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Il Decameron 1971
Description: An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio's "Decameron": A young Sicilian is swindled twice, but ends up rich; a boy poses as a deaf-mute in a convent of curious nuns; a girl gotta hide her lover when her husband comes home early; a scoundrel fools a priest on his deathbed; three brothers take revenge on their sister's lover; a young woman sleeps on the roof to meet her boyfriend at night; a group of painters wait for inspiration; a crafty priest attempts to seduce his friend's wife; and two mates create a pact to search out what happens after death. Pasolini is up to his old tricks satirizing the Church, and throwing in liberal doses of life and love
Released: 16 Sep 1971 Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini Writers: Giovanni Boccaccio (novel), Pier Paolo Pasolini Actors: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Vincenzo Amato Genres: Comedy, Drama, History, Romance
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Il Decameron Reviews:

Pasolini freely adapts ten or so episodes from Boccaccio's fourteenth century collection of hundred short stories. He interweaves the tales of satisfied or tragic lovers, naughty nuns and lusty priests, naive husbands and cheating but quick-witted wives, inept grave robbers, and a young gardener who got more than he had bargained for, with his own meditations on art, life, death and love. Pasolini himself plays a painter Giotto who observes the characters that inspire him to paint a fresco on the church's wall. "Decameron" is the first part of Pasolini's "Trilogy Of Life", which continues with adaptations of two another celebrated works of globe fiction; "The Canterbury Tales" (1972) and the "Arabian Nights" aka "A Thousand and One Nights" (1974). All these ebooks have been known as distinguished and revered works of literature that belong to the immortal classics. There are probably so many large volumes have been written about them that it would take more than a thousand and one days and nights to read them. They talk about love, death, the meaning of life, and religion but first and most of all – they entertain. At the time they were said and written down, no one would think of them as the future academic references. That's why they are so alive, earthy, coarse, and bold. I have not seen two another Pasolini's movies but 'Decameron' captures the original spirit of Boccaccio's tales truthfully and with love, humanity, and excellent sense of the medieval Italy.The movie has a look of a renaissance painting – not only Italian Renaissance (Giotto) but Netherlandish Northern Renaissance - Peter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch.As he often did, Pasolin used in the movie the non-professional actors to enjoy the medieval peasants. They had none of the Hollywood glamor or classical details or excellent teeth and smiles– but their faces are interesting, original, and real.Full of rustic comedy and innocence, earthy humor and lust for life –"Decameron" is one of the most optimistic, and celebrating life movies ever made. Its sexuality is straightforward and honest, moving and not insulting. This film, my first Pasolini made me wish to see the rest of the trilogy and the rest of his films.


Pasolini's movies are not for everyone. They are slow moving and enjoy on archetypes, but I can think of no one who captures myth as well he does in his `Trilogy of Life' (The Decameron, The Arabian Nights, and The Canterbury Tales). Pasolini does as delightful job of weaving the mythical and poetic into daily life. He uses true folks instead of actors, and presents sexuality innocently and sensually. Staying away from the sexual violence so common in movies of this era, and the soft porn haze we see in Hollywood movies today. These universal stories are presented much the method they were written, simply and earnestly. The result for me has everytime been pure magic.


This is the first of Pasolini's three feature-film adaptations of obscene tales of antiquity, the another two being "The Canterbury Tales" and "The Arabian Nights." It includes ten of Boccaccio's most popular tales… The bawdiest storyline concerns a merchant who back-doors his partner's wife by promising to say her his secret of turning a girl to a female horse and back to a girl again...The tale of the two lovers sleeping together on the terrace is quite great and very erotic, but the most hilarious one involves a young boy who pretends he's a deaf mute in order to receive into a convent... Once inside, he discovers that the sisters are very curious about all the excitement the globe has made over sex and wish to search out if it is worth it...The stories are quite funny and the acting is adequate especially for non-professionals… But the film's charm is in its unrefined energy…It spends as much time showing nude boys as it does showing nude women, which was quite unusual for its time…



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