Teorema

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Italy, 94 min

Five members of an upper-middle-class Milanese family are presented going about their dull daily business. An unexpected guest arrives, a young man with a gentle, dreamy look in his eyes, who seduces each of the five members in turn, makes love to them, then departs. It is a portrait of its author, of us all, divided five ways, each persona subject to an overwhelming temptation.  An autobiography shot looking into the sun.

Five members of an upper-middle-class Milanese family are presented going dully about their daily business. An unexpected guest arrives, a young man with a gentle, dreamy look in his eyes, who settles into the household without apparent reason. He seduces each of the five members in turn, makes love to them, then departs. Each is then left high and dry and reacts in their own way: raptures of delight on the part of the maid, catatonic hysteria from the daughter, artistic frenzy from the son, compulsive sexuality in the case of the mother, finally a religious conversion on the part of the father, who divests himself of all his property, giving away his factory and even his clothing… It ends with the father, naked, uttering a cry reminiscent of the line by Rilke: “Who if I cried out would hear me among the cohort of the Angels?” No angel replies because there are no reverse angles in Pasolini’s film: there is no one “out there” in Theoreme. It is a portrait of its author, of us all, split into five, each subject to an overwhelming temptation which is exhausted the moment it is consummated.  Theoreme is an autobiography shot against the sun.

Laurent Roth

Translation BMP Translations

Duration
94 min
Year
1968
Country
Italy
Section
Port Franc
Languages
Italian, English
Production
Manolo BologniniFranco Rossellini