Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
After his quest to retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. However, when the king banishes her, it's only human that Medea plots her furious revenge. Can they escape her wrath?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Ancient Arabia. A youth is chosen by a beautiful slave girl to be her new master; she is kidnapped and they must search for each other. Stories are told within stories; love, travel and the whims of destiny.
While scouting locations for his classic "The Gospel According to St. Matthew", director Pier Paolo Pasolini noticed that filming in the actual site of the story, in Palestine, wouldn't be ... See full summary »
The tragic and self-destructive sexual battle between a man and his wife. A drama for the desperate struggle of those who are different against the normality that rejects the margins. The ... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Along a rocky, barren coastline, Jesus begins teaching, primarily using parables. He attracts disciples; he's stern, brusque, and demanding. He comes to bring a sword, not peace, he says. He's in a hurry, moving from place to place near the Sea of Galilee, sometimes attracting a multitude, sometimes being driven away. His parables often take on the powers that be, so he and his teachings come to the attention of the Pharisees, the chief priests, and elders. They conspire to have him arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified, just as he prophesied to his followers. After he dies, he appears to his disciples and gives them final instructions.Written by
Rendering Bible stories into film is a difficult task, but Pasolini's account of Matthew's Gospel is among the most successful. The narration of events in the Bible is generally quite sparse, with only the most salient details given; as a result, events are fraught with hidden depths and profundity. Medieval art gives a similar effect, using completely different techniques. Filmmakers of the Bible generally attempt to flesh out the stories to make them more "real," but the result is inevitably banal and overwrought at the same time. Pasolini uses a different approach. First of all, he adds almost nothing to the text of Matthew's Gospel, and all the dialogue and events are directly from Matthew. Next, it's filmed in black & white, and the acting, especially Jesus, is consistently understated. Many quiet shots of faces watching, reacting, or, in the case of Jesus, talking. In these ways, Pasolini succeeds, to some degree, in reproducing the effect of depth and transcendence found in the Bible. The music (from Bach, Blind Willie Johnson, and others) adds considerably to the power of the movie.
Pasolini's minimalist Jesus has an air of both humility and loftiness (as befitting one able to walk on water), but he is conspicuously lacking in emotion and expression. One might reply that Jesus (as God) doesn't share all our roller coaster emotions, but I see the New Testament Jesus as more of a Hamlet character, full of contradictory emotions. Pasolini's Jesus character's foreboding presentation could almost be seen as that of a young, conceited, dour, nihilistic Sophomore Philosophy student. A few quibbles: the Bible text describes large crowds of people following Jesus, but the movie only allows for a couple of dozen in most scenes. Also, in the movie, Jesus is often represented as preaching while he is walking, with his back turned away from his followers, who walk behind him. Finally, Mary the mother of Jesus is at most 20 when he is born, but she somehow becomes 70 years old during his ministry, when in fact she would have been only 50. With these reservations, then, I consider this the most successful Bible film I've seen.
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