The Gospel According to Matthew (Masters of Cinema) DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Produced in 1964
Main Language - Italian with English subtitles
Eyebrows were raised in 1995 when the Vatican formally commended Pasolini's third feature over all other biopics of Jesus Christ. After all, it was made by an avowedly Marxist atheist with a well-established taste for both sexual and religious scandal, who had just been given a suspended prison sentence for blasphemy over his short film La Ricotta. But it towers over its many peers. Pasolini's approach, which he characterised as that of 'an unbeliever who is nostalgic for a belief', is to strip the material down to essentials, filming in a scrupulously realistic style with no artificial designs or special effects, the spiritual dimension coming from the eclectic soundtrack (Bach, the Missa Luba, even Billie Holiday).
Pasolini's Christ is a revolutionary thinker (law student Enrique Irazoqui's performance is considerably more forceful than other interpretations), attracting large crowds to the point where the authorities realise they have a serious political problem on their hands. Much of the dialogue is taken directly from Matthew's Gospel (Pasolini omits the 'Saint'), given extra potency by being uttered in such humdrum surroundings.
Michael Brooke on 23rd February 2012
Author of 135 reviews
Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the great retellings of the story of Christ – a cinematic rendering (filmed by invitation from the Pope) that is at once both passionate and poetic.
With stunning black-and-white photography, an eclectic soundtrack (Odetta, Bach, a Congolese mass etc), and using a cast of non-professionals who voice dialogue drawn directly from scripture, The Gospel According to Matthew depicts the key events in the life of Christ, from immaculate conception to death on the cross. Imagine a skilled and respectful documentary crew had followed Jesus in his wanderings.
Vaunted by the Vatican as one of its select few recommended films, acclaimed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a 'great film', and revered by critics and audiences alike, Pasolini's film remains a magnificent, awe-inspiring experience.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 137 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Cat No: EKA70046
Format: DVD+Blu-ray B&W
- 2 discs
- New high-definition transfer in the film’s original aspect ratio
- Sopralluoghi in Palestina [Scouting in Palestine], Pasolini’s 1965 film on the surveying of locations for The Gospel According to Matthew
- A 1963 newsreel extract on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina
- A selection of outtakes from the original Sopralluoghi in Palestina rushes
- Newly translated optional English subtitles on both films
- Original Italian theatrical trailer for the feature
- A 36-page booklet featuring a 1963 letter by Pasolini to Lucio S. Caruso of the Catholic Pro Civitate Christiana
- a 2012-updated essay on the film by critic Pasquale Iannone
- excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini by Oswald Stack, on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina
- an excerpt from the Book of Matthew and rare archival imagery.
by Marie Josette Rode on 31st May 2009
One of the most beautiful, most moving, most soothing films ever made ! Read on
One of the most beautiful, most moving, most soothing films ever made ! Hide