One of Pasolini’s boldest and most philosophical films, Theorem examines the effects on a typical bourgeois household of a mysterious Visitor (Terence Stamp). Each member of the family is in some form of confusion; the Visitor proceeds to assuage their fears and concerns, mostly through engaging in sexual affairs with the devoutly religious maid (Laura Betti), the sensitive son (Andrés José Cruz Soublette), the sexually repressed mother (Silvana Managano), the timid daughter (Anne Wiazemsky), and, finally, the tormented father (Masimo Girotti). Then, as suddenly as he had arrived, the Visitor departs, leaving the family to face new truths about themselves. An enigmatic film open to many interpretations, from the Visitor as Christ figure to an expression of Pasolini’s views on sexuality, Theorem is a remarkable work.
Showing as part of our Focus on Pier Paolo Pasolini (September 5th-13th). Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini opens at the IFI on Friday, September 11th.