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Arts and faith

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The rambling thoughts in this post began as a response to Christian's comments (quoted below) from the Ratatouille thread, but since the initial topic was The Gospel According to Matthew, I was planning to move my reply to the thread for that film, but the more I ran with it the larger the topic became until it essentially embraced the entire raison d'etre for the whole board. So I thought it ought to have its own thread.

Following the tangent on artists and their personal lives, would Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew fit the paradigm of an artist making a film that conflicts with his lifestyle? This shifts the question to one about the meaning and substance of faith, and probably should be addressed in a separate thread. But I've always wondered how a homosexual Marxist (I hope that's considered accurate; I'm not trying to be inflammatory) could turn out a pretty strict retelling of the the book of Matthew. Yes, I'm aware that many see the film as a Marxist presentation of the Christianity, but I still find it head-spinning at times. I love the movie, and have the deepest admiration for its maker, although it's, uh, the source material, I'm sure, that drives much of my reaction. That material married to the verite style, of course. Beautiful film.

I think The Gospel According to St. Matthew is one of the most intriguing cases in this regard. In my review I wrote:

Pier Paolo Pasolini was an atheist, indeed a Marxist, and his

The Gospel According to Matthew

is routinely interpreted as a proto-Marxist allegory. Yet Pasolini was perhaps first of all a poet, and the concepts of the sacred and the divine, far from repelling him as so much religious superstition, held for him a powerful appeal. In 1962 he came to Assisi in response to Pope John XXIII

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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