The Gospel According to St. Matthew
The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.
First - it contains perhaps the most powerful piece of MUSIC I ever experienced in a movie. I've never forgotten my utmost impression from that music when I saw the movie for the first time in a film-club some twenty-five years ago. From a total silence of the first titles, a music like an avalanche of a heavenly army hitting the soul ...
Which music it was? MISA LUBA! An incredible polyrithmic blend of three ingredients: a high melodic church chorus of Kenyan women, plus an unbelievably improvising african singer, plus a bunch of African drummers... everything locked together by an unrepeatable moment of inspiration and chance. I could not imagine some most powerful music to underline the most exposed passages of Jesus' story. Curiously and sadly enough, this MISA LUBA is even not credited in the movie titles, in contrast to a fair (but much more standard) classic music used in most of the movie. It was just this happy usage of MISA LUBA which contributes most to the soul and mood of the Pasolini film. It is also well understandable why Pasolini used an eclectic mixture of music from various continents, -- in an obvious intention to make the universal story yet more UNIVERSAL, across the nations and cultures.
Second happy aspect of Pasolini's interpretation is his cast of characters, his choice of believable and interesting types ... for Jesus, for Maria, and most other characters. These are believable and convincing types of people from the middle-east. How superior and fair is here Pasolini in comparison with all those funny blue-eyed and polished Hollywood casts of those pseudo-biblic stories ...
And third - Pasolini did very well to make the movie in black-and-white. It contributes to a mystical, spiritual and abstract atmosphere of the opus. In my opinion, it would be hardly possible to make this movie well in color.
And yes, I agree with those who say that practically all other movies about Jesus and those biblic stories are fundamentally wrong, and in cases of those (in)famous Hollywood versions - even funny to tears.
This Pasolini's opus is very honest and might be the 'very best film interpretation of Jesus' story.
- May 3, 2002