Oedipus Rex (1967)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama

Oedipus Rex (1967) Poster

Rescued from abandonment and raised by the King and Queen, Oedipus is still haunted by a prophecy--he'll murder his father and marry his mother.


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18 April 2020 | johannes2000-1
| Hauntingly beautiful!
I was very impressed, I really do think that this is a masterpiece! Pasolini used the original text of Sophocles' tragedy, so the story is tightly knotted, which gives the whole film a tangible urgency. There are, apart from the at times stunning amounts of extra's, only two main actors. Silvana Mangano as Giocasta only appears halfway through the movie and has hardly any lines, but she plays her part impressively by her facial expressions and her stature. Franco Citti as Oedipus is the absolute core of the movie, he dominates the screen with his rugged and fascinating face, he laughs and cries and screams, and all the time stays totally convincing as the self-assured ego-tripping hero, who gradually slips into the awareness that his whole life is based on unspeakable crimes and that he is toyed with by the gods and fate. Some reviewers opinioned he acted way over the top, but I assume it was all deliberately so orchestrated by Pasolini, emphasizing the origin of a Greek tragedy that had to be delivered from an open-air rostrum to a distant audience.

The locations are dazzlingly beautiful, Morocco in fact, not Greece, but it works wonderfully well, as do the weird costumes which look like they were sowed and tinkered by the crew or the many locals themselves, but with the amazing effect of something out of a dream (or nightmare). The musical score is extremely subtle, at many times just the soft bleak rhythmic blows of a single drumstick, with an almost haunting effect.

Strangely enough the prologue and epilogue are set in modern times, this doesn't add anything as far as I'm concerned, but as it was it gives us yet some other beautiful images, with the same vast green lawns and waving tree-tops in the opening and closing scene, completing a perfect circle.

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