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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the power and the passion
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...
Published on 23 April 2007 by J. M. Gardner

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you wanted a quick overview of the christ story without bothering to read the bible then this would be a good introduction as
I don't know why I bought this. I'm not religious, not that interested in the story of Jesus. It was ok but I won't be watching it again. If you wanted a quick overview of the christ story without bothering to read the bible then this would be a good introduction as it seems to cover all the important bits.
Published 5 months ago by simben


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the power and the passion, 23 April 2007
By 
J. M. Gardner (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS JESUS SON OF GOD, 25 Oct. 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars a literal, riveting telling, 2 Mar. 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Tthe best film about Jesus ever made., 16 Sept. 2007
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary and challenging film, with subtitles., 17 April 2000
By A Customer
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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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest master-pieces of cinema of all times, 30 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mystery remains intact, 27 Jun. 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
What I love about this film is the way it combines physical beauty and wonder, in the form of faces and landscapes, with a sense of the mystery of the events described in Matthew's Gospel. Pasolini himself was an atheist but he was obviously drawn to the subject which is certainly a great human drama, possibly the greatest story of all, whether one believes in it or not. It makes for a better film coming from the position of relative detachment that Pasolini occupied, because from a believer it would have been too proselytising. As it is, it radiates a sense of the spiritual without trying to convert us. The mystery of the text, and the difficulty of the scriptures in terms of the awkwardness of some of the things Christ said (in the sense that they are often paradoxical and not easy to understand), are left as they are, while his passion and anger are fairly to the fore. Many of the sequences are unforgettable, first among them being the Crucifixion itself with Mary at the foot of the cross in a transport of grief. The sequence goes on quite a long time, so that its power is remarkably sustained, set against Bach's sublime music. Many of the faces in the film are memorable - a believer would have to see in such a diversity of beauty the work of God, but as with everything else, the director leaves a question mark over this. He just shows it as it is, presented with a sense of artistic conviction that's hard to separate from the spiritual, but we can interpret it as we will.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best biblical film ever!, 16 July 2009
By 
Mr. M. Globe "Morris Globe" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Gospel According To St. Matthew [1967] [DVD]

I saw this film when it was released in the early 1960's and left a profound impression on me. Over the years there have been many films about the gospel story and this one is by far the very best! It tells the story in a powerful way and the fact that there are no "stars" helps.

If anyone wants to see a biblical film told simply, this is the one for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price, 20 Mar. 2012
Simply the best DVD/Blu-ray release of the Gospel according to Pasolini. Didn't check for the boni yet, but I'm sure I'll convert myself if they are as perfect as the master of the film...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as groundbreaking as it once seemed but still worthwhile, 17 Jun. 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew (with a bit of Mark and Isiah thrown in too) looks a little less edgy these days. Much of the first half feels like a lavishly mounted Mystery Play, with the Sicilian and Southern Italian locations seeming surprisingly appropriate for First Century Judea (indeed, Scorsese originally planned to film his Passion there). It even cleverly playing on the regional accents in the moment where Peter's "speech betrays him" (Jesus and his followers were much derided as hicks for their coarse accents just as Sicilians and Southern Italians often still are). Yet there's the definite feeling that much of Pasolini's oft-cited political interpretation is more in his own head than actually on the screen at times, and it almost seems a cheat that while he casts amateur actors he uses professionals to voice them (most notably Enrico Maria Salerno, most famous for voicing Clint Eastwood in Leone's paella westerns, as Jesus).

It's not until the last half hour that he really cuts loose stylistically, with the trials witnessed from a distance from the point of view of the disciples hiding in the crowd, a real urgency in Judas' suicide scene and no holding back from the visceral violence of being nailed to the cross. But there are enough moments - the adoration of the Magi accompanied by Odetta's Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, the bored Roman soldiers stifling a yawn as Jesus preaches with increasing anger and frustration, the look on Jesus' face as he sees the children greet him on Palm Sunday - to make it worthwhile. Maybe it has lost some of its radical edge with time...

Tartan's DVD has an acceptable but not outstanding transfer but no extras.
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