Friday, February 28, 2014


Teorema is a 1968 Pier Paolo Pasolini film. I'll need to see it again to get a better feel for it. I'd tend to agree with the folks who claim it's a condemnation of bourgeois lives, but what do I know. There's lots of off-screen sex. Everybody does really want that visitor. And he seems happy to oblige. And lives are changed.

Beware the subtitles. They are not much help.

Watching the film, you see each member of the household affected by the visitor in the same way, and yet the result is radically different. Each person changes as a result of their encounter; each person ends up entirely re-made -a new person, in no way the same as before- but also in no way akin to the others in the house.

Is the visitor a Christ figure?

It would definitely be worth watching again.

via youtube:

Moria tentatively classifies it as a fantasy. DVD Talk says, "Finding a film one does not understand can be a positive experience, but Teorema doesn't give us much reason to care. I certainly am not inspired to search for more meaning in the picture". Slant Magazine gives it 2 1/2 out of 4 stars, but I'm not sure why they rated it that high when some of their comments are, "any five minutes of any Buñuel film would make short work of Teorema," "It's all very grand and vague and shapeless ... but indulgent and fairly meaningless," and calls it "overrated and idiotic".

Roger Ebert says he doesn't know what to think about it but does venture this: "My guess is that "Teorema" is a watershed of some kind, a film out of its own time, a film nothing has prepared us for, but a film that in years to come will be seen as a turning point like early Godard" and adds this in his closing paragraph:
The sort of moviegoer who thinks all movies must make sense -obvious common sense, that is- should avoid "Teorema." Those who go anyway will be mystified, confused, perhaps indignant. But here is a film that needs additional thought.
Rotten Tomatoes has an 89% critics rating.


  1. Reviewers seem to agree that the film is hard to understand or meaningless. I wonder if this is a product of it being a foreign film. I've noticed that people from foreign countries often reason differently than people in the U.S. I think we tend to be a product of our education and environment. So the further from our culture and education system a person is raised the harder it is to grasp subtle nuances of that person's mind.

    1. when i see tarkovsky's movies, i wonder that same thing -if i'm separated from a real understanding of his films by the cultural differences. but, this is a pasolini film, and he can just be weird lol.

      it may also be that a religious subtext manifests differently in other cultures. i see a religious subtext in films like straight story, but i wonder if someone unfamiliar with our basic culture would see the same things i do.