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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great 60s classic
Theorem is an amazing visual experience, and seeing it on the big screen - or on a high quality screen at home, no doubt - brings out just how avant-garde it still seems. The main thing about it for me is its extraordinary tone, both serious and comical, often at the same time. It is highly original in this respect, constantly surprising the viewer with its breathtaking...
Published on 22 Mar. 2012 by schumann_bg

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Theorem - and an interesting interview with Mr Stamp
I got this DVD out of curiosity - not realising that Terence Stamp had done a film with Pasolini. Theorem is somewhat similar to Pasolini's other ad lib social comment stuff from the 60s. Not at all like Gospel of St Matthew, the Decameron or Medea where the subject matter is historical.
For me the gem of this DVD was the bonus 30 minute interview with Terence Stamp...
Published on 21 Dec. 2011 by D. Warner


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great 60s classic, 22 Mar. 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Theorem is an amazing visual experience, and seeing it on the big screen - or on a high quality screen at home, no doubt - brings out just how avant-garde it still seems. The main thing about it for me is its extraordinary tone, both serious and comical, often at the same time. It is highly original in this respect, constantly surprising the viewer with its breathtaking sense of the human face and how to use the camera, when to cut away and how to get the specificity of place and incident. It opens a bit like a Godard film, with a satirical interview of factory employees whose boss has just handed over the factory to their ownership, in which the interviewer answers his own questions, in effect. We then see the events that lead up to this extraordinary action. At this point it becomes something else - always about cinema and its power, but shot through a gay lens that places it quite far from Godard. The Terence Stamp character is a kind of Christ figure but without the prohibition on sexuality that Christianity usually entails. Here it is quite the opposite: he releases the desires of all the members of the family, plus the maid. His openness towards their desires is so in conflict with their assumed identities that they all go to pieces, although the exact tone of all this is highly ambiguous. There are so many sequences you remember from this film: Silvana Mangano in the summer house staring lasciviously at his discarded clothes, with her perfect make-up; the son urinating on his art, the maid becoming a saint, the speeches everyone makes before the stranger's departure, both slightly absurd and moving, Ninetto Davoli flapping into the forecourt with the mail like a human pelican ... Then there is the repeated landscape of taupe-coloured dust which blows into the air in wisps, and Mozart's profound Requiem, performed in a slow-paced version, set against some jazz by Ennio Morricone. Not forgetting a period pop song coming out of a sixties portable SP record player on the floor of the bedroom Stamp shares with the son - or so it seems, although actually it is just on the soundtrack as they get into bed and lie there in the dark, the son overwhelmed with temptation ... an inspired juxtaposition! It is a unique film, with the house element being a bit like Ozon, but working on a bigger canvas - in fact, it doesn't get any bigger than this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New BFI Blu-ray, 12 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
This is the latest Pasolini package from the BFI - containing a new Blu-ray transfer and a DVD disc. The decision not to include the Terence Stamp interview on the Blu-ray disc is irritating, but par for the course for the BFI. Eureka manage to duplicate the entire content on both discs and I would have thought that having the content on both discs was the purpose of a dual format set. Nevertheless, a very worth while release.

Although there are still signs of source material damage the restoration has reduced it to the extent that it does not impinge upon the viewing experience too much - unless you are very pernickety. What is very apparent is the film's rich visual texture, from monochrome through grainy sepia to sumptuous colour. The overall impression is one of a very dense almost over saturated world, a world that is superficially recognisable but which is in fact deeply disturbing. The film is composed of a series of moments with little regard to conventional narrative development or continuity.

I understand that Italy's roman catholic authorities prosecuted Pasolini for obscenity in respect of Theorem, I wonder if they would have preferred to get him for blasphemy but realised that they would have fallen into the trap of acknowledging that the film was an allusion to Jesus.

The varied visual textures are echoed by Pasolini's use of a number of pictorial techniques particularly during the film's unusual [even by Pasolini standards] opening sequences. A much loved motif, the volcanic ashes of Mt Etna, features here and did so in many films from Matthew to Medea. There's some quasi news footage in monochrome and another visual device, much favoured by Pasolini, the direct referencing, perhaps parodying of silent film. After this the major part of film settles down to some stunning colour cinematography which results in some truly beautiful images.

The sound track, which is almost absent in places, is subtle and haunting and is enhanced sometimes with jangly guitar rifts by Ennio Morricone and at other times with a very melancholy jazz motif. I think the sound track along with the pacing, the narrative settings and the cinematography are all powerful examples of Pasolini at work during his most productive film-making period. During this period, 1966 to 1969, he made five films, Uccellacci e uccellini, Edipo re, Teorema, Porcile and Medea.

A mesmerising and absorbing experience.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Terence, 14 April 2008
By 
HJ (London UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Theorem [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
A guest arrives at a bourgeois household and, in turn, seduces everyone: father, mother, daughter, son and maid. (Actually he doesn't seduce anyone but responds in a non-judgemental way to other people's desires - as Terence Stamp points out in the accompanying interview).
"Theorem" is one of the true classics of 1960s European art/auteur cinema. I imagine most people interested in this film already know it well. I'd just like to say that this is a fine new DVD edition from the BFI - good sharp print, nice booklet with review from 1968 & a new informative essay and the disc has an entertaining newly filmed interview with Mr Stamp, who worships Fellini & has a grudge against Pasolini almost as big as his grudge against Antonioni, but is perceptive about his character/role. And the fact is that Pasolini enabled Stamp to give his greatest performance.
As the interviews & essays discuss, the basic Marx-meets-Freud "theorem" that the bourgeois patriarchal family is upheld by sexual repression is pure 1968, but the film has proved timeless because of its unique mysterious & poetic quality. Also obvious, in retrospect, is that much of the film is really a representation of Pasolini's anxieties over his own homosexuality - mostly displaced onto poor Silvana Magnano, the housewife! Anyway, this is one 60s classic that actually improves with age - much imitated but never bettered - & well worth getting on this DVD edition.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom, the bourgeoisie and the curse, 11 Aug. 2013
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Theorem [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of ink has already flown over the apparently enigmatic movie `Teorema' shot by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Hereafter my own interpretation in the light of his whole work.

Pier Paolo Pasolini's curse
As he explained in his book `Amado Mio - Atti Impuri', P.P. Pasolini's lifelong curse was the sexual attraction of ephebes.
This curse was a Christian one.
Homosexual relations between an older man and an adolescent were considered to be totally natural in ancient times (Sparta, Marcus Aurelius, Theocritus) before Christianity became the dominant, totalitarian religion, with its morality holding on that procreation was the only goal of sexual intercourse. The Christian Churches considered also that the family nucleus was the best means to propagate its own religious faith from the parents to the children.

This curse was also a bourgeois one.
Promiscuity was rampant among the majority of the population (the lower classes which possessed nothing) and the nobility (except for the legal spouses, because within the ruling classes the fatherhood had to be assured). The bourgeois class crept out of the mud of the lower classes and adopted the family policy of the Christian Churches. The wealth gathered by lifelong hard toiling had to be preserved within the family. For those whose sexual (promiscuous) drive was too strong, there were the brothels exploited by the Churches (E.J. Burford).

Pasolini's gospel: free sexuality
`Teorema' is a plea for free sexuality, personified in the main character of the movie played by Terence Stamp. He has sexual intercourse with everybody: young and old, male and female, the lower and the middle classes. This free sexuality shatters the family nucleus and shakes fundamentally the behavior of its members. It fully undermines the Christian bourgeois morality, which stands in the way of people wanting to live fully their own sexuality. But, before it can be implemented, a community has to go through the desert.
P. P. Pasolini didn't foresee that between the 1960s and now, the Christian and the bourgeois mentality and morality would nearly totally disappear. People now can change partners as easy as they can change their shirts. Only children are legally protected.
In `Comizi d'amore' (1964) Pier Paolo Pasolini was openly insulted to be a disgusting individual (by people who didn't know his sexual preference).

And what about Pasolini's communism?
In the beginning of the movie, an entrepreneur gives his plant freely away to his workforce. But, one of the workers says that this is not enough: one should also get rid of bourgeois morals. One should not forget that after the Bolshevik revolution in the USSR `free love associations' became a norm (not for long) under the advocacy of Alexandra Kollontai.

Although sexual morals have substantially changed since the shooting of this movie, its bold treatment of human sexuality is still unsettling.
Not to be missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Theorem requires an ability to think like a movie-maker, 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
As with most of Pasolini's films, Theorem requires an ability to think like a movie-maker.
The film is not as explicit as the publicity suggests one should expect, but that it not such a bad thing as it encourages viewer imagination and appreciation of the script. The "silent touches" are perhaps a little overdone, but do not detract from the sometimes quite stunning filmography - raw and confronting.
As always from this production source as well as the supplier, there were no complaints with packaging and arrival date.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Theorem-Terence Stamp, 17 Feb. 2015
By 
Mr. Leslie Parry (Warwick, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
this release took me back many years to the time that cinema was interesting and exciting. Terence Stamp has been one of the outstanding British actors in the last 50 years and this is one of the 'experimental' films he appeared in during the late 60's and 70's. Whilst it is not a masterpiece it is well worth hunting out and watching, just for his mesmerising performance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for our time - I recomend it as the Best Pasolini movie so far., 10 April 2015
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This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Well casted well dramatized and well presented as the social Critique and retrospect what dysfunctional family may be. The Ballad of Narayama is the complementary DVD what should be seen with this to get some artistic balance
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best pictures from Pasolini, 9 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
One of the best pictures from Pasolini. The second half is the best one, with a great ending.
Beautiful master and great interview with Terence Stamp.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Theorem - and an interesting interview with Mr Stamp, 21 Dec. 2011
By 
D. Warner "Brixton Dave" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Theorem [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
I got this DVD out of curiosity - not realising that Terence Stamp had done a film with Pasolini. Theorem is somewhat similar to Pasolini's other ad lib social comment stuff from the 60s. Not at all like Gospel of St Matthew, the Decameron or Medea where the subject matter is historical.
For me the gem of this DVD was the bonus 30 minute interview with Terence Stamp at the BFI/NFT in about 2005.
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How would you react to pure love?, 18 Feb. 2009
By 
Alan Wakeman (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Theorem [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Pasolini's Theorem portrays what happens to a suburban Italian family visited by an angel who offers each in turn a brief experience of pure love.
The son feels worthless and turns to art to save himself; the mother tries to recreate the experience with teenage boys she cruises in her car; the daughter loses the will to live while the father is driven to total despair. The maid alone finds spiritual meaning but even she is destroyed in the end.
Pasolini's bleak view of materialism is masterful, mysterious and compelling.
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Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray)
Theorem (DVD + Blu-ray) by Pier Paolo Pasolini (Blu-ray - 2013)
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