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The Gospel According to Matthew
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Top Customer Reviews
I can't say I'm in love with Pasolini's filmmaking technique. The opening scenes of the film play like a silent film, with words few and far between. Pasolini tells most of the early story through the faces of his characters (and I should mention that he depended heavily on regular people rather than actors in the cast - his mother, for example, plays Mary). Pasolini is absolutely in love with pans and close-ups. On occasion, the camera starts moving one way, then suddenly zigs and zooms in an entirely different direction - this, to me, is sloppy technique; either the cameraman started going the wrong way or else he decided on the spur of the moment to capture something entirely different than what was planned. Once Jesus begins his ministry, the dialogue takes hold of the story, but the cinematography is always a prominent part of the presentation. All of the panning yields blurred background images, for example.Read more ›
Can you imagine a less likely candidate to make what, after 40 years, may still be the greatest and most moving film about Jesus Christ? Pasolini was not only a gay Marxist but a devout atheist. His fascination with Jesus may have connected with his most personal theme, that of the outsider (with his artistic, political and sexual nature, he saw himself as the consummate outsider). Although one of Italy's leading intellectuals, he also moved among the laborers, indigents, and hustlers (some of whom were his lovers, not to mention the inspiration for his early poetry and novels), whose counterparts two millennia earlier had walked with Jesus.
Jesus's story also let Pasolini explore the complexities of real-world politics even while recreating an ancient culture with astonishing immediacy. He also relished the opportunity to play with a vast, and eclectic, artistic tradition, from Jean-Luc Godard's striking documentary style in "the two trials of Christ.... to painting... Piero della Francesca (in the Pharisees' clothes), Byzantine art, Christ's face like a Rouault, etc."
We also see El Greco not only in some compositions but in the intriguing casting of Enrique Irazoqui, a Catalan economics student, as Jesus. Pasolini had also considered such young, subversive literary lions as Jack Kerouac and Yevgeny Yevtushenko.Read more ›
However I want to warn potential purchasers that this Water Bearer version is a high priced non-anamorphic, poor quality print (although it claims to be digitally remastered), it has burned in subtitles with no chapter stops. I had thought DVD production and quality had improved greatly in the last couple of years, this is an unfortunate (1 star) exception. If you want to see another great Pasolini film with a great anamorphic almost pristine transfer I would direct you to MGM's version of his "The Decameron".
The original is the most spiritually and artistically moving of the many religious films I have seen in my 65 years as a cinemaphile. This accomplishment is the outcome of many attributes: authenticity, simplicity, a feeling of utter truthfulness in the telling of the story, and the spare economy with which it is told. This is the movie that one would have expected that arch-Catholic master of the cinema, Robert Bresson, to make, and the manner of its making uncannily follows his precepts to the letter: strict use of non-professional actors; keeping dialogue to a minimum; and allowing the story to unfold through expressions, gestures and actions of the participants rather than through their words.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I had seen the movie a long time ago and it seems to me that I enjoyed it better the first time. It is a good artistic presentation.Published 21 months ago by Joseph Emile April
I think it is great that the kept to the biblical account in most places, but it was done in the most boring way possible. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2013 by Richard Hewko
Who would have thought that an unbelieving homosexual Marxist would have made perhaps the best interpretation of Jesus Christ in the history of the cinema? Read morePublished on July 5 2007 by Rob Larmer
It is a great movie.
I think the cover of the DVD should be relevant to the film.
the same movie in Europe has Jesus's picture with a cross !!!! Read more
Filmed in Southern Italy in rocky hillside villages and along the coast, Pasolini's "Gospel" has the feel of a silent film, with its long close-ups of its cast of... Read morePublished on March 1 2004 by Alejandra Vernon
Pasolini's THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW is by far his best ever work and probably the greatest movie on the life of Jesus ever made. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Jonny T
Surprise, surprise. Waterbearer has produced yet another poor quality Pasolini DVD. While this disc admittedly isn't as bad as their release of, say, Porcile, it's nowhere near... Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2004 by Scott Richardson