Pier Paolo Pasolini

Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

Pier Paolo Pasolini traveled to Africa, Nepal, and the Middle East to realize this ambitious cinematic treatment of a selection of stories from the legendary The Thousand and One Nights. This is not the fairy-tale world of Scheherazade or Aladdin, though. Instead, the director focuses on the book’s more erotic tales, framed by the story of a young man’s quest to reconnect with his beloved slave girl. Full of lustrous sets and costumes and stunning location photography, Arabian Nights is a fierce and joyous exploration of human sexuality.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by director Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • On “Arabian Nights,” a new visual essay by film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Deleted scenes, with transcriptions of the dialogue from the original script
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Form of the City (1974), a sixteen-minute documentary by Pasolini and Paolo Brunatto about the Italian cities Orte and Sabaudia
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation

Available In

Collector's Set

Trilogy of Life

Trilogy of Life

Blu-Ray Box Set

3 Discs

$63.96

Collector's Set

Trilogy of Life

Trilogy of Life

DVD Box Set

4 Discs

$63.96

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction by director Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • On “Arabian Nights,” a new visual essay by film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Deleted scenes, with transcriptions of the dialogue from the original script
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Form of the City (1974), a sixteen-minute documentary by Pasolini and Paolo Brunatto about the Italian cities Orte and Sabaudia
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
Arabian Nights
Cast
Ninetto Davoli
Aziz
Ines Pellegrini
Zumurrud
Franco Citti
Demon
Franco Merli
Nuredin
Tessa Bouché
Aziza
Margaret Clementi
Aziz’s mother
Luigina Rocchi
Aziz’s wife
Alberto Argentino
Prince Shahzaman
Francesco Paolo Governale
Prince Tagi
Salvatore Sapienza
Prince Yunan
Zeudi Biasolo
Zeudi
Elisabetta Vito Genovese
Munis
Abadit Ghidei
Princess Dunya
Credits
Director
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Produced by
Alberto Grimaldi
Assistant directors
Umberto Angelucci
Assistant directors
Peter Shepherd
Screenplay
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Screenplay
Dacia Maraini
Director of photography
Giuseppe Ruzzolini
Supervising editor
Enzo Ocone
Editors
Nino Baragli
Editors
Tatiana Casini Morigi
Art director
Dante Ferretti
Costumes
Danilo Donati
Music
Ennio Morricone
Continuity
Beatrice Banfi

From The Current

Pasolini Speaks
Pasolini Speaks

Pier Paolo Pasolini is without question one of the most controversial filmmakers who ever lived. He is also among the most fascinating. He brought rigorous social and artistic philosophies to every project he embarked on, and boldly voiced beliefs th…

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Arabian Nights: Brave Old World
Arabian Nights: Brave Old World

Rejecting the orientalism of other adaptations, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s take on the classic tales is humane and erotic.

By Colin MacCabe

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From the Pasolini Archives
From the Pasolini Archives

On the anniversary of his birth, we look back on the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the most radical figures of Italian cinema.

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An Homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini
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Explore

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer, Director

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ability to simultaneously embrace conflicting philosophies—he was both a Catholic and a Marxist; a modern-minded, openly gay man who looked to the distant past for inspiration and comfort; a staunch leftist who at one point in the late sixties infamously spoke out against left-wing student protests (sympathizing instead with the working-class police)—was matched by the multifariousness of his professional life, as a filmmaker, poet, journalist, novelist, playwright, painter, actor, and all-around intellectual public figure. What he is best known for, however, is undoubtedly his subversive body of film work. He was a student of the written word, and among his earliest movie jobs was writing additional dialogue for Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957). Soon he was directing his first film, Accattone (1961), a tale of street crime whose style and content greatly influenced the debut feature of his friend Bernardo Bertolucci, La commare secca (1962), for which Pasolini also supplied the original story. The outspoken and always political Pasolini’s films became increasingly scandalous—even, to some minds, blasphemous—from the gritty reimagining of the Christ story The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) to the bawdy medieval tales in his Trilogy of Life (1971–1974). Tragically, Pasolini was found brutally murdered weeks before the release of his final work, the grotesque, Marquis de Sade–derived Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), still one of the world’s most controversial films.