And also The Gospel According to Karl Marx. Pasolini, a leftist and atheist, dips into mankind's most sacred writings with a highly suspicious selectivity, and extracts an image of Jesus Christ as a revolutionary, repainting the source material as "acquired" post-modern (f)art — Empty, no wonder it's one of the most acclaimed films of all time.
The Gospel interpreted more as an artistic myth rather than a religious work. Pasolini's work is not bare of spirituality though as words and actions are taken directly from scripture but his figures appear more humanist than purely divine. Te greatest pleasure of the Gospel is Pasolini's unconventional crafting through his unique cinematography of already well trodden biblical scenes.
Eccentric, rough-hewn, and deeply esoteric. Pasolini gives us his reading of the characters behind the story - their essence abstract in emotional terms. It's worth-mentioning how well Pasolini delineates the characters with nothing but the most minimal means. Pasolini's christ is angry, passionate and grounded on the lowest social clashes, but on the same time he's divine, beautiful and pure.
i read the crudeness (random close up of background characters, missed panning, awkward editing) as part of the form. there's a tension between this crudeness to the (absolutely) stunning photography as if pasolini's trying to make art out of mistakes and mistakes out of art.
The part with Jesus having waterproof shoes was unrealistic...otherwise good film;) Extraordinary editing and at times use of music. My hair stood up during the first ten minutes or so, the wonderful cuts between Maria in close-up and Josef leaving, and with that haunting song in the background. I did lose some interest after a while though.
Pasolini found a way to create a movie that has a difficult and vast subject matter and turn it into something which is watchable. It is not even unpleasant. Still I think the first 90 minutes are incoherent and that Jesus was a cranky guy. It's easy to see where he got his inspiration but in the end La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc and Vivre sa Vie are head and shoulders above this. The final act I thought was amazing.
A haunting grace envelops Pasolini's adaptation of the story of Jesus. Whether a historical or spiritual figure, Jesus remains a universal icon who evokes a multitude of interpretations. Not since Dreyer's 'Joan of Arc' has a cinematic retelling arrested the senses so unequivocally.