Thursday, October 13, 2011
FLICK U: ARABIAN NIGHTS
Wanna see a woman get shot in the vagina with a dildo? How about a man getting his testicles ripped off by a gang of man-hating Muslim mothers? Perhaps best known for his films "Salo, 120 Days of Sodom", "Teorama" and "The Gospel According to Matthew", director Per Paolo Pasolini can also claim responsibility for the memorable film adaptation of 1001 Nights ("Il fiore della Mille e una Notte"), winner of the Grand Prix Spécial Prize at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. If you look past the cheeky mid-seventies costume design-flubs, and the horrible dubbed soundtrack, "1001 Nights" presents a beautiful, if controversial, spectacle well worth watching. Pasolini managed to film explicit sex scenes (with full-on erections) in unimaginable locations like Yemen, Eritrea, Iran and Nepal, including an impressive (non-sexual) crowd scene in the Mesjed-e Imam (Imam Mosque) in Isfahan Iran.
Despite his father's notoriety (he saved Mussolini from an attempted assassination by a 15 year old anarchist), Pasolini remained an ardent communist even after his expulsion from the Italian Communist Party for corrupting a minor and indecent exposure in a public place. Difficult even by today's standards, Pasolini worked as an openly gay film director from the beginning of his career. In 1975, Pasolini was murdered on the beaches of Ostia, allegedly run over several times in his own car by a 17 year old male hustler (though current evidence calls into question his guilt).