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Another ten years went by before I watched it again and after the second viewing, found myself emotionally drained, my jaw on the floor with the realization that I'd just finished a film that alternately horrified, fascinated and astonished me.
Medea is a grim, violent, film, minimally processed which only adds to its gruesome, wild rawness. This is Pasolini's Medea, not Euripedes and it is not easy viewing. Its wild, African/Middle Eastern score with the nasal bleating of women's voices in near pre-historic sounding rhythmic chant adds further to the element of being "out there" this film produces: This is about as far away from popular cinema as one can get. Medea doesn't easily compare to films of any other style or genre; not even with some of Pasolini's other work. But, if you can succumb to its hypnotic, mesmerizing pace at once both frenetic and static - you will realize this is as about as close to a hallucinatory experience one can achieve without the use of an illegal substance. Granted, not everyone wants that experience.
As Medea, Callas is simply amazing. Oddly, when the film came out she was roundly criticized for not being able to transfer the magic she so naturally gave on stage to the big screen. I will strongly disagree.Read more ›
Pasolini takes a unique approach to Medea. He jettisons all but a few lines of Euripides, and begins the narrative many years before the action of the play. Most strikingly, he shoots almost the entire film in a documentary-like style. And, with a couple of notable exceptions, he creates a picture with almost no dialogue, although the soundtrack features an astonishing musical score (put together by Pasolini) of native North African wind and percussion music (20 years before Peter Gabriel's score for Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, which was clearly inspired by Pasolini).Read more ›
It follows the basic outline of the tragedy to be sure, but it charts its own course to get there. It is centered around the love affair of Medea and Jason (of Argonauts fame). From the early tryst, to the subsequent betrayal, to the fiery retribution--Callas is never less than intriguing. Methodically paced, this epic is meant for those with patience and that patience is greatly rewarded. The climatic moments of the film are accompanied by powerful imagery and a Callas savagery that you're not likely to forget. It is a great counterpoint to many of the earlier sequences that are virtually wordless. The unorthodox visual, lighting, and musical choices all lend an offbeat and unusual originality to the experience.
Blu-Ray: Restored and remastered, this is certainly the cleanest print of "Medea" that I've ever seen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the cinematography and acting (callas was amazing of course) and I love the use of ancient culture. However, I was bored out of my mind with the lack of dialogue.Published 1 day ago by Jaynee
Maria Callas, Prima Donna of the Century, appeared for the last time on the opera stage in 1965, at the age of forty-one. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Brian Morgan
I saw this film when it was first issued. I fond it dreadful, yet boring--which this play is not. The stupidest feature about the film is that it is performed in Italian. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Henry8
Pasolini + Callas together in an explosive and enthralling version of Euripides' masterpiece. This film captures the violent clash between primitive Greece and even more primitive... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Pandafilanda
Not much to say about the marvelous movie itself, with la divina. Just noting that as at least one other reviewer (KGHarris, DVD edition) has noted, the 92-minute documentary... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ananda Himansu
Callas lovers must have this. An appreciative and relevant biographical documentary is included. Pasolini's name came up in a fairly recent edition of the complete extant works of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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