Medea

  • 1970
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This fascinating, if not entirely successful, adaptation of the Euripides play has opera diva Callas in her sole screen appearance as the sorceress queen. Gentili is Jason, who has come to Colchis to retrieve the golden fleece. Callas, daughter of the king and high priestess of a human-sacrificing sun cult, falls in love with Gentili and with her younger...read more

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This fascinating, if not entirely successful, adaptation of the Euripides play has opera diva Callas in her sole screen appearance as the sorceress queen. Gentili is Jason, who has come to Colchis to retrieve the golden fleece. Callas, daughter of the king and high priestess of a

human-sacrificing sun cult, falls in love with Gentili and with her younger brother steals the fleece from the temple. When they are pursued she chops her brother into pieces and throws him off the cart. The pursuing soldiers, bound by tradition, stop to bury the pieces. Callas escapes back to

Greece with Gentili and becomes his queen, although she is not comfortable in civilized Corinth. After 10 years and two sons, Gentili tells Callas that he is going to marry princess Clementi and that Callas is to be banished. Callas accepts the news calmly and later sends Clementi a cloak and

headpiece as gifts. When Clementi puts them on they erupt in flames and the girl plunges over a cliff. Callas takes her two sons and after bathing them and putting them to bed, silently murders each with a dagger. Gentili comes to her to beg for the bodies of his sons, but she conjures up a wall

of flame and, screaming at him, allows herself to be consumed by the fire. Callas is a commanding presence, and Pasolini is clearly obsessed with her profile. For the most part, though, he doesn't let her acting carry the film, relying instead on his own purely visual methods to do the job. (In

Italian; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This fascinating, if not entirely successful, adaptation of the Euripides play has opera diva Callas in her sole screen appearance as the sorceress queen. Gentili is Jason, who has come to Colchis to retrieve the golden fleece. Callas, daughter of the king… (more)

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