A Queer Film Classic on 1974's Arabian Nights by Pier Paolo Pasolini, the controversial Italian director who was murdered under mysterious circumstances in 1975.
Already internationally distinguished as a poet, novelist, and outspoken social critic of the postwar period, Pasolini turned to filmmaking around 1960. In little more than a decade, he produced one of the most remarkable bodies of work in cinema history, beginning with his early film-portraits of the struggles of underclass youths and extending through his adaptations of such sacred or mythic narratives as the stories of Oedipus and Medea and the Gospel of St. Matthew. In what turned out to be the last years of his career, Pasolini turned to several classic works of chain-narrative -The Arabian Nights, The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom--as models for his own radical expansion of cinema's capacities for telling, showing, and enacting embodiment, nudity, and sexual desires and behaviours.
This book explores the legacy and context of Arabian Nights, in many ways the most optimistic and appealing of Pasolini's late films, not only in the final explosive phase of Pasolini's career but also more broadly in the global history of film spectacle from Douglas Fairbanks to Maria Montez.
Michael Moon is the author of books on the body in Walt Whitman's poetry, imitation and initiation in American art and writing from Henry James to Andy Warhol, and the sources of the work of outsider artist Henry Darger. He has taught at Duke and Johns Hopkins University, and now teaches at Emory University in Atlanta.
Thomas Waugh is the award-winning author or co-author of numerous books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed, Montreal Main: A Queer Film Classic (with Jason Garrison), Comin' At Ya! (with David L. Chapman), and Gay Art: A Historic Collection (with Felix Lance Falkon). His other books include Hard to Imagine, The Fruit Machine, The Romance of Transgression in Canada, and The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson. He is co-editor (with Matthew Hays) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on classic LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal,where founded the Concordia program in sexuality studies, the Concordia HIV/AIDS Project, and Queer Media Database Canada Quebec (mediaqueer.ca).
Matthew Hays is a Montreal-based critic, author, and university and college instructor. His articles have appeared in a broad range of publications. His first book, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers (Arsenal Pulp Press), was cited by Quill & Quire as one of the best books of 2007 and won a 2008 Lambda Literary Award. He is co-editor (with Thomas Waugh) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is the film instructor at Marianopolis College, and also teaches courses in journalism, communication studies, and film studies at Concordia University, where he received the Concordia Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007 and the President's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013.
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