DVD: Theorem (AKA: Teorema) (1968)
Eschewing unnecessary dialogue and a cohesive narrative, writer/director Pier Paolo Pasolini crafts an experience that poses more questions than gives answers, leaving you questioning yourself as to the true nature of many of the characters in Theorem.
Is Terence Stamp’s character ‘The Visitor’ an Angel or a Demon? What are his motives? Does he have any motives?
With no regard for sex or sexuality, ‘The Visitor’ seduces everyone in his path, with total disregard for the feelings of others. Passolini lingers on the seduction scenes, playing them out in an almost dreamlike way. Is it a dream, or is it real? Nothing about Theorem is clear and comprehensible, and this is where it will split the opinions of viewers.
Anyone expecting a traditional narrative with a 3 act structure and clearly defined characters will surely be turning it off within the first 30 minutes. However, if you approach Theorem as a moving painting, a piece of art not to inform, but to elicit thoughts and questions, then it could well drag you into its ever changing world.
Regarded by some as Pasolini’s best work, Theorem is a visual experience that although may not be enjoyed by everyone, will definitely not be forgotten by anyone that watches it.
- ‘Via Pasolin’: Documentary on the film life of Pier Paolo Pasolini