The Decameron

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 3.0

Part one of Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life," taking Boccaccio's tales of irony and applying his own unique naturalist approach to them, using hand-held cameras and amateurs to play the roles. David Thomson is correct that Pasolini's fascination with faces doesn't lend to the smoothest of editing (nor does he pick the most skilled of performers), but nothing the director did was ever orthodox (his death remains a mystery), and his best films have a genuine you-are-there quality, with skin caked in mud and sweat and images sometimes off-kilter or unfocused. While cinema always tends towards the glossy and sharp, here was an individual free-spirited and intentionally coarse, eager to show life in all its decrepit, greasy glory.