Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo
This brilliant and entirely unforgiving neorealist Passion play from 1964 looks as if it has been hacked from some stark rockface. It is made in black and white, and uses non-professionals, including the director's mother, Susanna Pasolini, as the older Mary, mother of Christ.
The musical score switches sharply from Bach's ‘St Matthew Passion’ to classic blues. Enrique Irazoqui's Jesus is eerily, almost disturbingly self-possessed, emerging from the landscape like Bergman's Death in ‘The Seventh Seal’. His rhetoric is ceaseless and fluent, and his sermonising is persistently presented as a kind of dreamlike montage of inspired insights with Pasolini's camera jump-cutting from Jesus's face at different places and times.
This really is raw filmmaking, in a political vernacular which speaks of Pasolini's high, theocratic Marxist belief in the sovereignty of the people, like the publicans and the harlots that Christ said understood him. The texture and feel of what's on the screen is abrasive and uncompromising, Pier Paolo Pasolini used non-professional actors and cast local peasants, shopkeepers, factory workers, and truck drivers. (Subtitles)
Please note that the Reverend Dr Daniel Inman will not be able to introduce the film.