(out of series) Edipo Re (my tv)

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Edipo Re intensifies the procedure initiated by the crows story about the two Franciscan Monks in Uccellacci e uccellini and establishes Pasolini’s two spaces for and in themselves, in this case, the modern and the archaic. The archaic space includes its own striation, but instead of presenting a temporal difference, the potentialzing boarder runs between territories: in the ancient world of Oedipus, cities still had outsides. In Thebes and Corinth, human law rules through politics and kinship. In between the two cities, divine law rules through prophesy and parricide. In modern Italy, one is ruined by leaving the family, in archaic Greece one ruins the family by penetrating too far inside it. As always in early Pasolini, tragic affect comes from the necessary passage between two spaces, not from the fall of a family. The film enjoys the destruction of he House of Thebes, presenting it as a variation of the elided and deserved disintegration of the modern family. Sensuality saturates every image in the film, but the murder of Laius, Oedipus discovering Jocasta’s hanging corpse and the point of view shot through which he sees Angelo the Messenger after he has blinded are the most gloriously beautiful. The last is especially pretty since it frames Ninetto Davoli. The transit between the film’s archaic and modern worlds, between the ancient cities and their outside releases pure suffering in Franco Citti’s face, just as Momma Roma’s interminably blocked journies from the periphery to the center of Rome release Anna Magnani’s tears and rage. Would make a good double feature with Weekend

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