The Gospel According To St. Matthew, review of new Tartan R2 DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brook K, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I finally had a chance to watch Tartan's R2 DVD of Pasolini's The Gospel According To St. Matthew tonight and am very happy to report it's a big improvement over the Image disc. It has been restored and other than one instance of a tear or splice mark and a little speckling, there is no damage on the print used.
    It isn't overly detailed (but this is an anamorphic disc and I don't have an anamorphic display, so it's at least 30% better than what I'm seeing), but very clear with solid blacks. A little digital noise on certain clothing patterns and the slight image instability that is common to most older films on DVD are the only other nitpicks imagewise. Definitely a huge improvement.
    Sound is about what you'd expect, limited range, etc. I did notice some pops. I'm guessing this was originally mono. The disc is 2.0, though the rear channel is faint and in the one time I listened closely seemed to have the same information as the front channel.
    Extras include filmographies for Pasolini, the actor who played Jesus, and the actor who played Andrew. There are also 5 pages of film notes which starts out comparing Pasolini and Christ, and then gives information/analysis about the film, including the uncharacteristic for Pasolini, lack of any problems with the Catholic autorities.
    An amazing film that uses neo-realist style to strip the religious trappings and Hollywood flash of more famous treatments. This allows you to concentrate on the words and message and, perhaps better than any other film, shows us Jesus the human being who lived a simple life on Earth, rather than Jesus as a grand supernatural figure. I think that regardless of one's beliefs on the subject, this is a film that can be seen and appreciated and one that I highly recommend.
     
  2. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the review Brook. This is going on my "region 2 to buy list".
     
  3. robert galasek

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    Great news. The original r1 release was pretty disappointing and I had been hesitating about getting the new r2 release in case it was the same.
    In my view The Gospel According to St Matthew is one of the greatest films ever made. I first saw it on TV when I was very young and it seemed like newsreel footage of Christ's life.
    A few years ago Martin Scorsese was on British TV talking about the film with real passion. He compared it with Rembrant's paintings. The use of music, especially the Bach, is incredible. The magnificent 'fishers of men' sequence is one of the greatest in all of cinema.
    The image of Christ as a revolutionary martyr is incredibly powerful.
    I am not religious at all but this film sometimes makes me wish I was.
     

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