Teorema

"OK"

Teorema Review


Teorema translates to "theorem" in Italian, and that's an apt metaphor for this ridiculously experimental film from auteur Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Fewer than 1,000 words of dialogue are spoken during the film. That actually sounds like a lot, but the average person speaks at a rate of 280 words per minute (probably more in Italian). That translates to less than four minutes of dialogue during the film's 98-minute running time.

The rest of the film is composed of long landscape pans and abrupt moments of action -- because there's a story here, of sorts. Terence Stamp plays a nameless stranger (with four minutes of dialogue, there's no time for names) who suddenly appears on the scene of an Italian mansion, then proceeds to seduce every member of the household. He doesn't have to do much to get them in bed: A cocked eyebrow or just lazing on the lawn seems to do the trick.

First comes the maid (followed by an attempted suicide), then the son, the daughter, mom, and dad. Later, the daughter ends up catatonic, and the maid turns into a sort of Christ-like character who can levitate and cure the sick. For some reason, Pasolini would face obscenity charges for the film, though it is lacking even the briefest of nudity. Perhaps the courts were more offended that he turned a spinster housekeeper who tries to suck on a gas line into a saint.

That's a little bit of the way that I feel. Pasolini -- whose work ranges from difficult to impossible -- is defrauding us out of something in Teorema, but its spareness makes you work to figure even that fact out. I'm not afraid of a little abstraction or obtusity. Film can be an art form just like a box of Warhol Brillo pads or a slashed Fontana canvas.

Is the spare, chatter-free -- even story-free -- format of Teorema an artistic statement, or is it just a gimmick tossed off by a man who simply didn't know what to say? The truth is probably somewhere in between. It's an earnest experiment, but it's simply too obtuse to be a success, and too undercooked (not to mention sloppily put together) to make much of an impact with any but the most devoted Pasolini hanger-on.



Teorema

Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 7th September 1968

Distributed by: Continental Motion Pictures

Production compaines: Euro International Film (EIA)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Visitor, as Lucia, the mother, as Paolo, the father, as Odetta, the daughter, Andrés José Cruz Soublette as Pietro, the son, as Emilia, the servant, Ninetto Davoli as Messenger, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia as Angelino

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.