Peir Paolo Pasolini is one of the finest, original, and well read filmmakers Italy had produced, and it is a great tragedy that his life was cut short as abruptly as it did. He is however rather unfairly remembered by many only for his last film, the notorious "Salò o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma" (1975), while in fact his critically acclaimed gems such as "Teorema" (1968), "Edipo Re" (1967), "Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo" (1964) barely draw a mention. I could easily write more about what I have observed of his genius, but that would be a different topic altogether.
"I Racconti di Canterbury" [Eng. Title: Canterbury Tales] is the second installment of his Trilogy of Life, and is based on the works of the medieval English scholar Geoffrey Chaucer. Mr. Pasolini himself plays the role of Chaucer, writing these tales. This, and the first film in this trilogy , "Il Decameron" are perhaps his more accessible films for those needing an introduction to his work. I had reviewed this film earlier elsewhere, but have decided to review this again for my blog. It helped that this was from Blu-ray.
A vain old king decides to get married again and choses a beautiful young peasant woman as his wife, but his possessiveness turns her off, and is drawn towards another young man. Add to this, the king loses his sight, making it easier for his wife to pursue her affair. A male angel decides to restore the king's sight one day so he could see for himself his wife's unfaithfulness, but the female angel also gives the wife gift of the gab, so she could wriggle out of trouble even when caught red handed. And there you are - harmony restored! Cute Josephine Chaplin plays the young wife.
In this tale, a carpenter's apprentice has his eyes set on his boss' wife. In order to get laid, the young man hatches a plot. He claims that he had a vision, that a flood many times bigger than Noah's will befall on a particular night, and suggests all three - the carpenter, his wife, and he should each get inside a large vat hung from the ceiling - so that when the flood arrives they could cut the strings and float to safety. The stupid carpenter believes his 'prophecy', and he is also warned not to have sexual congress with his wife the night before. On the night, the carpenter falls asleep inside the vat, and the couple sneak back into the house for some illicit fun. But they are interrupted by a neighbour who has fallen madly in love with the wife. When she tells him to buzz off because she fancies another man now, he asks for a last goodbye kiss. The kiss wasn't what it turned out to be, and the spurned lover takes his revenge. Saucy Jenny Runacre plays the wife.
Two young students are sent from their Abbot to collect flour from a miller who is known to be dishonest. But the lads get distracted by the miller's voluptious wife and daughter, and end up losing their horse and the grain. They beg to be allowed to stay at the miller's home for the night, and are let in. During the night the lads manage to bed a women each using wit and cunning, and they also recover their stolen flour, and their horse. Heather Johnson plays the daughter, and Eileen King, the mum.
This is a combination of scenes from two different stories. The first part is of a lazy young man having a wet dream while sleeping in his friend's bed, along with the wife, who works as a whore. The second part is of some unruly boys spending their night at a brothel.
There is not much to see in this scene in the nudity department, but this is a very 'interesting' interpretation of Hell by Pasolini - an angel shows a greedy friar what happens to his kind in Hell. Simply awesome..!