Pasolini’s adaptation of The Canterbury Tales includes harsh institutional judgments of sexual behavior. The ecclesiastical punishment of homosexuality in the films modified version of “The Summoner’s Tale” providing the harshest of these. The cameras and microphones however, never take the side of the judges. The film portrays various pre-capitalist systems of judgment without turning itself into a system of judgment. Normally, in industrial cinema, the narrative apparatus enforces norms by forcing characters and the audience to see in the same way as the judges in the films see. In fact, the camera’s and microphones of industrial cinema most often take up the position of a kind of supreme moral court punishing those they construe as guilty both through the incidents of the plot and by means of stylistic choices in presentation. Such films frame those they would punish in such a way that they can only be perceived as guilty.
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