“Theorem” ( Italian: “Teorema” ) is a 1968 film by Pier Paolo Pasolini based on his own work.
|Producer||Pier Paolo Pasolini|
|Producer||Manolo Bolognini |
|Pier Paolo Pasolini|
|In the main|
|Sylvanas Mangano |
|Film company||Euro International Film (EIA)|
The film, which can be interpreted as a Marxist parable , religious allegory ( heretical processing of Christological motives), a lesson in psychoanalysis and attempts at modern myth-making  . Like the novel of the same name, Pasolini illustrates his favorite thesis ( theorem ) on the identity of Christian dogma, revolutionary anti-bourgeois sermon and sexual attraction.
Soundless scenes in sepia tones present the viewer with the main characters - the Milanese factory owner's family, leading a fresh, plant life. The scenery is a faceless industrial landscape in the tradition of the Red Desert . Suddenly this world is transformed by the invasion of color and sound. The postman Angelino ("Angel") arrives at the party with a telegram about the arrival of an unnamed guest ( Terence Stamp ). During his stay in the manufacturer’s house, a laconic guest with sky-blue eyes seduces all of its inhabitants - a servant of peasants, a son, a daughter, a mother and even his father himself.
The name of the film justifies the geometric accuracy of its construction. Many scenes (lunch at the villa, arrival of the postman) are repeated twice; the villa itself is subject to strict symmetry. In the same order in which the heroes are seduced, their sincere conversations with a mysterious stranger follow. Households do not communicate with each other, but almost exclusively with the guest. When, for unknown reasons, he leaves the city, the inhabitants of the house feel the emptiness of their life hard and try to fill it in the most ridiculous way:
- The son, trying to return the guest, recreates him on his mediocre canvases in the manner of Fr. Bacon  .
- Mother hires young lovers, outwardly resembling the hero of Stamp.
- The daughter develops a catatonic syndrome .
- Father loses interest in business, gives the factory to workers and takes off his clothes in the middle of a crowded train station. In the last shots of the film, he emits a cry of despair on the lifeless slopes of Etna (which Pazolini often symbolizes bourgeois society).
- The maid sees in herself a Christian martyr, falls into austerity , rises above the house and asks to be buried alive in the ground.
“The meaning of the film, roughly speaking, is this: the representative of the bourgeoisie , whatever he does, is always wrong ... everything that he does, no matter how sincere, deep and noble it is, is always done wrong” - so in Marxist the director himself interpreted the plot  . He sympathetically depicted only the “transformation” of Emilia’s handmaid - by her social status, she does not belong to the middle class that they hate and therefore can count on salvation  .
- Pier Paolo Pasolini: “In general terms, I turned Terence Stamp into a metaphysical celestial. You can see the devil in it , or you can see the combination of God with the devil. The important thing is that it represents something as genuine as irresistible ”  .
- Peter Bondanella: “What if a god (or some other form of heavenly creature) appeared in the middle of a middle class family, formed a relationship with all its members, and then departed back home? The answer proposed by Pazolini is unequivocal: the household people, having realized the emptiness of their lives, would have destroyed themselves from the inside ”  .
- Millicent Joy Marcus: “After the guest leaves, each of the households decomposes, parodying the ideal of self-realization that the alien has aroused in their consciousness ... The metaphysical theorem of the fulfillment of desire and self-destruction unites all the characters of the film. The guest crystallizes their innermost desires, but in his absence they cannot realize them. He showed the family an irresistible, terrible truth and left them without means to achieve it ”  .
- In the Lacanian interpretation, the stranger should be perceived as the highest fantasy embodiment of the lack that always stands at the origins of desire:  “Magnetic sex appeal of a stranger and the traditional theme of sacredness for the lower layers of society ... lead to the merciless exposure of the emptiness of philistine existence, the existential vacuum behind the chic facade of faces ... None of the characters are able to overcome the lethal spell of the void opened by the departure of the guest. Their reaction to his departure illustrates the functioning of the death drive ”  .
- Sylvanas Mangano - Lucia, mother
- Terence Stamp - Visitor
- Massimo Girotti - Paolo, father
- Anna Wyazemsky - Odette, daughter
- Laura Betty - Emilia, maid ( Volpi Cup for Best Actress in the 29th Venice Film Festival )
- Ninetto Davoli - Angelino
- Andres Jose Cruz Sublette - Pietro, son
- Carlo De Mayo - Boy
- Adele Cumbria - Emilia, second maid
- Luigi Barbini - a boy at the station
- Giovanni Ivan Skratulia - second boy
The film received the prize of the International Catholic Film Service in Venice, however, the Holy See through the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano disavowed this decision  .
The film was arrested for obscenity. The trial in this case lasted 3 months and ended in an acquittal. The judge substantiated his decision as follows: “The excitement that I experienced while watching was not sexual, but exclusively ideological and mystical. Since it is undoubtedly a question of a work of art, it cannot be obscene ”  .
- Red desert
- Dillinger is dead
- Yosefa Loshitzky. The Radical Faces of Godard and Bertolucci. - Wayne State University Press, 1995. - P. 98. - ISBN 0-8143-2446-0 .
- According to the observation of Alberto Moravia , the young man "deviates in the direction of the most barren whims that he gives out as avant-garde art." The blue color of the figures on his canvases echoes the color of the eyes of the “heavenly” guest.
- Peter E. Bondanella. Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present. - Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001. - P. 281-283. - ISBN 0-8264-1247-5 .
- Millicent Joy Marcus. Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism . Princeton University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-691-10208-2 . Pages 250-256.
- Fabio Vighi. Traumatic Encounters in Italian Film: Locating the Cinematic Unconscious. - Intellect Books, 2006. - P. 38-39, 48-49. - ISBN 1-84150-140-9 .
- Mikhail Trofimenkov. “Theorem” (Teorema) - 1968 // “Kommersant Power”: journal. - 2009. - October 5 ( No. 39 ). - S. 44 .