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Teorema (1968)

Brief Nudity

Top Scene


In his controversial and truncated lifetime, Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was revered and jeered as more than a movie director. The flamboyant and opinionated auteur was a poet, a political provocateur, and ultimately a martyr — murdered in response to his searing and uncompromising vision. At once a beautiful indictment of human vanity and a cruel celebration of mankind’s innate striving to know God, Pasolini’s Teorema (1968) is a lyrically sparse epic divination of our carnal race. Also known as Theorem, the allegorical motion picture stars Terence Stamp, Laura Betti, Silvana Mangano, Anne Wiazemsky, and Massimo Girotti. With themes of divinity and spiritual corruption, the drama centers around a sinisterly charming stranger (Stamp) who makes himself at home in the house of a rich man (Girotti). There, the dashing visitor works his wiles on the mother (Mangano) and daughter (Wiazemsky). During a seductive scene, Ms. Wiazemsky bares her breasts to Mr. Stamp — and us! If that’s not sexy enough, the maid (Betti) gives in to his tempting charms too. No wonder she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice International Film Festival. Of course, Terrance’s character also goes after the son (Andrés José Cruz Soublette) and the members on other family members! Has this family been touched by a hand from above or just touched by a pair of devilish hands? Teorema defines the dilemma, all with less than one thousand words of dialogue. But that makes perfect sense when communicating in the universal language of lust!