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The Gospel According to Matthew [Il vangelo secondo Matteo] (1964) (Masters of Cinema) [Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD]


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Product details

  • Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005SDDDBC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,735 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Legendary director (and avowed atheist) Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew [Il vangelo secondo Matteo] is one of the great retellings of the story of Christ a cinematic rendering (filmed by invitation from the Pope, no less) at once both passionate and poetic.

With stunning black-and-white photography, an eclectic soundtrack (Odetta, Bach, a Congolese mass, etc), and using a cast of non-professionals who voice dialogue drawn directly from scripture, The Gospel According to Matthew depicts the key events in the life of Christ, from immaculate conception to death on the cross.

Vaunted by the Vatican as one of its select few recommended films, acclaimed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “great film”, and revered by critics and audiences alike, Pasolini's Oscar-, Golden Lion-, and BAFTA-nominated film remains a magnificent, awe-inspiring experience.

SPECIAL DUAL FORMAT EDITION:

  • New high-definition transfer in the film s original aspect ratio
  • Original Italian theatrical trailer for the feature
  • Sopralluoghi in Palestina [Scouting in Palestine], Pasolini s 1965 film on the surveying of locations for The Gospel According to Matthew
  • A 1963 newsreel extract on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina
  • A selection of outtakes from the original Sopralluoghi in Palestina rushes
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles on both films
  • A 36-page booklet featuring a 1963 letter by Pasolini to Lucio S. Caruso of the Catholic Pro Civitate Christiana; a 2012-updated essay on the film by critic Pasquale Iannone; excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini by Oswald Stack, on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina; an excerpt from the Book of Matthew; and rare archival imagery

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Gardner on 23 April 2007
Format: DVD
This was the film that got me into film 40 years ago.I still vividly recall the effect it had on me all those years ago, and I named my firstborn Matthew in tribute. I am a faith-free person however, and had not seen the film since I was 16, until now. It retained all its power and passion, despite being monochrome and subtitled. The music is inspired, the acting always strong, and the direction unquestionably emotional, conjuring love and fear. For an atheist this has been a devotional experience, and a reminder of film as it should be, raw, brave, humane.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Highlander on 25 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
If ever I loved Jesus and I do, this one portrayal of him comes the nearest to the man (God) I follow.Hollywood has never done the portrayal of Jesus justice for me and the only film that has come close for me is Mel Gibsons " the Passion ". And that with reservations .( I have not yet seen Martin Scorcese 's The Last Temptation of Christ" ). None though of all the others whether mentioned here and including ones not discussed here are equal to this one and I was riveted throughout watching it.This film should be in every real christian's film library.It makes me feel like this potrayal of Jesus could be closer to the actual divine Jesus than any other one yet made. This film showing his courage,his endurance,his mercy,his compassion,his wisdom,his miracles moved me beyond words and the music throughout the film added yet more poignancy which easily avoided sentimentality.I thank God this film was made.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 2 Mar 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Filmed in Southern Italy in rocky hillside villages and along the coast, Pasolini's "Gospel" has the feel of a silent film, with its long close-ups of its cast of non-professional actors, which include Susanna Pasolini, the filmmaker's mother, and how the camera loves these rough, beautiful and distinctive faces…it is like a moving tapestry of Renaissance paintings, and a visual artist's dream film.
Enrique Irazoqui's Jesus, with his lofty forehead, thick eyebrows that meet over his nose, and coal black eyes, is stern and compelling, and recites the Gospel with strength and mettle.
Released forty years ago, the quality of this black and white film is gritty, which adds to the harsh depiction of the life and the landscape. Though much less ambitious, it reminds me a little of Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev", and it has the same pacing (especially in the first hour) and gravity. The soundtrack also shows signs of age, and includes Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev, Webern, some American spirituals ("Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" during the Manger scene), Kol Nidrei during the Last Supper scene, and Missa Luba. There is also a biting wind, whooshing and whistling though much of the film.
This is a literal, marvelous interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel, which is sometimes simple and sometimes quite savage (the Massacre of the Innocents is chaotic); a must see for anyone interested in Christianity, and students of film and the graphic arts.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Franz Bieberkopf on 16 Sep 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Pasolini was a gay,Marxist atheist who made the best film there is about Jesus and dedicated it to Pope John XXIII.The Almighty does indeed move in mysterious ways.
It was filmed in southern Italy with a mostly amateur cast,and the locations are great(the scenes where Jesus is tempted by Satan were filmed on the volcanic wastes of Mount Etna)-fans of Mel Gibson's "The Passion" will note that both films were shot in the same village.
The character of Jesus is played by an actor who is quite short in stature,though his eyes could probably burn a hole in steel.This emphasis on Jesus' humanity is the dominant theme in the film,even though it sets out to depict Matthew's Gospel word for word,including miracles.
Soundtrack is great,from "Missa Luba" to US blues and gospel.
Compared to Hollywood attempts at a film about Jesus,this is head and shoulders above them.The only other film about Jesus you should consider buying(or watching)is Scorcese's "Last Temptation Of Christ"-and that would probably never have been made without Pasolini's example and inspiration.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 April 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Cinematographically this is a quite extraordinary, deeply religious and visually challenging film. The choice of locations, inventive use of music, and above all the casting (the faces are extraordinary) makes this a film which we will watch time and time again. Pasolini has always been controversial - he brings to the subject matter subtle, interesting and powerful viewpoints.
Perhaps the film would be viewed by more non-Italian speakers if it was advised that the video has English sub-titles.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Nov 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I would frezze-frame my video to watch individual images,so beautiful is the photography of the film. The use of non-actors in a heterodox version of the story is overwhelming along with the dinamics of the film-making. Take as an example the Virgin Mary is a 12 year-old girl with beautiful big dark eyes, or Christ itself is a short-haired, thick eye-browed boy with the most intense look of J. Christ in cinema. The music is astonishingly heterodox: e.g. Missa Gongolensis sung in latin by tribal drummer musicians of african Congo, American blues, etc. Its the only story of JC in film where the human side takes over the religious side without going astray from the original text of the Bible. Its an astonishing film. A master-piece. J. Capelo Lisbon
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