The Decameron

(Il decamerone)

Imported 35mm Print 
Recommended for adults only 


Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Silvana Mangano,

For the first film in what he called his “Trilogy of Life,” Pasolini selects eleven tales from Giovanni Boccaccio’s classic one hundred, mostly those set in Naples, and loosely weaves them together using the thread of his own vision, cloaked in that of a character added to the story and played by Pasolini himself: the painter and Boccaccio contemporary Giotto. While the stories are good-naturedly sexual, in a particularly anticlerical kind of way, the film gains gravitas and focus—religion, almost—from the sheer beauty and precision of its creation; every scene is a set piece, every shot quite literally a work of art. Pasolini’s is an art of teeming hill-town marketplaces and medieval stone interiors, a love affair with the faces of peasants and always the beautiful young men. His artist of the people, Giotto, asks, “Why create a work of art when dreaming about it is so much sweeter?” Making it a film is sweeter still.

Judy Bloch
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
Based On
  • Tales by Giovanni Boccaccio

  • Tonino Delli Colli
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 111 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Park Circus