THE WITCHES
LE STREGHE
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 121 min, Dir: Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Luchino Visconti

Some of the greatest figures of postwar Italian cinema directed this anthology film, which is composed of five separate segments ranging from comedy to drama. The international cast includes Clint Eastwood, Annie Girardot, Alberto Sordi and Silvana Mangano.


ARABIAN NIGHTS
IL FIORE DELLE MILLE E UNA NOTTE
1974, Park Circus/MGM, 130 min, Italy/France, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

One of Pasolini’s greatest achievements, ARABIAN NIGHTS is a shimmering, golden dream of a film, drunk on its own beauty, where story after story unfolds like leaves in an ancient Persian manuscript. Equaled only by Wojciech Has’ THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT in its exquisite, otherworldly tone and intricate, puzzle-box structure, ARABIAN NIGHTS is simply unforgettable. With Tessa Bouche, Ines Pellegrini, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Franco Merli.


THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW
IL VANGELO SECONDO MATTEO
1964, Compass, 137 min, Italy, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Working from the perspective of “an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief,” director Pier Paolo Pasolini shot this story of the life of Christ in a documentary style that lends his spare imagery a power that few Biblical spectaculars ever attain. Employing non-professional actors (Spanish economics student Enrique Irazoqui portrayed Jesus, a role for which Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were reportedly considered) and dialogue drawn directly from Matthew’s text, the film effectively allies Jesus with the meek and poor in spirit, and his rejection of materialism was a theme Pasolini often championed. In Italian with English subtitles.


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