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on 16 October 2017
Amazing Italian film. It has English subtitles, but hearing the Italian language and the settings that are in Italy, gives the film a special different perspective as if the film itself is spreading the Gospel. Amazing how a film is made of the whole of St. Matthew's Gospel. Such a moving and important film.
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on 17 April 2000
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 June 2012
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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on 3 April 2015
There have been several versions of the story of Jesus down through the years but none have the power or emotion as Pier Paolo Pasolinis 1964 masterpiece.Enrique Irazoqui plays the Messiah not as a saint but as a flawed human being and even when he performs miracles there is no saintly reverence about him like in Nicholas Rays King of kings or George Stevens The greatest story ever told.The musical score which features Billie Holiday and Mozart is brave and unusual.The crucifixion scene is movingly done and even if you are an atheist like Pasolini was this movie still comes highly recommended,
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on 25 October 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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on 23 April 2007
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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on 16 July 2009
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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on 16 September 2007
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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on 20 March 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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on 30 November 2000
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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