Monday, July 27, 2015

Edipo Re

Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967

Rightly seen as one of Pasolini's central works, Edipo Re (Oedipus Rex) was his first filmic excursion into classical mythology; however, it did follow his less sucessful, though more popular, adaptation of the Christian myth of Jesus, Il Vangelo secondo Matteo (the Gospel according to Mathew.)  Clearly he meant this one to be seen as a more personal work, given that he set the prologue in the year of his own birth and modeled the Laio character therein after his father and the Giocasta after his mom; and one can't help but note that his choice of companion for the blinded Edipo wandering the contemporary industrial roads of the epilogue is none other than Pasolini's companion Ninetto Davoli.  While political and mythic rather than psychological in his approach to the story, Pasolini himself made no attempt to hide the fact that he lived with his mother.  In fact he was very open about his devotion to her and his hatred of his father.

 What one finds, though, in his Edipo, as embodied by Fraco Citti, is a passionate, somewhat dishonest and thoughtless, young man who seems determined to hurtle himself heroically along on a path to destruction, taking all those understandably drawn to his handsome figure down with him.  Of course, that is not my view of Pasolini, but my interpretation of his view of this great mythic character.