decameron
I continue my sporadic exploration of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini with this first part of his Trilogy of Life. Lighter in tone yet no less subversive than the other films of his I’ve seen to-date, The Decameron adapts nine stories from Giovanni Boccaccio’s medieval text. These include randy nuns, duplicitous beauties, bountiful toilet humour, numerous attacks on the Catholic Church, Pasolini himself as a fresco-painting artist (albeit appearing more like a modern day filmmaker) and a grieving woman who keeps her lover’s head in a flower pot. It’s an excellent collage of tales that proves incredibly accessible and entertaining throughout, while touching on numerous more weighty topics for those who wish to probe deeper. In some ways, The Decameron feels like Chaucer in its bawdy tone, smutty humour and gratuitous nudity, but as was the case there, the intelligence, skill and subversive sentiment of the artist shines through.

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