This Is Jerusalem Mr. Pasolini, 2013
single channel b/w video 17’47”, series of 3 c-prints
The video refers to a tour of the Holy Land made by the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1963, in order to scout for locations for his projected film The Gospel According to St. Matthew. The director expressed the feelings and thoughts he had during the journey, and mainly his disappointment with the physical and human landscape he saw, in the first-person voiceover of his film Sopralluoghi in Palestina (A Visit to Palestine). The country, it turns out, did not live up to the expectations of the legendary director, who eventually decided finally to shoot his film in Italy.
This video work responds to the renowned filmmakers' grievances. It juxtaposes the sound of the documentation of Pasolini's visit to Israel (the film “Sopralluoghi in Palestina”) with images taken from his film “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”. While the original film is disengaged from the stream of consciousness, its text consisting only of external speech, it relies entirely on internal monologues. These accompany the long shots that linger on the faces of Christ and of the people he encounters, and on the landscapes of Italy that simulate the landscape of the Israeli desert. Thus, when Christ's figure appears on the screen, we hear the echoes of Pasolini's thoughts, and when he surveys the magnificent landscape of Italy, we hear the description of the disappointing shabbiness of the Israeli landscapes. It recreates the location-scouting tour, but in that version, Christ appears in the role of Pasolini, and the twelve apostles play the production team. The crossbreeding of Pasolini and Christ undercuts the filmmakers' megalomania, and his choice to replace the modest historical landscapes with the impressive landscapes of Italy highlights cinemas' power in maintaining fantasy at the expense of reality.
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