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.
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Rewatch of a 35mm print. Pasolini's best film...so many things you could say about it. While I've always thought of it as being about the symbiosis between people and their ideologies and institutions (sex norms, religion, capitalism, art, etc...how people are not only victimized or 'seduced' by institutions but so much so that they can't function without them)...
Truly poetic at times and incredibly assured direction from Pasolini. Who was the stranger? God? The Devil? I loved this. Perhaps it's harsh but I wish Pasolini had continued to set his films in the present and hadn't filmed The Decameron etc.
Una critica directa a la Burguesía, como un elemento externo a una familia burguesa, como un hombre que rompe los tabúes y los comportamientos reglamentarios de la sociedad. Es una película completamente simbólica, con un manejo de cámara caótico, pero que se enfoca en imágenes costumbristas, religiosas y pragmáticas. Y una gran actuación de Terrence Stamp que trabaja muy bien con directores italianos.
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.