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The Decameron, 1971 – ★★★½

I’m pretty sure someone unwisely showed me Pasolini’s Canterbury Tales when I was somewhat too young, but I don’t remember it much. It’s like I’ve never seen one of his. Also this one is about to leave the Criterion Channel, so best get to it.

Liked it, didn’t adore it. The earthy sensuousness is great: not just the sex (lots of sex) but also the depiction of the working class as, ultimately, happier. Even when some poor guy winds up unhappy, or worse, it’s because either rich nobles or the church is screwing him over. Often enough, happiness is the result of a worker getting the better of someone wealthier.

And you know, now that I write all that down, I don’t find that point dated at all. Stinging class commentary plus an aggressive stance on the importance of liberating sex from moral constraints? Wouldn’t Pasolini cheer on kink at Pride parades? “It’s not a sin!” Oh, right! Maybe I adored this after all.

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