(out if series) Medea (my tv)

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Pasolini’s Medea bypasses Euripides’ words in favor of the earth and sun, the sky and sea. Maria Callas sings everything with her face and not a note with her voice. By avoiding language and letting unnatural nature play itself out, Pasolini lets his film take the side of Cholchis, a space without history,  not yet dominated by man. Instead of the opposite of human culture, nature becomes a self-regulating interplay of forces, humans among them. As in Edipo Rey (1967,) Medea depicts two zones and the distance between them, setting Corinth, city of rational civilization, against Colichis. In classical tragedy, an individual’s flaw, such as Jason’s hubris, ruins a house. In Pasolini’s film, the passage from a society without permanent surplus to the antique mode of production ruins a worlding and extinguishes the power of woman. As always in Pasolini, anguish comes not from either space, but from the passage from one to the other. When Medea (Callas) follows Jason (Giuseppe Gentile) from Cholchis to Corinth, in a scene set between the two spaces, she looses her ability to communicate with the elements. Alone in Corinth and inserted into an economy of women only to be expelled from it, fire and blood alone remain to Medea. Modern productions of Euripides speak, assigning audiences the impossible task of judging Medea’s infanticide; Pasolini’s film sees as Medea and Colchis’s free indirect turning her actions become a natural fact.

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