Trilogy of Life [Criterion Collection] [4 Discs] [DVD]

This three-pack of Pier Paolo Pasolini-directed films from the 1970s includes The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and Arabian Nights.
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Special Features

  • New digital restorations of all three films
  • New visual essays by film scholars Patrick Rumble and Tony Rayns on The Decameron and Arabian Nights, respectively
  • New interviews with production designer Dante Ferretti, composer Ennio Morricone, and film scholar Sam Rohdie
  • Introduction to Arabian Nights by director Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • The Lost Body of Alibech (2005), a documentary by Robert Chiesi about a lost sequence from The Decameron
  • Pasolini and the Secret Humiliation of Chaucer (2006), a documentary by Chiesi about The Canterbury Tales
  • Via Pasolini (2005), a documentary featuring archival footage of Pasolini discussing his views on language, film and modern society
  • Pasolini and the Form of the City (1974), a documentary by Pasolini and Paolo Brunatto about the Italian cities of Orte and Sabaudia
  • Deleted scenes from Arabian Nights
  • Pasolini-approved English-dubbed track for The Canterbury Tales
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translations
  • Plus: a booklet featuring essays by critic Colin MacCabe; Pasolini's 1975 statement "Trilogy of Life Rejected"; excerpts from Pasolini's Berlin Film Festival press conference for The Canterbury Tales; and a report fron the set of Arabian Nights by critic Gideon Bachmann


The Arabian Nights
This lush anthology of erotic tales was filmed in four countries (Iran, Nepal, Yemen, and Eritrea) over a period of more than two years. Completing the literary cycle begun by Pier Pasolini in Il Decamerone and I Racconti di Canterbury, this one is perhaps the most controversial of the lot, engendering reactions from admiration to dismissal. The connecting story deals with Mur el-Din (Franco Merli), a prince searching for his slave girl lover, Zumurrud (Ines Pellegrini), who has been kidnapped, only to disguise herself as a man, take a wife, and become ruler of a great city. Mur el-Din's quest carries him to the ends of his known world, where he listens to several stories of carnality and betrayal. The continuity and fluidity of the film depend entirely on the version screened, because several different cuts exist; producer Alberto Grimaldi insisted on a 130-minute release, whereas Pasolini and United Artists preferred the unexpurgated 155-minute version with its ten stories all intact. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

The Canterbury Tales
Italian director Pier Pasolini tells four of the Chaucer tales in this graphic and satirical picture that chronicles the 14th-century's social, sexual, and religious standards in England. In Pasolini's Trilogy of Life, this second entry follows The Decameron and precedes The Arabian Nights. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

The Decameron
The Decameron was the first of director Pier Paolo Pasolini's "trilogy of life." The film, based on the sexually supercharged tales of Boccaccio, is a patchwork of many of Pasolini's favorite themes. Pasolini himself plays the role of an aspiring fresco painter who is advised that his completed work will never be as satisfying as his dream of that work. The film is followed by Pasolini's The Canterbury Tales and The Arabian Nights. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Ninetto Davoli
    Ninetto Davoli - Aziz
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    Franco Merli - Mur el-Din
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    Ines Pellegrini - Zumurrud
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    Franco Citti - The Demon
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    Margarethe Clementi
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.