Pier Paolo Pasolini directs Franco Citti, Alida Valli and Silvana Mangano in this Italian adaptation of the Greek tragedy where a son kills his father to sleep with his mother.
Self-fulfilling prophecy. Mum seduction. Patricide. Time hopping: we bookend the more traditional retelling with a prologue and an epilogue set in fascist Italy, a semi-autobiographical context? I type “traditional retelling” with fingers crossed behind my spine – as the costumes, music, location work all bounce around the globe and history. These elements are anachronistic and spectacular. There’s something quite primordial, playful on Pasolini’s take on myth. This can feel like a very stretched, blunt retelling but I personally enjoyed the expansive vibe doused jaggedly over the simplicity. African witch doctors, dubbed warriors and Jews harps don’t belong here. But then again neither do we.
Perfect Double Bill: The Decameron (1971)
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