It's obviously very well done, given the means of that time, and it's was very well commented, so I'll ignore the doodads. But, even if it's very well done, it's still very strange when I compare it to Hitchcock who realized movies at the same year (Marnie, for example, was realized in 1964). Hitchcock had a strong american style, with a camera that films stably, with nice sequence shots, without “sentimentality” and with technical prowesses as we know it. On the other hand, with Pasolini as I see it with that movie, there's a very strong “sentimentality” (misery ?) – even if it's probably not voluntary but the result of the production framework: they are Italians, and the film was shot in southern Italy (one should notice the similarity of the South-Italians landscapes and the South-Italians ethnicity with the Judaic atmosphere – it sticks well, even if the medieval sets are too obvious). So, while I'm sure that Pasolini was a really great moviemaker, the Gospel according to Matthew has a frankly miserable character, the actors being moreover true amateurs. But, do not be mistaken, it's not a criticism: I consider this movie almost perfect, even better than the Passion of Christ of Mel Gibson (2004), precisely because of the production's framework. You see, the actors who say their lines without passion, randomly in a scene, almost (I have the impression) poorly improvised, it's just magnificent compared with Gibson's movie which is, certainly, best at the scenary level, but nevertheless who's doing too much with his vastly superior means of production. Pasolini's film, it's almost in fact if it had been shot today by Belorussians, Belorussians without money but full of determination and good will and who, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, know the sacred luck of beginners. Really, I find that the staging, the actors and the way in which Jesus says the big maxims like that, randomly, like a Walmart cashier who forces her “good morning”, it reveals how much Jesus was insignificant (the Jesus of Pasolini) while exploding by contrast the Christ (that is to say, the result of Christ's preachings).
That's Gibson's problem: his film is a Christian film while Pasolini's film is Christic. There is a big qualitative chasm. Gibson's film was impregnated by the Christian doctrine and was made with a Christian perspective, as if, deep down (and it's obviously the case), Christianity had already taken place. Well, no! For this to be doubly realistic, it is still necessary to do “as if”, namely “as if” it (Christianity) never happened. Doesn't this method give the viewer the pleasure to conceive the scope of the said maxims, and to pass from Jesus to Christ by himself?
(Not to mention the music! The music is completely incongruous, it's great! Gibson, for his part, is totally is the Hans Zimmer's epicness style.)
This is precisely all the difference between dynamism & statism, namely, the difference between the Real & Reality (cf. Lacan). The Real is what happens against the Reality, while the Reality happens all the time. Here (and this is not a Christian apologia), Jesus is the Real, that is to say what happens when Real (which is Really Real) destroy the Discourse, i. e. what you tell to yourself. It's because of that that Lacan announced the pathology of holiness for our times: the Judeo-Christian maxims will put before us our inability to see the Ungrundness of the Real. Doesn't that remind you Heidegger? The main difference is that lacanism is way more bergsonian than heideggerian, because Lacan defined the Real as “semblant”, when Heidegger refused this heterogeneous definition because (apparently) it'll put the Being into Space! To be more Catholic than the Pope... Bergson accepted the paradox of symbolism, even when it implies to spacialize (politicize ?). It knocks him (Heidegger) for six! Behold the “mauvaise foi”! Maybe Gibson doesn't accept this situation... Truthfully, it's really (so to speak ) difficult to be a saint nowadays (look at Macron!) for the saint authorized (un)consciously the paradox of anti-politics. Anyway, listen to Paarthurnax: holiness is never where we expect! René Girard would probably agree with Lacan, when he spoke about the “martyr du martyr” and “martyropathie”. All because of what I said. Pasolini is symptomatic (saint -omatic?). It's maybe now that we can understand Pascal about dereliction, therefore Heidegger also and his “Geworfenheit”.
For the so-called nietzscheans:
Lacan wrote:Sometimes, however, [the saint] takes a break, which he's no more content with than anyone else. He comes [jouit]. He's no longer working at that point. It's not as if the smart alecks aren't lying in wait hoping to profit from it so as to pump themselves up again. But the saint doesn't give a damn about that, any more than he does about those who consider it to be his just deserts. Which is too sidesplitting.