This has to be the best film on the life of Christ Jesus Our Lord & Saviour ever made by a gay Marxist atheist.

Okay … the unexpected death of my beloved Elisabeth Sladen derailed my review of Tangled, so I’ll get to that at some point.  In the meantime, with Zombie Jeebus Weekend (or, as my daughter lovingly refers to it, Peeps Massacre Weekend) bearing down upon us, I finally followed through with my annual threat of educating my boys about Jesus via controversial movies.  We all sat down together and watched:

Thursday: The Gospel According To Saint Matthew
Friday: The Last Temptation Of Christ
Saturday: Jesus Christ Superstar
Sunday: Monty Python’s Life Of Brian & Dogma

My wife tried desperately to talk me into shoehorning a Charlton Heston epic in there somewhere.  As much as I love The Ten Commandments, that’s a staple on ABC every Easter weekend, so my only true option for that had to be Ben-Hur.  But we already tweaked our schedule (adding Jesus Christ Superstar at the last minute), so we didn’t have time to add another three and a half hour film to the list.  It looks like we’ll be overdosing on Heston next Easter.

Alas, one of my criteria for ranting about things here is to only rant about things the first time I’ve seen them, which immediately excludes the latter four films in our marathon (since I saw three of them on the big screen in their initial release and the other some time ago on DVD).  So … onward to Pasolini’s The Gospel According To Saint Matthew ….

Wow!  What an amazingly beautiful film.  The boys didn’t care much for it, since to them it was far too long and too boring, but I found it to be an incredibly touching and loving film.  Especially considering it comes from the same man who made Salò, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom.  I find it amazing that Pasolini cast actors who had little to no experience — the actors who played Jesus and Judas were flat-out perfect in their roles.  I have a huge soft spot for Harvey Keitel’s Judas, but Otello Sestili is right up alongside Carl Anderson as a very close second in my eyes.

My only complaints were the rapid-fire dialog and the not-quite-natural English subtitles.  The subtitles ran by a little too fast for my boys, and the Engrish on them was just one step less awkward than the average Hong Kong action film.  But The Gospel According To Saint Matthew is gorgeous enough that it could almost tell the story without any dialog whatsoever.  It’s not my favorite film about the life of Christ, but it’s close.