Monday, December 28, 2015

#571: Teorema

1968, TSPDT Rank #527

Teorema means "theorem" in English, and in the context of the film, this seemingly represents an allegory for the potential breakdown of the bourgeoisie - which Pier Paolo Pasolini, as a fervent Marxist, clearly viewed as more of a social disease than a mere class distinction. The film's narrative concerns a respectable middle-class Italian family being visited by a mysterious young man, who proceeds to seduce each member of the family, before leaving them abruptly. Each individual seduction seems to reveal some hidden truth to each family member regarding the emptiness of their existence, and after the man's departure, each of them desperately attempt to break free in their own individual ways. Apart from this, many of the details of the exact sociopolitical message that Pasolini intended to convey remain ambiguous - particularly concerning what the mysterious visitor is supposed to represent. This is largely due to the complete lack of exposition in the film's narrative (a common trait of Pasolini's films), with each character's seduction and subsequent identity crisis being portrayed instead as a series of tableaux. The result is an intriguing but often beguiling film, which nevertheless operates within a straightforward and effective poetic structure, in the interest of a fairly decipherable political agenda.

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