pasolini has a thing for feces. Leave it.
August 6, 2015
The first freewheeling film in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Trilogy of Life explores sex, swindling and stupidity in their simplest forms.
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.
May 19, 2015
Has its moments but mostly uneven, with atrocious performances.

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.
½ November 24, 2014
Great stories of the making of saints, of money and art, of marriage and free love. An expert and open-ended portrayal of men and women, oppression and liberation, the bourgeoisie and the working class.
October 10, 2014
BOOOOOOOOORING!! Ja varmasti en katso enää yhtäkään Pasolinin leffaa tämän jälkeen paitsi Salón.
½ August 26, 2014
Contemporary through medieval.
March 19, 2014
Pasolini's vignette filled Decameron is ok for people into that sort of thing, Italian sex filled romps that's supposed to mean something, but for me, it got a little monotonous.
February 21, 2014
Some short stories taken from the famous work and filtered through Pasolini's mind. This gives a typical dirty and vulgar, but at the same time very enjoyable, feel while remaining entertaining and informative as the original.
February 16, 2014
The first of Pasolini's trilogy of life must have been quite a shocker on its initial release. Am reminded very much of Ken Russell's The Devils of a similar vintage. The religious satire totally cracked me up, this is not a film for everyone ! Willy's/tits and arses abound...
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2013
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.
½ April 11, 2013
Is it a funny movie or a dramatic movie ? That's the same question we do when we read Boccaccio.
January 21, 2013
Less a film than a collection of short ones, Pasolini's film actually still really resonates as a whole. The stories here (which are sometimes a bit too brief) cover all his favorite topics, most notably decadence, and the Catholic church's attitude towards sexual expression/repression. It's often graphic and the sense of humor is best described as murky, but it's much easier to stomach than Pasolini's so-called-masterpiece, Salo. Those with an interest in the late Italian filmmaker are well advised to start here, especially if they have a Netflix account.
November 13, 2012
Pasolini (my 2nd favorite director behind Jean Vigo) is mostly known for the notorious and immensely genius "Salo". I'm going to have to say that "The Decameron" is on par with such an adept film as "Salo" (both are in my top 25 favorite films of all time). The reason why Salo is so acclaimed by these the critics/filmmakers who like it is because Pasolini is at the top of his game, and the whole concept of death (the unfinished Trilogy of Death) is so much more capable of being analyzed. Death is what surrounds that film, and it's structure is SO much more genius in a standard form than this film is. So, am I saying this films structure is bad? No, I'm saying it's better. The Decameron is all about taking life, and life in film can't be captured in a standard way. Pasolini uses his fabulously adept literary knowledge to emphasize life, and surround it in such a mystical and beautiful way. Yet, in Salo, Pasolini uses it to make a brilliant film by beating it down to his haunting, philosophical standpoint, which makes more sense in standards for a film. Pasolini has made a film in which I have never seen such a sense and understanding of life that I view from myself, which could only be realized by a genius such as Pasolini. This film, though I can go on and on about how brilliant it is, is very personal to me. This is one of the last Pasolini films I had to see, when I first saw it a while ago, and this just so tremendously improved my already high opinion of him. This is a masterpiece.
½ September 23, 2012
Some of the things that people apparently found charming about this I found unpleasant (the absolutely atrocious acting, for one) but it's an interesting experience in which I'm glad I partook.
½ August 22, 2012
Pier Paolo Pasolini's films always seem to have preceding reputations, and often they have rightfully earned them; but 'The Decameron', the first film in Pasolini's so-called Trilogy of Life, has undeservedly gained shelf-life notoriety as soft-core porn when it is in fact a work of art filled with great humor and thought-provoking observations on life, death, and all the strange and dirty things in between. I was totally absorbed in these stories, adapted by Pasolini from the morality tales of Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio. Yes, sex is the planet these stories orbit, but Pasolini seems keen on laughing with us rather than at us, and the aim of the film seems less about perversity and more about getting us to recognize the simultaneous absurdity and normalcy of our sexuality. He draws attention to the most primal aspects of our sexual desire (no character so much as bends over in this film without drawing the attention and, usually, prompt action of some nearby horny spectator), yet he pairs these little skits with vignettes depicting human beings at their most artistic. In a bold move that might be perceived as pretentious by many, but which I found quite brave, Pasolini centers himself in the movie as Allievo di Giotto, a mural painter who works furiously, though his work never seems appreciated- we don't even get a very good glimpse when his masterpiece is finished. "Why create a work of art when dreaming about it is so much sweeter?" Pasolini (or is it just Giotto?) wonders in the last seconds of the film. It's a phrase that seems to sum up the director's troubled ouvre, a series of hugely ambitious projects that sparked and continue to spark everything but understanding from audiences.
½ June 22, 2012
Pasolini could do bettter than this.
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