Pasolini’s Medea

Comments from Netflix:

“Of course I thought this was the opera. I guess I’ll have to pay closer attention to the DVD descriptions in future. This was my fault of course.”

“On my dvd, one whole 15-20 minute scene is repeated, as if the film editor liked it so much, he wanted us to see it again.”

‘”Art” with a capital “A”.’

“It seems to take longer to watch the movie than for the students to have made it.”

‘OK, when I saw the priests scuttling around in their costumes, I thought of a scene in “Time Bandits” and started laughing.’

“Watch Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts instead, and just imagine Medea back home murdering the kids.”

“May appeal to those interested in 1960s experimental film, but anyone looking for a film version of Euripedes’ play will be disappointed. ”

“This is not a film version of Euripides’ ‘Medea’, although much of the last half of the movie follows Euripides’ narrative line. The first half is an intriguing imaginative recreation of ancient Colchis and the profoundly non-Greek cultic traditions out of which Medea came. It’s presented as myth, in that her passion for Jason is only implied, not presented. The theft of the Golden Fleece seems unmotivated unless one already knows the story. So this part of the film is like one created by a director from the eighth century B.C. In the second half Euripides’ gods play no role and the focus is on Medea’s psychological reaction to Jason’s abandonment — tho’ her old gods do play a role at least in her mind. The death of Glauce is presented in two versions, one akin to myth and the second a modern, almost feminist take in which Glauce realises Medea’s grief and sorrow and throws herself from the parapet in sympathy. Much of the film is wordless; words are unnecessary for the presentation of most of a myth like this and Pasolini knew that. The slow unfolding of the story is less important than the sense of foreboding and inevitability. One shouldn’t expect any surprises just a wonderfully strange evocation of a completely alien world.”


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