Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: Edipo Re
Italy/Morocco, 1967. Arco Film, Somafis. Screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini, based on the play by Sophocles. Cinematography by Giuseppe Ruzzolini. Produced by Alfredo Bini. Production Design by Luigi Scaccianoce. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Nino Baragli.
Extremely strange and shallow but also visually impressive adaptation of Sophocles’ drama. Beginning in a pre-World War I setting, a happy couple give birth to their son Oedipus and everything is perfect until the father’s jealousy turns on his son. Oedipus is taken into the middle of the wilderness of a foreign land (at which point the film’s style switches to ancient times) and left to die, but is rescued by a humble shepherd and given to the nearby king and queen to be raised as their foundling son. As an adult, he journeys back to the land of his birth, and in fulfillment of a prophecy kills his father and marries his mother without realizing it. Silvana Mangano is stunning as the incestuous mother in question, while director Pier Paolo Pasolini appears as the priest who delivers the oracle to our hero. It’s not captivating enough to be among the director’s best works, but it has enough style to impress you before it’s over.
Venice Film Festival: In Competition