DECAMERON, THE: DVD
Based on the tales by 14th century Italian writer Boccaccio, lusty nuns perform sexual 'miracles', a cheating wife shows a head for business, a dying con artist attempts a heavenly swindle, young lovers are caught in the act, a farmer tries to turn his wife into a mare by a friend's questionable magic ...
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Naples in the 14th century was a lusty place, as depicted in Pasolini's adaptation of a small part of Boccaccio's long string of 100 stories. But this is still epic, not so much in running time as in scope and uninhibited, turbulent portrait of men and women, nuns and merchants, thieves and farmers.
Graphic yet simple sexual action sits side by side with scenes of men robbing a church grave of the jewellery and finery of a recently deceased bishop, and the atmosphere is raw, primitive life affirming. Those with gentle sensibilities and who regard nuns as sacred should avoid this film. Pasolini, a Marxist, honours the Common Man while always casting a beady eye on the Catholic Church and its imposing presence over the people.
Using mostly non-actors (he likes their freshness and unstudied results), Pasolini relies on the extraordinary diversity and uniqueness of faces (not to mention stained teeth all askew) to build a collage of characters who inhabit this time and place.
Pasolini casts himself as the artist painting a fresco of characters, in this, the first of his Trilogy of Life series of films. Ribald and raucus, Decameron delivers a sensual and lively picture of early Renaissance life in Italy, while closely observing the human condition. To nobody's surprise, humans haven't changed.
Published June 11, 2009
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DECAMERON, THE: DVD (R)
CAST: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Vincenzo Amato, Angela Luce, Giuseppe Zigaina, Gabriella Frankel, Vincenzo Cristo, P.P. Pasolini, Gianni Rizzo, Monique Van Voren
PRODUCER: Alberto Grimaldi
DIRECTOR: Pier Paolo Pasolini
SCRIPT: Pier Paolo Pasolini (novel by G. Boccaccio)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tonino Delli Colli
EDITOR: Nino Baragli, Tatiana Morigi
MUSIC: Ennio Morricone
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dante Ferretti
RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD stereo
SPECIAL FEATURES: [English, Spanish, French subtitles]
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Shock
DVD RELEASE: February 14, 2009
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.