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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents a MFAH Film: Pier Paolo Pasolini Retrospective.Each fall, the MFAH hosts a celebration of Italian cinema. These retrospectives feature restored 35mm film prints from the archive of Rome’s legendary Cinecittà, presented in partnership with the Italian Consul General of Houston, the Institute of Italian Culture in Los Angeles, and generous local sponsors and community partners.For 2013 the MFAH joins a national U.S. tour to reconsider the singular vision of Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975). The Houston screenings are presented in partnership with Rice Cinema, where Pasolini’s "Trilogy of Life" films screen October 4–6.All films are directed by Pasolini and presented in Italian with English subtitles. Film descriptions provided by MFAH Films summer intern, Sara Balabanlilar.“The meaning of Pasolini remains undecipherable, ambiguous, suspended. A lapsed Catholic who never lost his religious worldview and a lifelong Marxist who was expelled from the Communist Party for being gay, Pasolini was an artist and thinker who tried not to resolve his contradictions but rather to embody them fully. With his gift for polemics and taste for scandal, he was routinely hauled up on blasphemy and obscenity charges and attacked by those on the left and the right.” —New York TimesThe Gospel According to Matthew
Il Vangelo secondo MatteoDirected by Pier Paolo Pasolini
1964, in Italian with English subtitles
35mmIntroduced by Alessandro Carrera, director of Italian Studies at the University of Houston.The "Pier Paolo Pasolini" retrospective opens with one of Pasolini's most acclaimed early films, a religious tale that finds the spiritual and the epic in the everyday, chronicling the life of Christ in a style influenced by neorealism.Casting nonprofessional actors and opting not to use a script or special effects, Pasolini’s retelling is measured and soulful, enhanced by a rich musical score ranging from Bach and Mozart to spirituals and Russian revolutionary songs. This film won the Grand Prize of the International Catholic Film Office as well as two awards at the Venice Film Festival, and was one among the films recommended by the Vatican in 1996 in honor of the centennial of cinema.“Pasolini's is one of the most effective films on a religious theme I have ever seen, perhaps because it was made by a nonbeliever who did not preach, glorify, underline, sentimentalize or romanticize his famous story, but tried his best to simply record it.” —Roger EbertThe audience is invited to a reception in the Museum galleries following the film.This retrospective has been organized in partnership with Luce Cinecittà, Rome (Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero) and Fondo Pier Paolo Pasolini/Cineteca di Bologna (Roberto Chiesi). It is presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy. This event is part of the celebrations of the Year of the Italian Culture in the United States.