Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the film. This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Teorema film Pier Paolo Pasolini xlg. A mysterious figure pasolini Roma PDF only as « The Visitor » appears in the lives of a typical bourgeois Italian family.
His arrival is heralded at the gates of the family’s Milanese estate by an arm-flapping postman. Then one day the herald returns and announces that the stranger will soon leave the household, just as suddenly and mysteriously as he came. In the subsequent void of the stranger’s absence, each family member is forced to confront what was previously concealed by the trappings of bourgeois life. This section does not cite any sources. On its release, the religious right and the Vatican criticized the sexual content in the film.
Others considered the film « ambiguous » and « visionary. The film won a special award at the Venice Film Festival from the International Catholic Film Office, only to have it withdrawn later when the Vatican protested. Scholars view the film differently due to the openness or ambiguity of the film. The author of A Certain Realism: Making Use of Pasolini’s Film Theory and Practice, Maurizio Viano, says that in order to understand the film there must be « adequate translation. Most scholars’ writing about the film do not discuss Pasolini’s cinematographic techniques but Pasolini’s philosophical arguments. Viano suggests that the film should be considered as « spectatorship » because each family member gazes at the guest and his loins. As a term, theorem is also often considered as mathematical or formulaic.
In this sense, the film also contains a programmatic structure. It begins with documentary-like images and then moves on to the opening credit with a dark volcanic desert, a home party scene, cuts of the factory in sepia tone, introduction of each family member in silence and sepia tone, and, then, the guest sitting in the back yard in colour. Not only is the film’s structure formulaic but so is the psychological development of each character. They all go through « seductions », « confessions » and « transformations ».
The way each character changes their state of mind is the same. They all fall into a sexual desire for the guest. They all have sex with him. When the guest leaves, they all, except the maid, confess to him how they feel about themselves.
A common interpretation by cinema scholars is that the film is a commentary on the bourgeois society and emergence of consumerism through the very beginning of the film. The reporter asks a worker of Paolo’s factory if he thinks there will be no bourgeois in the future. In The Cinema of Economic Miracles: Visuality and Modernization in the Italian Art Film, Angelo Restivo assumes that Pasolini suggests that even documentary images, which depict facts, fail to show the truth. In his biographical work on Pasolini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Enzo Siciliano simply assumes that Pasolini expresses his struggle of being homosexual in the film.
On the other hand, Viano believes that Pasolini’s emphasis is not on homosexuality but rather on sexuality in general because the guest has sex with each member of the household. Sexuality is considered as passion in Viano’s interpretation. A cogent interpretation of this film is basically Machiavellian-Marxian. He urges for the appearance of a great man on the scene, a figure modeled after the Machiavellian idea of the ‘prince’, to shake things up and straighten the path of Italy.