First 248 words of the document:
In 1962 Pier Paolo Pasolini received a suspended sentence for his allegedly blasphemous
contribution to the portmanteau film Rogopag, a brilliant sketch satirising biblical movies. Two years
later the gay, Marxist atheist showed the world how a life of Christ should be made, and it is a
magnificent achievement, far superior to Scorsese's or Gibson's films.
The Gospel According to St Matthew
Shot in stark, grainy black and white on austere locations in impoverished southern Italy and based
solely on St Matthew's gospel, it is neorealist (Italian Neorealism (Italian: Neorealismo) is a national
film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on
location, frequently using nonprofessional actors) in style but draws on 500 years of Christian art. The
actors are mostly non-professionals (Jack Kerouac was Pasolini's first choice for Christ, before a
Spanish law student was cast), the score is eclectic (Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev, Weber, Missa Luba).
Christ is a brisk, urgent, often angry figure, his strength residing in his will rather than his physique.
John the Baptist is scrawny, balding, undernourished, with a mouthful of bad teeth and the radiance
of a true believer.
The miracles are confronted head on, but when the loaves and fishes suddenly appear they're rapidly
covered by flies. This is how this fringe of the Roman empire must have appeared to people at the
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Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Gospel
According to St Matthew
Thursday 2 November 2000
Films about the Christian God are not exactly my cup of tea, being either maudlin or
boringly dignified, and almost always badly acted.…read more