Medea is just great. I loved it entirely, in the same way I loved Fellini’s Satyricon. Both films are bizzarely plotted, incoherently scripted, and acted in an at times aloof and disdainful manner. But I adored them. There are bits of really precious Nietzschean dialogue in Medea, spoken by a centaur. There is a resplendent Maria Callas playing a Bene Gesserit witch–I mean Medea*–and the costumes are simply superb. It’s the best film featuring human sacrifice I’ve seen since Apocalypto. (There are some scenes of John Barleycornish slaughter, so if you’re squeamish skip it.) The moments of sacrifice feel authentic, the way some scenes in Satyricon feel authentic, as though you might actually be witnessing a real ancient rite or performance. They are so bizarre and yet familiar. I dunno how to describe them. Not that human sacrifice is familiar to me–but it feels like that’s pretty close to the way it may have happened when it used to?
But yeah, really good, and I think it’s my favorite Pasolini. Definitely less humorous than Salo, and a bit more interesting than the black and white one with the crow spouting Marxist ideology while following a mendicant monk down the road.
*BTW: I really wish after viewing Medea that Pasolini had filmed Dune.
And then there’s Beyond the Black Rainbow. What can I say about this? Is it an allegory or mind-fuck in the mode of dudes like Kubrick or Tarkovsky? Or is it just a Goth makeover mashup of Barbarella Queen of the Galaxy and Ringu? I think it finds comfy middle ground while leaning toward the former, but truth be told I don’t care what it is because there were some really lovely sequences, some really lusciously disturbing stuff going on. Don’t know that I could sit through it all at once, but watched in brief 20-minute nuggets in between chapters on the Kindle Fire or iPad it was totally rad. Think Altered States and Jacob’s Ladder having a love-child with set designs by the dude who did the same for Woody Allen’s Sleeper.