Two dramatic stories. In an undetermined past, a young cannibal (who killed his own father) is condemned to be torn to pieces by some wild beasts. In the second story, Julian, the young son... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Pasolini
In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »
Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
After his quest to retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. However, when the king banishes her, it's only human that Medea plots her furious revenge. Can they escape her wrath?
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Ancient Arabia. A youth is chosen by a beautiful slave girl to be her new master; she is kidnapped and they must search for each other. Stories are told within stories; love, travel and the whims of destiny.
This consists of four short films by different directors. Rosselini's 'Chastity' ('Illibatezza') deals with an attractive air hostess who receives the unwelcome attentions of a middle aged ... See full summary »
A strange visitor in a wealthy family. He seduces the maid, the son, the mother, the daughter and finally the father before leaving a few days after. After he's gone, none of them can continue living as they did. Who was that visitor ? Could he be God ?Written by
At the 1968 Venice Film Festival, the film was given an award by the International Catholic Film Office. The award was withdrawn after critical remarks by Pope Paul VI. After the festival the film was confiscated by Italian police and Pasolini charged with obscenity, but acquitted. See more »
Pier Paolo Pasolini is one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. He is not generally recognized as such, but he ought to be and hopefully will be someday. At least in the world of cinema, he should have an equal position to any of the great masters.
Teorema is just one reason why. It's not my personal favorite Pasolini film, but it's easily one of the best films I've ever seen. Unlike my favorites, Mamma Roma, The Decameron, and Arabian Nights, Teorema is a highly abstract film imbued in symbolism. Not that there isn't symbolism in those other films. The difference is that, in Teorema, the human element is reduced. The characters in the film are symbolic members of a typical bourgois family, the mother, father, son, and daughter (and maid). One day a young man arrives at their home. Apparently they know him. They received a letter that he would be there, and they didn't think twice about it. This man (played by Terence Stamp) arrives during a party. When a friend asks the daughter who that boy is, she replies: "Just a boy."
Over the next few days, this "boy" seduces every member of the family. He seems angelic, offering help selflessly whenever anyone feels hurt or isolated or sick. He speaks little - indeed, there is hardly any dialogue in the entire film - but is always there for the needy. The film begins with a quotation from the Bible, meant to compare the bourgeosie to the Jews wandering lost in the desert after they escaped from Egypt. The mysterious boy, is he God?
Or, conversely, is he a golden calf? Or is he the devil himself? I was unsure of whether Stamp could play the character when I first read up on the film (I had read the first bit of the novel, written concurrently with the film by Pasolini, before I watched the film), but, as Teorema progressed, I realized that he was perfect. Stamp has a face hanging uniquely between evil and kind-hearted. His eyes are cherubic, but his grin is diabolical. What, exactly, is this young man here to do?
Well, I won't ruin it for you if you haven't seen it (plus, I think I've gone on enough). Suffice it to say that the revelations and effects that are brought out by the boy's presence are profound and quite brilliant. Anyone interested in European art films of the era owes it to themselves to see Teorema. If you are more into realism, especially if you didn't like Teorema, move onto Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to Matthew, and the Trilogy of Life (The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and Arabian Nights).
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