If you follow my posts, then you’ll know I have a passion for the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, many of which have been restored and re-released through Eureka!’s The Masters of Cinema Series. The latest, Oedipus Rex, is the director’s most personal film.
Franco Citti takes the title role of the legendary tragic hero Oedipus, who is fated to kill his father and take his mother as his lover. In Pasolini’s hands, however, Sophocles’ classic myth becomes a semi-autobiographic Freudian odyssey set in three different eras – 1920s Italy, ancient Greece, and modern-day Bologna – that lays bare the director’s own struggles with his father.
With its sparse dialogue – except for Sophocles’ original text – hypnotic folk music and lush cinematography, Oedipus Rex plays like a epic visual poem that requires more than one (therapy?) session to unearth Pasolini’s psyche. But the real treat here is Pasolini’s use of the Moroccan desert scenery (standing in for Thebes and Corinth) that just carries you away with its rugged natural beauty.
Available on Blu-ray (Dual Format) from Eureka! Entertainment