Arabian Nights Trilogy 2015
Miguel Gomes assembles original stories from contemporary Portugal, suffering under an economic crisis, into a colossal, enraged epic.

Early in Miguel Gomes’s bawdy, brilliant, inadvisably epic new project, there’s a scene in which the director appears on screen in a panic, desperately trying to escape from his crew. Given the scope of the Tabu filmmaker’s latest undertaking, it’s easy to understand why. Furious at the crippling austerity measures that the Portuguese government imposed on its people in the summer of 2013, Gomes embarked on an opus expansive enough to convey how belt-tightening had metastasized to every corner and community of the country.

The result is Arabian Nights, a gargantuan 383-minute trilogy that borrows the form of its ancient namesake but not its stories, replacing them instead with ones that Gomes has invented. By turns surreal, giddy, erotic, didactic, righteous, exhausting, boundlessly creative and a thousand and one other things, this shape-shifting colossus feels as diverse as the people of Portugal themselves.


Gorgeously shot on 35mm and Super 16, this broadly allegorical saga includes segments that range from the angry satire of “The Men with a Hard-on,” in which government and IMF representatives encounter a genie who cures them of the impotence, to less-obvious episodes like “The Owners of Dixie”, in which an adorable stray dog is passed between the various residents of a suburban high-rise. (The pooch's Dante-like journey coheres into a lucid symbol for the country as a whole.) Even the most inscrutable passages of Arabian Nights are sparked by Gomes’s rage, the basis for which is explicitly articulated in a title card at the start of each volume.

But is this one film or three? The answer, unhelpfully, is both: Arabian Nights is not a linear story, but it would be wrong to conclude that it shouldn’t be seen in a particular order. Volume 1, The Restless One is the most grounded installment, and its emphasis on labor clarifies the obsession with law that defines Volume 2, The Desolate One. Without the benefit of those chapters, you couldn’t fully appreciate the revolutionary zeal of Volume 3, The Enchanted One, in which Gomes trolls his audience by opening with 40 minutes of velvety Pasolini-esque hedonism, abruptly pivoting toward an endless 85-minute pseudo-doc about hardcore birders in the slums of Lisbon.

But if Arabian Nights may not always reward patience, it’s nevertheless impossible to disengage from. It's a film that fluidly slips between genres and disappears into the folds of time. It can end one chapter by detonating a beached whale and begin the next by following the trail of an escaped murderer named Simao Without Bowels. Even when it's an endurance test of the highest order, it reflects Gomes’s own crisis, as well as that of a people forced to live with the knowledge that they’ll wake up tomorrow with less than they had yesterday.

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto / Arabian Nights: Volume 1 - The Restless One (2015)

Arabian Nights Volume 1
In which Scheherazade tells of the restlessness that befell the country: “It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in a sad country where people dream of mermaids and whales, unemployment spreads. Forests burn into the night despite the falling rain; men and women long to set out to sea in the middle of winter. Sometimes there are animals that talk, although it is highly improbable that they are listened to. In this country, where things are not what they appear to be, men of power promenade on camels and hide permanent and shameful erections; they await the moment when taxes are collected so they can pay a wizard whom…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent.

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado / Arabian Nights: Volume 2 - The Desolate One (2015)

Arabian Nights Volume 2

In which Scheherazade tells of how desolation invaded men: “It hath reached me, oh auspicious King, that a judge will cry instead of giving out her sentence. A runaway murderer will wander through the land for over forty days and will teletransport himself to escape the guard while dreaming of prostitutes and partridges. A wounded cow will reminisce about a thousand-year-old olive tree while saying what she must say, which will sound terribly sad! The residents of a tower block in the suburbs will save parrots and piss inside elevators while surrounded by dead people and ghosts; including in fact a dog that…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent.

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 3, O Encantado / Arabian Nights: Volume 3 - The Enchanted One (2015)

Arabian Nights Volume 3

In which Scheherazade doubts that she will still be able to tell stories to please the King, given that what she has to tell weighs three thousand tonnes. She therefore escapes from the palace and travels the kingdom in search of pleasure and enchantment. Her father, the Grand Vizier, arranges to meet her at the Ferris Wheel, and Scheherazade resumes her narration: “Auspicious King, in old shanty towns of Lisbon there was a community of bewitched men who, in all rigour and passion, dedicated themselves to teaching birds to sing…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent.

3 x DVD9 | PAL 16:9 | 02:00:12 + 02:07:08 + 02:00:28 | 6.87 Gb + 7.25 Gb + 6.89 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Portuguese
Subtitles: Nederlands, Francais

Extras:
-- Trailers

Download Arabian Nights Trilogy: As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto / Arabian Nights: Volume 1 - The Restless One (2015), As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado / Arabian Nights: Volume 2 - The Desolate One (2015), As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 3, O Encantado / Arabian Nights: Volume 3 - The Enchanted One (2015) 3 x DVD9:

Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.U.part1.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.U.part2.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.U.part3.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.U.part4.rar

Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.U.part1.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.U.part2.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.U.part3.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.U.part4.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.U.part5.rar

Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.U.part1.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.U.part2.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.U.part3.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.U.part4.rar

3 x BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:05:22 + 02:12:35 + 02:05:39 | 45 Gb + 41.1 Gb + 43.2 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Portuguese
Subtitles: English

Extras:
-- Redemption (2013) a Short Film by Miguel Gomes
-- New York Film Festival Q&A with Miguel Gomes
-- Theatrical Trailer

Download Arabian Nights Trilogy: As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto / Arabian Nights: Volume 1 - The Restless One (2015), As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado / Arabian Nights: Volume 2 - The Desolate One (2015), As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 3, O Encantado / Arabian Nights: Volume 3 - The Enchanted One (2015) 3 x Blu-Ray:

Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part01.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part02.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part03.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part04.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part05.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part06.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part07.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part08.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part09.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.1.BluRay.U.part10.rar

Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part01.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part02.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part03.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part04.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part05.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part06.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part07.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part08.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part09.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.2.BluRay.U.part10.rar

Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part01.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part02.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part03.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part04.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part05.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part06.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part07.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part08.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part09.rar
Arabian.Nights.Volume.3.BluRay.U.part10.rar

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