From Il Decameron to Salò: rewriting
in Cinema – Italy
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Pier Paolo Pasolini's work in the early 1970s can be described by two words: remake and masquerade. They indicate a desire for a play with forms, both joyful and light, opening onto a decade that will continue without him. Pasolini grouped together II decameron/The Decameron (1971), I racconti di Canterbury/The Canterbury Tales (1972) and Il fiore delle Mille e una notte/Arabian Nights (1974) with the title Trilogia della vita/The Trilogy of Life. It was meant to be playful, like a carnivalesque dance based on motifs and signs of the past. There is a strong temptation to think of I racconti as a prologue to Pasolini's last film, Salò. In Salò, the rituals are transformed into ceremonials, the pulse of life and its sacral substance into a cold geometry of shapes. Salò can be interpreted as a grotesque and violent 'Reality TV' show as the Italian poet Gianni D'Elia suggested.

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