Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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david hare
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Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#1 Post by david hare » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:03 am

The Decameron

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The first of Pasolini's colourful, entertaining and highly erotic Trilogy of Life films, The Decameron tells ten tales of sex and death, involving lusty nuns and priests, cuckolded husbands, murdered lovers and grave-robbers. Mastered from the original negative, this release features alternative audio options and an original trailer, and also includes Pasolini's rare 1970 film Notes Towards an African Orestes.

The Canterbury Tales

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The second instalment of Pasolini's Trilogy, with its depiction of unbridled fornication and a comically blasphemous visit to Hell in the closing five minutes, proved to be one of his bawdiest and most controversial films. Presented here in a transfer from the original negative, and with special features including alternative audio options, and a new documentary on Pasolini and the Italian genre film.

Arabian Nights

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The final part of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life was two years in the making. The locations - Yemen, Ethiopia, Iran and Nepal - form a rich, exotic backdrop to the tales of love and lovemaking in all its myriad forms. Presented in a sparkling new transfer from original negative elements, this disc's special features include alternative audio options, a trailer and extensive deleted sequences.

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MichaelB
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Re: English Dubbing Inclusion on the DVD

#2 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:32 am

david hare wrote:Michael this may seem a silly question but will the forthcoming BFI print include the giant schlong scene from the Miller's Tale which has been surgically removed, at least from Oz TV screenings. (As was the brief erection shot in the first Wellspring DVD of Decameron.)
It used to regularly draw gasps from audiences in first release. Despite which it was attached to the ugliest boy I think I've ever seen, even in a Paso movie. Good old, Paso - always true to life.
No idea, I'm afraid - though I think the modus operandi is the same as for Salo and Red Desert in that the transfers were done in Rome off the original negative, which suggests completeness (though that doesn't explain the Gottfried Benn poem in Salo, included in at least one 35mm copy but not the original neg!)

Anyway, I'll find out.

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david hare
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#3 Post by david hare » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:50 pm

I, and thousands of other silent worshippers thank you.

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MichaelB
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#4 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:05 am

Well, hopefully it's what you're after. According to the technical supervisor:
To the best of my knowledge, all transfers represent the complete films as they were originally released, without cuts. Without going into specifics, there are numerous scenes with erections, shit, pubic hair gone amok, extremely ugly men, and lots of very, very bad teeth.
Does that help?

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Tommaso
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#5 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:18 am

Absolutely, and if it does help, to the best of my knowledge the French and German editions of the Trilogy (from the same telecine, apparently) also contain all the incriminated footage that David has mentioned. And as to the BFI: if they're not afraid to release "Salo" uncut, why should they change their policy with these films in the first place? The nudity and general shock value in the Trilogy is really nothing in comparison.

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MichaelB
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#6 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:31 am

Oh, there's never any question of cutting the films at the BFI's end - the BBFC has occasionally intervened (Barbet Schroeder's More is the only example I can think of in recent years), but that's very rare.

The challenge, though, is making sure that the source materials are complete, and this can raise issues in itself - for instance, with Salò the original negative did not feature the brief sequence with the Gottfried Benn poem, but there's no indication of why it's included in at least one legitimate 35mm release or indeed where it came from and who removed it. So on balance, I think the decision to put it back in was a sensible one.

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colinr0380
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#7 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:39 pm

MichaelB wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, all transfers represent the complete films as they were originally released, without cuts. Without going into specifics, there are numerous scenes with erections, shit, pubic hair gone amok, extremely ugly men, and lots of very, very bad teeth.
Does that help?
It does make the film sound like the average 70s British sex comedy! (Minus the erections and excrement though!)

I've never really thought the actors in the films were particularly ugly, just naturally rough around the edges (these are probably the definitive films to go to for examples of 'pimply youths'!) They might not be as good looking as your average pampered and made up Penthouse Pet smuggled onto the set of Caligula under cover of darkness, but I'm not certain that would have be Pasolini's thing anyway! :wink:

However, Canterbury Tales does include footage of all the parts of Tom Baker you've never wanted to see! (Sorry MichaelB - I may have just caused people across the world to cancel their pre-orders!)

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MichaelB
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#8 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:00 pm

colinr0380 wrote:It does make the film sound like the average 70s British sex comedy! (Minus the erections and excrement though!)
But including Robin Askwith...

(even though the credits try to hide this by spelling his surname 'Asquith')
However, Canterbury Tales does include footage of all the parts of Tom Baker you've never wanted to see! (Sorry MichaelB - I may have just caused people across the world to cancel their pre-orders!)
Yes, I have to say that I am myself regarding the prospect of a full-frontal Tom Baker on Blu-ray with some trepidation.

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Barmy
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#9 Post by Barmy » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:06 pm

Is Canterbury going to be the English language version or the extremely distracting Italian dub? Or both?

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MichaelB
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#10 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:28 pm

Barmy wrote:Is Canterbury going to be the English language version or the extremely distracting Italian dub? Or both?
Both, as far as I'm aware.

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david hare
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#11 Post by david hare » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:30 pm

Christ was THAT Tom Baker? His equipment is perfectly respectable, although everything pales after the toothless kid with the 14 inch sausage. Genuinely humbling.

If it doesn't include the English track it would be a folly, although I confess this must be my very least regarded Paso, schlong or no schlong.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#12 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:40 pm

Mr_sausage is a foot and two inches tall and hangs around with a toothless kid no less! The forum thickens...

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zedz
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#13 Post by zedz » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:14 pm

MichaelB wrote:
there are numerous scenes with erections, shit, pubic hair gone amok, extremely ugly men, and lots of very, very bad teeth.
That's pull-quote gold, Michael, slap it on the cover.

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david hare
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#14 Post by david hare » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:31 pm

Schreck I wanna my cockring back dude.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#15 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:41 am

Amazon UK has this coming on April 27.

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Toby Dammit
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#16 Post by Toby Dammit » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:44 pm

Include "Appunti per un' Orestiada Africana" / "Notes for an African Orestes"???

would be great!!!!!! =D>

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MichaelB
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#17 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:23 am

Toby Dammit wrote:Include "Appunti per un' Orestiada Africana" / "Notes for an African Orestes"???

would be great!!!!!! =D>
Your wish is granted - here are the full specs:
The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights
Three films by Pier Paolo Pasolini


27 April sees the release of the DVD and first ever Blu-ray editions of Pasolini’s colourful, entertaining and highly erotic Trilogy of Life films, as the BFI presents The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights as three individual releases.

Mastered from original negatives and restored in High-Definition, these titles feature new and exciting special features, including Pasolini's rarely seen Notes for an African Oresteia (1970), extensive deleted footage and a newly-created documentary commissioned by the BFI exploring the relationship between Pasolini and the Italian genre film. All the sets will each contain an illustrated booklet including essays, reviews and director biography.

The Decameron

The first of the Trilogy of Life films, The Decameron tells ten stories based on fourteenth-century originals. Full of bawdy, earthy spirit, the film romps through its tales of sex and death – of lusty nuns and priests, cuckolded husbands, murdered lovers and grave-robbers – with five of the stories linked by the character of an intriguing artist, played by Pasolini himself.

Special features on both sets
• Alternative English-language version
• Original Italian trailer
Notes for an African Oresteia (1970) – Pasolini’s visual notes for a never-realised feature film

The Canterbury Tales

The second part of the Trilogy of Life is based on the fourteenth-century stories of Geoffrey Chaucer. Plunging with gusto into some of the blackest and bawdiest of the tales, Pasolini celebrates almost every conceivable form of sexual act with a rich, earthy humour. A particular delight is the use of a largely British cast, including Hugh Griffith, Jenny Runacre and Tom Baker, which Pasolini himself takes the part of Chaucer.

Special features on both sets
• Alternative English-language version, presented with English-version inserts
• Original Italian trailer
Pasolini and the Italian Genre Film (2009) – Exclusive new documentary

Arabian Nights

The final part of Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life series was two years in the making. The locations – Yemen, Ethiopia, Iran and Nepal – form a rich, exotic backdrop to these tales of slaves and kings, potions, betrayals, demons and, most of all, love and lovemaking in all its myriad forms. Engrossing, mysterious, profound and liberating, Arabian Nights is an exquisitely dreamlike, sensuous and adult interpretation of the original folk tales.

Special features on both sets
• Alternative English-language version
• Original trailer
• Deleted sequences

Release date: 27 April 2009
RRP: DVD £19.99 each / Blu-ray £24.99 each

The Decameron: Italy, France, Germany / 1970 / colour / 18 / Italian language, optional English subtitles / 111 mins / original aspect ratio 1.85:1
DVD: cat. no. BFIVD837 / 107 mins / DVD-9
BD: cat. no. BFIB1017 / 111 mins / BD50 / 1080p / 24fps

The Canterbury Tales: Italy, France / 1972 / colour / 15 / Italian language, optional English subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1
DVD: cat no. BFIVD838 / 107 mins / DVD-9
BD: cat. no. BFIB1018 / 111 mins / BD50 / 1080p / 24fps

Arabian Nights: Italy, France / 1974 / colour / 18 / Italian language, optional English subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1
DVD: cat. no. BFIVD836 / 125 mins / DVD-9
BD cat. no. BFIB1016 / 130 mins / BD50 / 1080p / 24fps

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#18 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:35 am

I'd pre-ordered this from Amazon as a Trilogy of Life set - I'm assuming now that there won't be such a thing?

If so, I wonder how long it will be before Amazon send me an e-mail letting me know...

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domino harvey
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#19 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:55 am

How did Canterbury only get a 15? I'll never understand your wacky UK rating system!

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#20 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:06 pm

So students studying Chaucer for GCSE can watch it.

Also, the sight of Tom Baker naked should do wonders for UK's teen pregnancy rates.

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chaddoli
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#21 Post by chaddoli » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:58 pm

Any word yet on the BluRay's region coding?

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godardslave
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#22 Post by godardslave » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:08 pm

I just realized these are only going to be available as three individual releases, not in a box set.

Which is ](*,) .

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MichaelB
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#23 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:11 pm

chaddoli wrote:Any word yet on the BluRay's region coding?
Almost certainly Region B, I'm afraid - I'm pretty sure this came from the same sales agent as Red Desert, Salo and the Woodfall titles (i.e. the old United Artists catalogue), which means the BFI has a contractual obligation to region-code.

If I'm wrong, I'll be delighted to post a correction here - but I don't think I am.

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Matt
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#24 Post by Matt » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:25 pm

Those of us in Region A will just have to wait for the Criterion release in 2012. They'll be delayed that long so Criterion can film a 10-minute interview with one of the actors and tack on some god-awful Italian TV documentary about Pasolini.

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Toby Dammit
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Re: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

#25 Post by Toby Dammit » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:42 pm

How horrible that covers are! #-o

Only Silvana Mangano looks good

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