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The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Posted by martinteller on April 11, 2008

I fully expected to hate this. I haven’t liked Pasolini much, and I’m an atheist (though notably, so was Pasolini). But I was completely won over. The bold realism and utter lack of Hollywoodization gives the film an undefinable quality, but a powerful one. The handheld work was especially effective in bringing the story to life. The music and editing is quite bold, too. Pasolini wastes no time, nothing is superfluous. It’s almost a Reader’s Digest version of the New Testament, but in a good way, with the important points being captured and then moving on. There are no loving, lingering shots of a perfectly groomed Christ bathed in a beam of light. Enrique Irazoqui’s performance is stern and determined, his portrayal of Jesus is far from the typical gentle, saintly one we’re used to. The film isn’t going to make a convert out of me or anything, but I was considerably impressed. Rating: 9


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