26 October 2004 | mycheung-1
Fun to see the comments at two extreme posts. There are things like durian and cheese, either you love it, or you hate it! So below is just my personal opinion and you absolutely don't need to agree with me!
It is true that the characters are quite caricatural, but the movie is about one thousand and one nights - it is about fantasies! Honestly i don't ever find the "dreams" typical of hollywoodian movies more appealing. it is just a matter of taste. in fact, through exaggerations, Pasolini let human strengthens and weaknesses magnified and incarnated in the characters. in a way, they are like cartoon characters. Can we call that bad acting? it is just a style of interpretation. Oh, only if we had the innocence like the actors and actress in the movie ... in fact, somehow i found a bit of resemblance (or to the opposite of it!) in these characters to people i know. only if you observe, man! I especially love the story about Aziz and Aziza...
It is above all a movie about love - and there comes sex naturally, and the jealousy, pain, loyalty, betrayal, etc. Even between the "owner" and the "slave", there was absolutely no slavery involves, but just love! well an exchange took place in the market, but that only showed that the slave was actually free. Pasolini didn't have an obsession for the female body which is usually the case in most movies. Is there anything wrong about that? Or are we just too accustomed to female nudity so we always expect it and we become annoyed about male nudity too easily? Both can be beautiful and deserve the same attention from the camera and the audience.
Talking about female vs. male in the movies, i constantly feel that Pasolini pictured man as a simple but too simple (even stupid) creature, while woman as complex and too complex (either a saint or perversed) when it comes to love. But again, it's about fairy tales. Only if it were true, life would be so much easier!
There were poems cited in almost every story and this was one of the most fascinating elements in the movie as well. you may call it erotic, but look at it another way round, who doesn't want his/her own sex and love life to be as poetic and beautiful. I see the humour in the movie with the same lens.
I was also amazed by the flow of the story line - story within a story, and then a personage in the story starts to tell another story... it can be confusing at first, but as the story flows it all became clearer, and at the end, i was simply amazed. or thanks to the DVD technology too, imagine 30 years back when u had to and could only watch it in one go in a cinema!