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Dream Baby Dream,
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This review is from: Arabian Nights (DVD + Blu-ray) (DVD)
Docudrama, piece of social anthropology or just a surreal film; combines all three into a kaleidoscope of displays. Not for your average Joe however.
Fly on the wall, sumptuous presentation as this sucks on the end and pulls you through the flyscreen and then drops you somewhere between some time in the past, stretching from the biblical to medieval. The cities, are obviously current to the era this was filmed...somewhere over the rainbow lies an untouched land. Evokes the early christian higgledy piggledy building structures of baked clay and tapestry, a type of urban planning ordered grid system nightmare. Here it creates some other world away from the bland European home.
The main protagonists are a female black slave and a young whiter boy, naive to the point of foolishness and then stretching it even beyond that. The world revolves around the sensuality of the woman who makes the mistake of insulting the more powerful of men, setting off a chain of events. The catalyst of the story, but not the whole focus, as Passolini wants to show the Dyonisian spirit of two horned lust. No pornographic viewing, as the sex is clumsy rather than staged porn penetrations.
Sexual bachanal is the main focus and the pounding of human emotions in a world where sex has no barriers, is aptly depicted. Incorporating all forms of human to human bodily contact, this traverses the ancient Islamic world to portray the perfumed gardens of figs and pomegranetes being spliced by ripe bananas, as cloven petals are gently and rudely plucked throughout. All infused with humour at the human condition.
No Caligula or Salo, this builds on the vapid ether of entering another richly emotionally laden world where sex has few inhibitions, except being boundaried by love and the corresponding inability to connect emotionally.
A beautifully shot film, a series of portraits, capturing an era being replaced with Adidas, manchester united shirts, TV soaps and radical Islam. Here it has the sumptous simplicity of an ideal world, apart from the slavery. Passolini shows the dimensions to a bisexual social world.
A great film brimming with an other worldliness, although set in the basic world of Yemen/Iran. It is not rivetting, but just deeply captivating.