The Gospel According To Saint Matthew (1964)

PIER PAOLO PASOLINI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Original title:  Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo

Italy/France, 1964.  Arco Film, Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France.  Screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Hands down the best Jesus movie ever made; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s testament to the wonder of Christ’s tale is a startlingly beautiful work. The gorgeous cinematography captures the entire story from the book of Matthew, starting with Jesus’s birth in a Bethlehem stable, through to his days as the wandering prophet of Galilee until his crucifixion and resurrection. Using non-professional actors, all of whom have compelling natural qualities, Pasolini shows us the socialist nature of Christ’s teachings and the direct opposition his dogma has to the way that contemporary religion (and society in general) is run. He also doesn’t add anything to the Biblical tale, instead using the good book’s dialogue and situations without the need for amendment or even poetically licensed interpretation. Who better to make a movie about Jesus Christ than a controversial Marxist filmmaker who has a publicly known penchant for male prostitutes? This is an incredibly powerful, unforgettable experience.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Art Direction-BW; Best Costume Design-BW; Best Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment

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