Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew)
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Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew)
Relating his facts in straight-on documentary fashion, Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1964 Biblical film stars Enrique Irazoqui as Jesus. In it, Christ and his followers are depicted as gentle radicals working against the grain of the unjust Roman power structure. Typically offbeat Pasolini touches include having Satan disguise himself as a Catholic priest and the casting of the director's own mother as the Virgin Mary. The music is selected from a variety of sources, from Bach to American spirituals. Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo was released in the U.S. as The Gospel According to St. Matthew --… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Pasolini uses a complex but seemingly stark and simple visual style, and he evokes wonderful performances from nonprofessionals Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, and Marcello Morante."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"The consequence is a crescendo of excitement and involvement with the fervor and passion of Jesus and an accumulating sense of the irony and tragedy of Jesus' suffering, in historical as well as spiritual terms."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Superb in every way, and possibly the film-maker's best."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Definitely one for multiple viewings, and arguably up there with Pasolini's best."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Seen as a Catholic-Marxist statement at the time, nearly 40 years on, Pasolini's cinematic accomplishment still impresses."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"This highly political interpretation of the passion is as scandalous in its own way as Mel Gibson's but more poetic, more contemporary in its impact, and more serious in its overall morality."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Tells the life of Christ as if a documentarian on a low budget had been following him from birth."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A fierce magnesium flame of a movie."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"A defiantly earthy anti-epic, Pasolini's Gospel is a period piece in costume only, placing its rather scruffy, contemporary-looking Christ in the steep southern Italian hills of Calabria."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Pier Paolo Pasolini benefited from the very austerity that underlies the particular and at the same time universal center of this film."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Certainly Pasolini's most satisfying movie."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Cinema's most impressive biblical movie to date."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Pasolini, a gay atheist Marxist, has made one of the most intriguing films about Jesus, cast with unknowns and shot in documentary style."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Beautifully retells a spiritual story without resorting to the overbearing piousness that makes most American Bible films such well-intentioned slogs."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"A quirky version of Matthew's story, one that was closer in accord with fundamentalist beliefs than Marxist tenets."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews