Monday, April 23, 2018

Pier Paolo Pasolini: 'Medea' (1969)

Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea (1969), filmed in stunning locations and starring the great opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977) in the title role. 
Jason and the Argonauts will be on a collision course with fate: the Golden Fleece and Medea. Chiron, Jason's adoptive father, a centaur, tries to prepare him for life when growing up. "Wherever your eyes roam, a god is hidden. And if by chance he be not there, the signs of his sacred presence are."
Medea with her family in Colchis (modern day Georgia), before the disruptive arrival of Jason and the Argonauts.
Medea and culture shock: beware the coming of the Greeks and their rival gods!
Pasolini's approach is distinctive and unforgettable! Maria Callas shines as Medea! 

At points, I was reminded of The Wicker Man (1973) and Twin Peaks: The Return (2017).  On the one hand, human sacrifice as part of ancient tradition, and on the other, double-exposure technique, superimposing a face (Medea, Agent Cooper) over a key scene, and presenting two versions of an event (the final fate of Creusa / Glauca). I was also reminded of Werner Herzog in the way Pasolini intertwines other-worldly music and free-floating camera work. 

Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune. 

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