The Gospel According to St. Matthew
Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Cornerhouse, 7 April 2013
This stark realisation of St. Matthew’s Gospel is one of Pasolini’s finest films.
He owes a debt to various Renaissance artists as well, above all perhaps to Piero, but he’s absolutely faithful to the Bible text. The music – Bach, Negro spirituals, Webern – is well deployed too.
In Enrique Irazoqui there is a Christ who is charismatic and at times cruelly inhuman: ‘Let the dead bury their dead’ he says, and you know he means it. He’s a man on a mission.
Her tears cannot save her son but Pasolini’s camera dares to look into Mary’s face.
Thou, O Lord, hast freed us from the fear of death, cried St. Macrina. Thou hast made the end of life the beginning to us of true life. At the end, it is a prayer that rings true.