The Gospel According to St. Matthew (film)

The Gospel According to St. Matthew (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Gospel According to St. Matthew

caption = Original poster
director = Pier Paolo Pasolini
producer = Alfredo Bini
writer = Pier Paolo Pasolini
narrator =
starring = Enrique Irazoqui
music = Luis Enríquez Bacalov Carlo Rustichelli (uncredited)
cinematography = Tonino Delli Colli
editing = Nino Baragli
distributor = Titanus Distribuzione S.p.a.
released = 1964
runtime = 133 min.
country = Italy
language = Italian
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:20399
imdb_id = 0058715

"The Gospel According to St. Matthew" is a 1964 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Its original Italian release title is "Il Vangelo secondo Matteo", literally "The Gospel of Matthew", as the atheist Pasolini was uncomfortable with calling Matthew a saint. [ [ allmovie ((( The Gospel According to St. Matthew > Overview ))) ] ] The dialogue is primarily taken directly from the gospel, as Pasolini felt that "images could never reach the poetic heights of the text." [ [ "The Gospel According to St. Matthew"] at Danel Griffin's "Film as Art" website.] He reportedly chose the Gospel of Matthew over the others because he had decided that "John was too mystical, Mark too vulgar, and Luke too sentimental." [ [ Pasolini - Faculty of Arts at The University of Auckland, New Zealand ] ]


Pasolini had previously been sentenced to jail for the allegedly blasphemous and obscene content of his contribution to the anthology film "RoGoPaG". As a reputed atheist and Communist, the reverential nature of his film was surprising, but Pasolini himself said "If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief."Fact|date=March 2008


Pasolini used some of the techniques of Italian neorealism. All of the actors are amateurs: Enrique Irazoqui (Jesus) was a 19 year old student from Spain, and the rest of the cast was mainly locals from Barile, Matera and Massafra (Italy), where the film was shot (Pasolini visited the Holy Land but found the locations unsuitable and "commercialized"). [See Pasolini's " [ Sopralluoghi in Palestina] " ("Inspections in Palestine")]

The score of the film is eclectic, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach (e.g "Mass in B Minor" and "St Matthew Passion") to Odetta ("Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child").


The film was widely touted in Italy, and proved one of Pasolini's most popular, both with critics and the public. [ Roger Ebert's review of "The Gospel According to St. Matthew"] .] Roger Ebert said in his movie review, "Pasolini's is one of the most effective films on a religious theme I have ever seen, perhaps because it was made by a nonbeliever who did not preach, glorify, underline, sentimentalize or romanticize his famous story, but tried his best to simply record it."

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 92% certified "fresh" rating. [ [ "The Gospel According to St. Matthew"] at Rotten Tomatoes.]


At the 1964 Venice Film Festival, "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" was nominated for 3 awards, including the Golden Lion, and won 2, the OCIC Award and the Special Jury Prize.

"The Gospel According to St. Matthew" was released in the United States in fy|1966 and was nominated for three Academy Awards: Art Direction, Costume Design, and Score.




* Bart Testa, "To Film a Gospel ... and Advent of the Theoretical Stranger," in Patrick Rumble and Bart Testa (eds.), "Pier Paolo Pasolini: Contemporary Perspectives." University of Toronto Press, Inc., 1994, pp. 180-209. ISBN 0-8020-7737-4.

External links

*imdb title|id=0058715|title=Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
*amg title|id=1:20399|title=Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
*" [ The Gospel According to St. Matthew] " at the [ Arts & Faith Top100 Spiritually Significant Films] list
* [ "The Gospel According to St. Matthew"] at Danel Griffin's "Film as Art" website.

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Special Jury Prize, Venice
tied with "Hamlet"
before="The Fire Within"
tied with "Introduction to Life"
after="Simon of the Desert", "I Am Twenty"
and "Modiga Mindre Män"

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