Possibly, probably, or even certainly the most spectacular call for the renunciation of spectacle in the history of cinema. An ultravivid exercise in unfettered hysteria, colliding Anger's Pleasure Dome with Fellini's Satyricon in the service of a series of crucifixions: Christ's, the Tetrarch's, Wilde's, any and all versions of correspondence theory, inter alia. A jaw-dropping, eye-burning perpetual motion machine.
The experience of a lifetime. A viciously brilliant narrative experimentation that blends theatrical-big-band-epic energy with subliminal slash cutting and sound design; forcing we the audience to grow within the performance as rabid animals, foaming for a way out. This is my first Carmelo Bene film, time for a binge.
It is all much more faithful to the text of Wilde's play than I was led to expect and the reading is remarkably lucid. The performance of Bene as Herod is not the least propulsive element in this relentless pageant, though the brilliantly bright design and often super fast editing also contribute greatly to the kaleidoscopic effect.