25 December 2019 | Chris_Docker
Superficially impressive but a desecration of the Greek from which it claims its heritage
Bookended by the modern world, Pasolini then transplants classical drama to North Africa. The Sphinx and the Oracle at Delphi are portrayed as slightly ridiculous primitive figures and Oedipus, instead of being an upright individual who commits horrendous acts unknowingly, is a rather unsympathetic character. Sophocles' syuzhet is replaced with a more manageable chronological fabula yet the subtlety of the ancient drama is lost. Must-see bits of gore and sex are amplified yet in one interview Pasolini even admitted that he didn't understand what some of the original text was about - text which he leaves unattributed even if he helps himself to it once Oedipus gets to Thebes. Superficially arty and impressive, this is sadly a major disappointment from the hands of a great director.