Pasolini, Chaucer and Boccaccio: Two Medieval Texts and Their Translation to Film
Pier Pasolini's trilogy of life is a series of film adaptations of major texts of the past: The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and One Thousand and One Nights. The movies demonstrate a film author's acute aesthetic sensibility through a highly original cinematic rendering of the sources. The first two films, closely examined in this book, offer a personal, purposefully stylized vision of the Middle Ages, as though Pasolini were dreaming Boccaccio's and Chaucer's texts through the filter of his heretic consciousness. The unusual poetic visualization of the source works, which could be described as irreverent cinematic homage, has the potential to renew the traditional reading of such literature.
This book shows how cinema becomes an alternative form of storytelling. It first studies the two films in detail, putting them in perspective within the trilogy. Next it interprets them, recounting misinterpretations and expounding upon Pasolini's ideological perception, and defends the oft-criticized adaptations. Finally, it discusses how the films represent innovation over strict adaptation. Appendices offer charts with information on the narrative structures of the films and the correspondences between them.
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An Alternative Form of Telling Another
Placing Racconti di Canterbury in Perspective
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actor adaptation aesthetic Alisoun Andreuccio artist Bath's Prologue Boccaccio and Chaucer Boccaccio's body Bruegel camera character Ciappelletto cinema comic Cook's Tale cultural Decameron diegesis diegetic discourse dream epilogue episode erotic evocation expression face figure film director film shot film version filmmaker filmmaker's Fiore Foucault frame-story fresco Friar Friar's Tale genre Gianni Canova grotesque Hell homosexual husband ibid inspired Italian Jacques Le Goff Jankyn language literary look male means medieval Merchant's Tale metaphor Middle Ages Miller's Tale mise en abyme motion picture movie Naples narrative narrator Neapolitan obscene painting panel Pardoner's Tale Pasolini's film pastiche Patrick Rumble Perkyn pictorial Pier Paolo Pasolini pilgrims plays pleasure poetic quoted Racconti di Canterbury reading reality Reeve's Tale scandal scene Sceneggiature screen sequence sexual sodomite spectator stories structure style Summoner's Tale tableaux vivants takes thematic tion trilogy viewer vision visual voice Wife of Bath's words young