HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Arabian Nights Love Conquers MostBuy this film here.
Year: 1974
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Franco Merli, Tessa Bouché, Ines Pellegrini, Margareth Clémenti, Luigini Rocchi, Alberto Argentino, Francesco Paolo Governale, Salvatore Sapienza, Zeudi Biasolo, Barbara Grandi, Elisabetta Genovese, Gioacchino Castellini
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sex, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: In Ancient Arabian times, a slave named Zumurrud (Ines Pellegrini) was being sold in the street, but there was a catch: she got to choose who she thought would make the best master for her, and all the men who bid on her were rejected for being unsuitable. Although she laughed, and the crowd did too, she didn't know she had made an enemy that day, but in the meantime she settled on a penniless young prince there who she liked, and gave him the money for him to buy her from the slavemaster. He was Nuredin (Franco Merli), and he was soon in love with his new purchase...

There was more than one story to be told here, as had been the case with writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini's two previous films in his Trilogy of Life, but this time around took fewer tales and made more of a meal of them, so while we were distracted by one we would return to the relationship between Zumurrud and Nuredin, as that was the spine of the film, offering a mixture of comedy and drama that would permeate the rest of the mood. Not to mention there was a strong element of fantasy to much of it as well, and even in the plots which took place largely in the "real" world, a sense of some kind of magical quality to what we were watching was never far away.

The narrative of the slave who wasn't really is a romantic telling of true love struggling to survive against the odds, for once Nuredin has been taken to bed by Zumurrud he has lost his heart to her, which makes it all the more unfortunate that she should be whisked away by the nobleman she insulted at the auction, among other people, keeping her and her new lover apart for the duration of most of the movie. As we keep returning to them, as if Pasolini was reluctant to let them go from the proceedings for too long, Zumurrud winds up mistaken for a man and forced to marry a Princess, which means she is made King, something which looks ludicrous because Pellegrini obviously wasn't masculine.

But then plenty of what happens here not only verges on the ridiculous, but toppled over straight into it; granted it was a comedy as much as a drama, but there comes a point where you're unsure what's supposed to be funny and what isn't. Pasolini's sort of mascot for this series of works was Ninetto Davoli, and in his previous appearances he had played the comedian, yet here he ends up in a complicated case of wishing to have sex with a mystery princess in spite of being engaged to someone else, which culminates in the princess ordering him castrated, and you're never entirely clear on why - neither is the Davoli character. You could excuse this as a product of the ancient texts this was based on, but it didn't half make for a strange film.

Nevertheless, Pasolini attempted to render this more universal by emphasising humour and sex, and in the latter this was the most explicit of the trilogy with full frontal nudity every five minutes or so, some of it going as far as it was possible without making pornography. Certainly this would capture a particular kind of audience, but after a while the more spiritual aspect dominated, so there were inscrutable narratives involving a red-haired demon (Franco Citti) whose motives are truly alien (and whose special effects are truly lacking), and a prince (Salvatore Sapienza) who embarks on a quest of enlightenment only to suffer multiple indignities including being turned into a chimp and nearly drowned when the toy boat - er, I mean the majestic ship - he's on crashes into a magic mountain. If nothing else the director used his international locations superbly, this really did look lavish, and if the finer points were obscure, you could feel it moving towards some profundity even if you didn't think it succeeded. Music by Ennio Morricone.

[This is released by the BFI as part of the Trilogy of Life on a Blu-ray set with the following features:

• Presented in High Definition
• Includes both Italian language and English language versions of all three films
• Notes for an African Oresteia (1970, 73 mins): Pasolini's visual notes for an unrealised film project
• Pasolini and the Italian Genre Film (2009, 37 mins)
• Robin Askwith on Pier Paolo Pasolini (2015, 23 mins)
• Deleted sequences (1974, 21 mins): deleted sequences from Pasolini's Arabian Night
• Trailers
• Illustrated booklet with essays by Sam Rohdie and Roger Clarke, original reviews, biography of Pasolini and full film credits (NB. first pressing only).]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2683 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: