(Il fiore delle mille e una notte)
With Ninetto Davoli, Franco Merli, Tessa Bouche.
Italy/France, 1974, 35mm, color, 128 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: HFA
Pasolini’s penultimate film and the final installment of his trilogy that includes The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales, this loose adaptation of the classic anthology of love and enchantment features ten tales connected by the story of Mur-el-Din (Merli) and his feverish search for a kidnapped slave girl. Along the way, Pasolini inserts stories of amorous caliphs and man-hating princesses, licentious monks and star-crossed lovers, each lavishly produced and set in stunning locations throughout northern Africa and the Middle East. Despite the myriad escapist pleasures of its subject, Arabian Nights embraces the wider concerns of Pasolini’s filmic enterprise: it makes extensive use of non-actors and brings to the screen faces and landscapes that suggest the director’s interest in creating a post-colonial celebration of regions long under European dominance. It was an accomplishment that earned Pasolini the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes.
The second film by the brilliant Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Peter Kubelka, Adebar was produced as an advertisement for a café of the same name.