An upstanding Italian household is shaken and stirred when a handsome stranger arrives at the doorstep. He seduces every family member and then disappears. Each has an epiphany of sorts, but no one knows who the mysterious man was or why he appeared.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
How could we be the same after something (anything) shakes ourselves from feeling the emptiness of society? Theorem dialogues directly with living inside bourgeoisie, and the man without a name is only a starting device: if a theorem is an assumption needing a demonstration, the stranger only demonstrates a spark of life within the death of individualism to capitalism's mass numbness. Very quiet, yet very disturbing.
Baiting the bourgeoisie. Pasolini extends on Buñuelian themes of class destruction, the hypocrisy of institutions (the family, religion, industry) and the release, through social transgression, of a force more primal and elemental; his own exterminating angel becoming an embodiment of pansexual objectification; seduction as both an awakening and a death. A ferocious political commentary disguised as a mystical fable.
Cinematography by Giuseppe Ruzzolini. "Desire" list: Terence Stamp, and the angel kissed the devil, a prodigious physical. And bourgeoisie tasted his skin. And cinema's most libertarian parable became verb, while presumption was destroyed. In "poesia" list because of Silvana Mangano.
Many regard it as a masterpiece, but it just did nothing for me. Tedious and plodding most of the time, punctuated by some annoying, pretentious pontificating, it's sort of a chore to sit through. It does achieve an interesting atmosphere at times, but that's about it. Whatever other people are seeing in this was lost on me.
It really caught Terence Stamp at the peak of his beauty. Who could not fall for those baby blues? This is a guide to recognizing your saints. #1 he's that guy who fucks your entire family, including you. #2 she's that woman up there in the sky. It's the destruction of the bourgeoisie, by God!
Weird comments, I think : Comparing "Avatar" to this film is pure nonsense and I think that it's very very different from Bunuel, as Bunuel is spanish and Pasolini is italian (which can be very much seen in there respective works). This film is such an absolute masterpiece, each time I watch it, it's a shock. It's probably one of the very few films that have such an impact on me.
You are welcomed, Drew. I love the film very much too so I am always happy to share it. Did I trade it with you for Rashomon? Also, do you know any films like Teorema that you want to reverse recommend?