Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sometimes I feel...

It's the wrong holiday for the clip here, but the whole point of the clip is sort of disconnect. Pier Paolo Pasolini was probably the last person in the world who should have filmed The Gospel According to St. Matthew - notorious libertine, Marxist leanings, cause célèbre of Rome, you know the drill. But he managed to get something on film that's never quite been matched - a literal rendition of the gospel that's anything but literal, down to the mismatched soundtrack (everything from American gospel music to African chorales) and eerie photography.

The scene below is a nativity scene, a million miles away from the three wise men and a manger on a dark starlit night. Pasolini went the neo-realist route and chose non-actors from the towns in Southern Italy where he shot. It's a very quiet religious film, so when the crucifixion happens it really hits you. Pasolini followed it up years later with Salo, which is about as profane as this one is sacred. So...yin and yang fulfilled?

Happy Easter.


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