Okay, so I’ve just watched ‘Theorem’ in which a middle-class family have their lives transformed by Terrence Stamp turning up and having sex with each of them in turn. But is there actual transformation going on? Is there a cost? Does transformation necessarily lead to something positive or just reveal the void within? It doesn’t matter as, either way, General Zod is going to inevitably fuck you.

So Terrence Stamp turns up at the family’s house. He has no name and we know nothing about him except that he has a bulge in his trousers, like Clint Eastwood with a hard on. The most apparent aspect of the family is sexual repression so when sex does happen it is always the family member that instigates it, never Stamp. They are drawn to him as a potential escape from their existence (he reads Rimbauld with his legs open giving signs of an exotic, debauched life that they could never imagine) and it does seem as though contact with him has some sort of liberating and transformative process. After having sex with each of them he then departs, leaving them stripped bare of their societal roles and underwear. The rest of the movie then deals with how these transformations play out whilst raising, seemingly, the question of whether or not transformation is actually possible… I think.

Oddly enough, ‘Theorem’ plays out like an inverted version and companion piece to Pasolini’s ‘The Gospel According to St Matthew’. It also seems very pessimistic. Each family member desires escape yet they seem to willingly further escape into more extreme versions of the roles that “society” has already given them: the mother, yearning sex, pursues this end with abandon but almost without her own volition; the servant/maid becomes a literal martyr; an already withdrawn daughter becomes catatonic whilst the father (spoilers!) ends up in the ever present void. Is this his comeuppance, a consequence of choice (or lack of) or just the way things are? This is Jesus in the wilderness except there is no Jesus, just the wilderness, the pre-religious void. For an atheist Pasolini sure has a fascination with religion and fate.

Although it has left me with the slight nagging doubt that Pasolini could have been an asshole. I mean, here he is dumping on the middle-class when he was dicking about Italy with Bertolucci making movies and more than likely having a grand old time in a suitably decadent style. And christ, his films are utterly devoid of humour.

But it is beautifully shot, has some lovely Morricone music (nice to hear his ability to write pop music being demonstrated in this), a pretty devastating ending and yes, you do get to see Terrence Stamps cock… briefly.

So anyway, I have NO idea if that’s what ‘Theorem’ is about but that’s what I came away with. I could have completely the wrong end of the stick with this one and find out in a few days its actually a zany sex comedy. I don’t know. But it’s an extremely interesting film very much worth checking out.

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